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Creative People Take First World Problems And Solve Them With Third World Thinking

Creative People Take First World Problems And Solve Them With Third World Thinking
Diego PH on Unsplash

For those of us new to the idea of a 'first-world problem,' it is a problem that only exists to those of us privileged to have consistent running water, electricity, etc.

People who get caught up in first-world problems are often the subject of ridicule because studies show it's mostly just not that deep.

So if we use creative third-world thinking, 'third-world' meaning they're still a developing country and may not have immediate access to running water or electricity, perhaps we can solve these problems.

Redditor ThomasAmesM410, wanted to know how to find an easy fix when they asked:

"What are some 1st world problems that could be solved with 3rd world thinking?"


"Some issues just do not matter"


"Yes! As someone who's from a "third world" country, some issues that people in "first world" countries worry about just seem so trivial to me."


Making It Work

"Fix things that break"


"I live in East Africa, I can confirm this. Motorcycles and cars are driven for hundreds of thousands of miles, phones are repaired until they turn to dust, and if something is truly beyond repair, it's put to other uses."

"Recently worked in mosquito net distribution, and one family had the same nets for 10 years, which is about 6 years longer than recommended. Turns out, the recently deceased grandmother made it her passion to keep those nets repaired for years. First case of malaria in the family since she passed a year or so ago happened about 9 months back, it was two young girls around 4-7 years old. Luckily I was visiting the family two days into their fevers, 103 Fahrenheit each."

"I sensitized and handed out nets to the family, and they took those old nets and turned them into everything imaginable. Bedding, dishwashing, they even used them for fishing. It was amazing to see how inventive they are to turn those nets into so many useful items."


Duct Tales

"Duct tape can go a long way in fixing many problems if you are very creative."


"Well, this is like the time where the roof in my room literally collapsed. The outer roof didn't, but the inner one that you can see if you looked up did. My brother took a trash bag, duct tape, and a bucket. We couldn't fix the roof until a professional came, but we stopped the leak from the roof from spilling everywhere. I know tons of people who can't think that way and I really don't know why. Sometimes you just need to think outside the box."


A Slower Kind Of Traffic

"First World Problem - people honking .00001 seconds after the light turns green"

"Third World Solution - In Colombia (I saw in Bogota, I'm sure it's country wide) traffic lights turn yellow for 2 seconds before turning green. The thinking behind this is relatively simple, the overwhelming majority of cars are manual transmission, so the yellow light is your signal to shift from neutral to first so you can go as soon as it turns. Also has the side effect of keeping traffic flowing."



"Most solutions in this thread actually highlight the ignorance of the First World about the Third World."

"Most of these solutions in the Third World countries happen not out of any grander idea, it's simply because these things are cheaper. It's all about economy. As soon as the people in those countries can afford the problems that are mentioned here, they will. So expecting the First World countries to adopt these solutions is simply not practical."

"Source: am from the Third World."


Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

"If we stopped building houses out of the most flammable materials available, we could prevent house fires and most insurance claims. Masonry construction rules."


Fix That Wobbly Table

"We'd probably make less garbage if people fixed more of their stuff rather than buying tons of disposable crap."


High Speed

"Rail Travel."

"Imagine being able to ride the train for cheaper then riding a bus, and you can go anywhere in the country."

"India's rail network has some really cheap train fares. If they can manage to do it wonder why the rest of the world's rail fares are so expensive."



"People in a lot of Caribbean nations are quite poor, but report generally being some of the happiest people in the world. They just don't get caught up in the rat race of reality TV mansion envy the way Americans do."


Planning Models

"Curitiba, a third world city, has seemingly solved a lot of first world problems with traffic, pollution, and the environment, through innovative city planning. City planners throughout the world visit to see their solutions."


Stop Shopping For Fast Fashion

"Wear high quality clothing made from leather or other durable materials, instead of buying cheap factory stuff designed to fall apart in a few years. Care for and repair your clothing."

"And stop being so damn trendy. It's ridiculous how much crap we buy and throw away just because of fashion standards. Buy clothes that you like that will last, not clothes that scream Mid-October 2019 so you can prove to your friends that you could afford new clothes every few weeks."


Not Genius Ideas Take Us To The Moon

"Always overfilling your burrito causing stuff to fall out? Eat it over another tortilla. BOOM! A second burrito."


Leave The Phone At Home

"Ditching some of our technology."

"I'm not talking the kind that saves lives or keeps us safe, thinking more like spending way less time on our smartphones/tablets (as I hypocritically post to Reddit on a smartphone)."

"I was walking in a park a couple days ago having a bad day, and i realized I had left my phone behind in the car. I was about to go get it when I just decided to say f'k it and look at the fall colors and trees instead."

"This gave me a moment to watch everybody else around me. Whether it was city workers doing landscaping, people crossing the street, or mothers with their kids on the playground, nobody WASNT on a freaking phone. It's sad. I feel like we've forgotten how to look at real things with our own eyes in our surroundings."


Be Aware Of Your Reality

"Some 'problems' are not problems because what you're having anxiety attacks over or getting outraged about are just simply not grounded in reality. Social justice should be about advancing human dignity and literal justice. Not yelling at people because you don't like the way they think. Shocking I know, but you and everybody else is allowed to have a varied and undecided opinion on many things in this world because not much of it is cut and dry. If you don't like it you make the best out of it that you can and do your part."

"Source: South African."


Know What You Have, Appreciate What You've Been Given

"Not from the third world, but from one of the poorer areas of the US that some people consider "the third world"."

"A lack of gratitude and work ethic in reference to education is most prevalent to me. I go to college in a rich area (by my standards) and it amazes me how these people who were given so much opportunity in life just don't try. I've seen people who were enrolled in private schools and accelerated college/high school programs fail out because they didn't realize what a gift they had. I would give an arm and a leg to have the childhood they did."

"When you grew up in an area where the people around you are always hungry, jobless, and even homeless, and your high school never really "teaches" you anything, you become incredibly thankful for the resources and opportunities college gives you. I'm doing everything I can to be the best student I can be and I know that will help me out in the long run. I don't regret learning how to be thankful for my education and what it can do for me."

"I may not be from the 'third world;' by some people's standards but underdeveloped areas, in general, teach you a lot."


A Different Way Of Living

"Zoning laws. Maybe not entirely... There still needs to be some regulation, but the way that areas are decided into commercial and residential in North America is really detrimental to communities and quality of life. Living in Istanbul, I lived in a neighborhood of apartment buildings where the first floor was always commercial and all everything above that mixed and residential."

"I would spend just a few hours a week doing errands, cuz everything was 'just downstairs': I'd walk a block to the green grocer and on the way back drop shoes off and the shoe repair, pick up my laundry, and finish up at the drug store literally at the bottom floor of the apartment. It meant more free time for me, no need for a car, AND I knew and often had a commercial relationship with my neighbors."


Save The Environment

"First World problem: Plastic straws creating a lot of trash that's not biodegradable."

"Third World solution: Drink outta the f'kin cup."

– Ricjack99


"Proaganda by companies also plays a role. My sister spent some time in Fiji and apparently a lot of people were completely unaware that Coca Cola is incredibly unhealthy due to the positive ways it is advertised. A lot of children also didn't learn about brushing their teeth, so you can imagine how well those things go together..."

– Krylos

Old School Construction

"If we stopped building houses out of the most flammable materials available, we could prevent house fires and most insurance claims. Masonry construction rules."

– ScarceFeminineWomen

Backyard Potty

"Toilets broke / sh*t outside."

– Sciabarrasi5

Maybe when you go about your day, you can think two things: You don't have it as bad as some other people; and maybe that table doesn't need to be thrown away because it's a little wobbly.

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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.