Reddit users aren't often very realistic or self-aware when it comes to their privilege, but every now and then we get a thread like this one.
User "NeckBeardDiscordMod" (points for the user name) asked:
And yup! There's a lot to unpack here.
Food Tetristetris GIFGiphy
"Having to Tetris the fridge because you ordered too much food and the fridge is full of left overs." - Nospamkhanman
"Which you probably end up throwing away a few days later as it gone bad or doesn't taste good anymore." - lzwzli
"Some of my favorite tips: hamburgers and many other meats can be done quickly and decently in the microwave, but wrap them in a soaked napkin or paper towel first. They stay way moister."
"Barring that, wrap in foil with a splash of water or broth and put in the oven."
"Mashed potatoes, reheat on the stove with a splash of half and half to rejuvenate them."
"Most fried foods spring back up nicely with a quick re-frying, or if you don't want to do that, high temperatures in an oven for a few minutes (convection is best if you have it available). Even french fries, which get nasty and mealy when old, can be reheated this way."
"Breads take on a new life when toasted. This even goes for things like day-old biscuits. Cut it in half and give it a good toast on the internal sides and you're prime for another great sandwich." - Mitosis
ImperfectBell Pepper Cooking GIF by MypenleaksGiphy
"Here's one that blew my mind: imperfect vegetables. Imagine a grocery discarding a pepper for having too many bumps or a banana for having to many brown spots."
"Meanwhile here I am with my crinkly green peppers and bananas that are 40% brown patch. (But our avocados are like .20cents US)" - corvusaraneae
"Hey good thing is that here in France, this is changing."
"They are starting to sell "ugly vegetables" in supermarkets much, much cheaper than the "good" ones. I tried, so for 0.75€ I got four ugly peppers, ugly beans and an ugly onion hahaha well they were as good as the others!"
"I would have paid 5€ at least for a "perfect" version of them. They taste all good and become all ugly in my stomach. So well. Hopefully this will become more and more the norm." - meteorpuppy
Hot Waterchris evans shower GIF by VideolandGiphy
"I would say not enough hot water to take a long shower because the tank in the heater is 'too small.' " - vaspat
"I lived in a former communist country in Eastern Europe. Same problem. Also the bathtubs are 1/2 the size and everything uses coal heating."
"I nearly froze to death because the thoughtless landlord went on winter vacation and cancelled coal delivery, leaving me to freeze." - LunarRatGrl
WHAT not IFConfused David Rose GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
"It's what are we going to eat tonight, not are we going to eat tonight." - j*rkitwithrightynewb
"Do you want pizza? No. Chinese? No. Salad? No. Want to go to the grocery store and get stuff no make dinner? No. Ugghhhh there's nothing to eatttt!!!!" - wishyouamerry
"Obesity is one of the biggest killers in the 1st world."
"Our bodies are designed to eat foot when it's available because we've got 100,000 years of evolution telling us to, because who knows when we'll eat again. It sucks and "just eating less" goes against our basic instinct." - slurmz-mckenzie
Halfway GreatVietnam GIFGiphy
"I live in Ho Chi Minh City. It's dense. We don't actually know how many people live here, but it's somewhere north of 10 million."
"I don't currently live in poverty, but did for a few years when I was getting a company off the ground."
"A lot of people live 3 people to an 8 square meter (80 square feet) room. The room has to also fit a kitchen, a bathroom, and a mattress (yes, just one)."
"We struggle to find places to keep clothing. Oh, and dishes. Both of those things are very affordable compared to renting/buying a bigger place to live."
"Moreover, since the older generations have survived famines and conflict, there's a tendency to never throw anything away. Heck, I'm an immigrant here, and just a few years of lesser hardship have made it challenging to discard things!"
"I guess it's just a symptom of things being halfway great."
"We can afford more than we have space for now, but are still haunted by the memory of being able to afford neither things nor space. So we accumulate things." - Saigonauticon
If I See Single PlyToilet Paper Poop GIF by Paper PooGiphy
"I was born in Eritrea (country on the Horn of Africa) and when I was a kid I would alternate between living with my grandparents and my mother ( my father moved to the US on a student visa shortly after I was born)."
"My mother was a teacher and the government would send her to to indigenous villages that had absolutely no running water, electricity or anything of that sort."
"On the flip side my grandparents lived in the capital city where they had indoor plumbing but the "toilet" was a hole you would have to squat over and then manually dump a bucket of water to flush, and afterwards you would wipe with an old newspaper."
"At the time, I thought this was the epitome of high-class living."
"After my father finished school and got his US citizenship he was able to bring me to the states when I was 9 years old (2003.) Since then I've became Americanized as f*ck and if I ever go to your house and I see single ply toilet paper I will judge the f*ck out of you." - Philly73898
Not A MonolithJesse Pinkman Reaction GIF by Breaking BadGiphy
"The thing is, the third world population isn't a monolith. Like every country, there are wealthy, mid-class and poor. The wealthy and upper-middle class people probably have all the luxuries these comments mentioned and more."
"But there is also the poor class, people still living in super dense housing area. Like I'm talking 'the streets are barely 2m wide' dense."
"A good proportion of my country is still very underdeveloped infrastructure-wise. We don't have drinkable tap water, a lot of places (even in big cities) don't have reliable hot water, until like 5 years ago electricity shutdown was a regular thing here etc." - whoatemycupoframen
Life Or Deathstar tv hospital GIF by HotstarGiphy
"I live in a very bad 3rd world country. I'll explain some of the problems we experience."
"We no longer have petrol. We must wait about 6 hours or more to fill up petrol at the station."
"Our local currency has devalued by 20 times making things sooooo much more expensive."
"We have no medicine. Not even Panadol anymore."
"Electricity cuts off for about 16 hours a day (I live in an upper middle class house). The problem here affects all people of class."
"Imagine going to a hospital and there being no electricity to do an operation. No matter how rich you are you can't get many medicines that are life or death." - Countbat
Road Constructionmine hunt GIFGiphy
"I was once told this story by a coworker."
"This guy is driving this contractor from Africa to the office. They get stuck in traffic due to road construction, and the guy turns to the contractor and says, 'This is something else, huh?' "
"The contractor replies, 'This is amazing! In my country the roads are falling apart because they're so old. I wish we had road repair like this where I come from.' "
"It completely changed the guy's perspective on road construction. It may still be an inconvenience sometimes, but now he has an appreciation for it he didn't have before. It definitely opened my eyes the first time I heard the story." - TorinKurai
Hopefully this was little jolt to reality for us. Some of us have no idea what a third world country is really like - and some of us don't realize we're already living a life much closer to "poverty" than we are to "wealth".
Everywhere you look, people are dieting, juice cleansing, intermittent fasting, and dumping their 401k into monthly fitness app subscription fees.
All that hubbub tends to leave us thinking that the holy grail of life on earth is to be skinny.
And it's hardly a surprise. An overwhelming majority of clothing advertisements and Hollywood films features beautiful, thin people.
So it's usually quite annoying when a thin person complains about their shape and size. After all, haven't they achieved the supreme goal?
A recent Reddit thread challenged that assumption with some fresh perspectives. Anonymous skinny folks dropped in to share their biggest complaints about the bean pole life.
Mad_Chemist asked, "What are some skinny people problems?"
PSA: Do Not Go to the Gas Station for Medical Advice
"My personal favorite: 'You can't be diabetic, you're skinny!'"
"Oh, thanks random man at the gas pumps! I'll let my pancreas know immediately."
"always having to sit in the middle seat of the car" -- autumnfaithd
"Ugh. I'm average height, but slim. My legs have nowhere to go and the assumption is that I take up no space, so I can't even wrangle my feet into the spaces on either side of that middle bump without hassling the people to give me room."
"If you get into a head on crash and your feet are up on that bump, your knees will smash into your face."
"It also doesn't really 'make room', it just makes the larger people safer." -- AptCasaNova
A Kite in a Head Wind
"I have no momentum" -- TheFlamingLemon
"But we can accelerate faster." -- vizthex
"When you try to push a door quickly (you know those which can swing back and forth) but the door says 'nope'" -- thedarkem03
"Thats the weirdest thing about being one of the bigger college students. I have to be really careful when walking around campus because if a skinny boi/girl came around a corner too quick, the odds of them being able to stop me were low." -- Krosyss
"If you don't like baggy clothes good luck finding something that will fit you" -- Felis-Catus_
"All the shirts that look good on the mannequin turns out to have pins in the back." -- yaolilylu
"And the shirt on the mannequin is the last/only small size they have in stock , leaving none for you to even try on." -- RedQueenWhiteQueen
The Subtleties of Bony Life
"being bony and sharp when being hugged" -- gamers_gamers
"It hurts to sit too long." -- oldandjaded1
"Pinching a nerve in my butt because of my boney a** sitting down all day" -- DreamsOfCleanTeeth
"If I hit my hip on a table or something as I'm walking by it hurts a lot and leaves a bad bruise. My ass hurts after sitting for too long. That's about it." -- Kraphtuos968
"Can't sleep on my side because my boney knees touch each other and it hurts too much. To sleep on my side as have to wear thick, thick sweatpants or put a cushion between my knees." -- nava08al
An Impressive Title
"My grandmother calling me the Ambassador of World Hunger." -- Seasergeant
"Damn, Grandma! That's cold." -- teamcilantro
"That's hilarious. My grandma would bribe me to eat more food. She was convinced I was wasting away to nothing." -- stdgy
"I used to be fat as f***. Now I'm skinny and the most apparent difference is I get cold MUCH faster. Doesn't matter how I layer up." -- Whiskey-Weather
"PLEASE tell me this is true bc I've been sweating to death my whole f*cking life even in winter. I just started my journey and down like 22 pounds so far. I'm losing 100 pounds and will be trim. Please tell me I'll actually be comfortable in my cute sweaters, scarves and hats."
"Or I'm shaving my head." -- pumpkinpatch6
Demoralizing Middle School Behavior
"People making a circle with their fingers around your wrists" -- randomrocketsfan
"Nothing in elementary or middle school made me feel more self-conscious than that sh**." -- DimAllord
"I can do it around my own ankles. It profoundly worries me." -- thisnamesnottaken617
Tug Boat Logic
"I'm a skinny guy in the trades. I'm not heavy enough to do a lot of stuff :(" -- mychickenscreams
"Yes but when someone has to crawl into a crawlspace or attic, then you become the hero!" -- PhysicsDude55
"Bro for the longest time I wouldn't activate the passenger side airbag lmao" -- MuchachoMunch
Life as a Cardboard Cutout
"Friends lifting you to show how easy it is to do so." -- veniato
"I was walking through the mall once and this dude I only kinda knew (shorter, but a lot a muscle) just picked me up and carried me half way to the other end of the mall."
"I laughed it off but it really made me uncomfortable. I'm a dude, btw." -- OgelEtarip
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Sometimes it's the little things that carry the most weight.
Massive setbacks and life-altering tragedies are, of course, the most intense forms of hardship. But fortunately, those are not every day occurrences.
Instead, normal life trudges on in all its characteristic mundanity. Real, repetitive, adult life is lived in the bell curve where the days meld together. Both ends of the spectrum--euphoria and total strife--are largely absent.
But there are moments. There are tiny eruptions that burst out of nowhere in those normal days. Things fall and break. Strange areas become wet and uncomfortable. Social dynamics are insurmountably weird.
We know they're minor things, but they somehow manage to bring out our rage. Perhaps because the annoyance is so small, it almost feels like the universe is being all the more cruel: inconveniencing us in the most minimal way possible.
If we weren't blind with rage, we'd see the universe smirking.
Famished_Fetus asked, "What is not that serious, but can still ruin your day?"
"My dryer not drying my clothes all the way before work in the winter." -- Ya--Like--Jazz
"Ooh good one... this upset me to read" -- graceadapting
"Damp sweater armpit. Ugh." -- pinkbedsheet
Tumble Tumble Tumble
"For me, it's that moment you drop a spoon or something, physics breaks, and it just bounces off every single surface on its way down making as much noise as a spoon like object could possibly make."
"It just feels like it takes forever to finally stop moving."
"I dunno, drives me bat-sh**."
"you ever been craving something and postpone it for a certain day, and then when it's that day something happens and you don't get to eat that."
"'Hey, when you get in, let me know, we need to talk.'"
"'We need to talk.'"
"Those two, one variation for work and the other for personal, are the worst. There's no context, no stated reason for needing to talk. Only dread."
Untimely Bowel Movements
"Having to go poop right after taking a shower." -- Affectionate_Meat_69
"Having to poop right as you are about to leave for work. Be late or risk shi**ing yourself." -- TogarSucks
"I just take a whole new shower when that happens. I wash my hair again and everything." -- TheMangusKhan
Aaaand Strap in for a Terrible Day
"Accidentally biting the inside of your cheek HARD when chewing your food." -- Bokonon_77
"For some reason when that happens to me it repeats itself about 3 times shortly after. It's like a small electrical jolt that makes my jaw suddenly snap shut on that cheek even though I was trying so hard to avoid it."
"So painful." -- Geeko22
"Not finishing a good dream." -- gluteactivation
"Having my alarm go off mid-dream for any dream just f***s my whole day up. Apparently my body doesn't like being jolted out of a nice comfy REM sleep." -- DorkasaurusBBQ
"even if it's a bad dream... i still want to know what happens. it's a story my brain wrote just for me" -- blastfromtheblue
"Having to get gas before work" -- k-tglo
"there's no better way of screwing yourself over than driving past a station after work and saying 'i'll do it in the morning'" -- Fuzzwuzzle2
"Problem of the past. You simply charge your EV at home, fin." -- FreddyF2
8 Hours of Adjusting
"Not having enough time to get ready and having to go out in something you're slightly uncomfortable in." -- anniecelene
"Very true. And then you tell yourself 'it doesn't matter, no one will notice' but you're still not able to have a good day." -- whatisthatplatform
"The equivalent of this for me is not having time to wash my hair. Feel icky and Oily :(" -- Crazee108
"getting in the most comfy position in my bed, but the sudden urge to pee arises." -- M3Me_EntHuS1aSt
"or you forget to brush your teeth" -- UnoReverse_3142
"That's a true one! I have this whole internal dialogue like, 'I must respect my bladder, I don't want a UTI, getcho a** up neooow.'" -- ThrowRA_tolove
"A whitehead on the tippy tip of your nose." -- GroovinWithAPict
"Or the crease between the nostril and the cheek - impossible to get easily and so painful." -- justpickoneitssimple
"A big ol honker of a zit that looks like it could come to a head, but never gets beyond a certain point in its formation, so that if you succumb to the temptation, the zit will be in your life for the next 2 weeks." -- Floomby
"Being excited and extremely happy about something and then telling somebody, only to be met with either a disappointing reaction or even being told that what you're excited about is 'childish/silly/not interesting.'"
"Happened way too often to me so I don't share many things with others anymore."
"Dropping something or getting your earbuds caught on something and yanked out of your ear." -- SeekerSpock32
"Or your belt loop stuck on a door handle as you're passing by with your arms full." -- WhiteMoonRose
"This seriously ENRAGES me. I hardly get a good chance to put earbuds in, and when I do, it's usually to calm down with some good tunes."
"So when I get caught, I just feel like the world is f***ing with me." -- GogoYubari92
Days in Disguise
"When it feels like it's going to rain and even looks like it and then it goes away and gets warm and sunny" -- sandworm45
"Feels like an almost sneeze, but then it goes away." -- reactivespider
"F*cking sunshine. GIVE ME MY RAIN." -- N8_Tge_Gr8
The Pests of Asphalt
"That one a**hole that cuts you off in traffic when there's no one behind you" -- MagicCoffeeBeanSpaz
"Then you both meet at a red light" -- gluteactivation
"Conversely: that jerk who rides your a** through multiple passing zones, gets visibly angry at you for only going the speed limit, and refuses to pass you." -- AdmiralStryker
The Overnight Underworld
"f***ed up dreams!"
"I get into a serious funk maybe once every other month because of some vivid abomination I dreamt of (often involving something that bothers me irl)"
Bone Dry All Day
"Forgetting my chapstick on a day I won't be home for a while" -- drayd38
"That's why I keep one in every purse, my bedside table, my desk at work, etc." -- clumsyc
"I call it my 'crack stick.' Have to have it or I can't function properly. My lips have to be adequately moisturized at all times. I have backups for my backups." -- therearenoaccidents
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Having lots and lots of money is wonderful. Having very little money is really stressful and terrible.
But apparently it's a little more complicated than that. Once poor, now wealthy Redditors weighed in with some truths about what happens when money starts rolling in. Spoiler: "Mo money, mo problems" is totally a real thing but money is also really cool because you can buy helpful stuff.
Through the Cracks.
Went through childhood in the foster system and fell through the cracks, ended up homeless a few times. Anyways I am not a 1%er but I do make more than 80% of Americans (yearly salary wise).
Money relieved me of stress. When I go shopping I don't check my bank account before I make a purchase, I have insurance so I am not afraid to go to the dentist or doctor, going out with friends is fun because I know I won't be financially struggling from a night out. It ultimately bought me a level of stability I never was used to and I am incredibly grateful.
My 'new problems' I wouldn't call problems, home maintenance, car upkeep, bills, etc. I am grateful those are my main worries these days. SpookyCritter
I can now buy good gifts for my friends/family.
Downside: now I cant get them crappy gifts. WhiteHairedWidow
Not rich currently but due to my work skills I have been both flush with cash and scraping by. This position changes every so often.
When I had excess, forget it level of money, my immediate needs were taken care of so I could focus on other things/take on new projects.
People don't realize that when you don't have to worry about:
- Food for the next month(s)
- Basic household bills for the next month(s)
- Fuel for the car
you are so free to spend your energy on other projects and learn new things.
For me, the issues that having that much disposable income is the temptation to spend it. Lifestyle creep and keeping up with the Jones' will destroy people if the cash flow ever gets interrupted. Without that cash flow you can't afford you mortgage or your new car. I avoided it, luckily. Many others have not.
I bought a small house and a nice 15 year old truck when I had the money and then I stopped. I put my money in the bank/invested it. My monthly stay alive cost is under 1K. When the good times end, I still keep the lights on working a low paying job. Routine_Condition
Fawning service industry people.Giphy
Fawning service industry people. Waitstaff, hotel, retail store people. It's embarrassing sometimes because I don't know how to react.
I have a sister who is middle class and three kids. I'm relied on to provide certain expensive things for the kids. Once in a while is fine. It's fun. But because I have no kids, she thinks there should be a constant stream of fun activities and gifts coming from me because "what else are you spending your money on." the-camster
I can go to whole foods.....
Grew of middle class, until 12 years old, then mom had a stroke and parents lost family business and was essentially piss poor broke. I think parents sheltered my brother's and I from it a lot. Always had something to eat but always moving around different homes, xmas presents consisted of socks, underwear and candy bars. It sucked during high school. I was jealous. Went to college, got a job, and so did my brother's. My brothers started doing well and started supporting our parents. I ended up going to med school. Getting through residency. Still paying off massive loans but now in a place where I don't have to worry about my car breaking down, I can go to whole foods, I can buy friends and family dinner without thinking about it. I can pay for my parents dental work without thinking too much about it.
I can invest in stocks, invest in a good home, maintain the home and my cars and even make money on my house by investing correctly.
The biggest difference is that. Now I can make financial decisions that on their own make money for me, with real estate and with investing. And the ratio of this easy capital games money only gets better every year.
When you are poor you own nothing and the only way of making money is to work but if your paycheck cant support your lifestyle it is very difficult to break cycle. gnfknr
We weren't really that poor but we lost a good part of our income and the biggest problem is I cant spend money without stressing about how many hours I will have to work to pay it off. AdaLovelaceKing
Not "rich" by 1% standards, never been "poor" (I always had a support system, even if I had no money myself).
That being said, the number one thing I noticed is holidays aren't as stressful, because money isn't an issue. Shopping for presents is relatively easy, because I'm limited by creativity, not weighing "how ashamed am I going to be to give this crappy gift to someone vs how much do I want to eat this week."
The main problems come from being in that place where "enough" is never enough. As long as I watch my spending, I can mostly buy the occasional thing I want, but I don't have enough that I can buy "whatever." It's also a dilemma when it comes to helping out my friends. I don't have enough that I can afford to solve (or really significantly impact) my friends financial problems, while at the same time I want to be generous/helpful when I can.
On the gripping hand, it becomes easy to be taken for granted or even worse, taken advantage of. Springing for the occasional meal can easily become being expected to pay for restaurants that are more expensive than I want to be going to in the first place. You want to nip that crap in the bud real quick.
But I have a lot of friends who are literally looking through couch cushions for gas money. At the same time, if I gave them gas money all the time, I wouldn't be able to pay my own bills. So it sucks to sit there and have to figure out when I can actually help vs when I'm lighting myself on fire to keep someone else warm. JesterBarelyKnowHer
Missing You Much...Giphy
Kinda the opposite here, was fairly wealthy living in a large single family home, now living in a 250 sqft trailer. The biggest thing is probably not having the time to be able to enjoy ourselves. Working 7 days a week just to make ends meet isn't fun. Before, we could go anywhere on a whim and not have to worry about missing out on the money.
It. Is. Heaven.
It is hard to overstate the joy of having a RELIABLE car, with gas, with insurance, that I just take to a guy if something needs to be fixed. It isn't brand new or fancy, it's just a car I can trust.
It. Is. Heaven.
New problem; my nieces and nephews hit me up for money whenever they have some sort of travel event they found that they want to go on. Sometimes the answer is no and that often causes hard feelings. picksandchooses
Can't say I'm rich but for my age (22) I'm wealthy. I always had to think a lot before buying anything, having money makes it much easier. I don't have to say no to my friends when they invite me for something because I don't have the money, always so embarrassing.
Still I'm always afraid I lose it again and I end up being poor again. It's a constant anxiety. xDariius
One thing I can say for sure though is I will never take normal things for granted ever again. How I miss having a dishwasher and a clothes washer and counter space. I miss having an oven big enough for a tray of cookies. I miss having more than one bathroom in the house. If I were to ever have these things again, I'd never ever look at them how I did before, I'd be eternally more grateful than I ever had been. Reddit
Necessary, not sufficient
In the German language there is a saying that goes: "Geld macht nicht glücklich, aber es beruhigt ungemein." It translates to: "Money doesn't make you happy, but it calms you down immensely." It seems to be really true.
There's no going back..
Money allows me to not worry. It doesn't make me happy, but it frees up my mind to BE happy, because I don't have to spend time worrying about how I'm going to pay the next bill.
Lifestyle creep is a very real thing, if you're looking for a "problem." We've gotten used to this level of money, so if it were to go away, it would be a pretty big problem pretty quickly. Our bills have risen along with our income.
Downside: now I cant get them shi**y gifts
Just never seems to be enough...Giphy
I can afford the good toilet paper now. The only problem is, I'm still not rich enough to have someone wipe for me.
Outta the woodwork
What new problems have appeared: people suddenly become very friendly if they need money and they stop being friendly if you don't loan them (more). Also loans are gifts in their head.
I am in a similar boat. Trying to help my sister out of credit card debt, I have been buying them groceries. Hoping they would put the money onto the credit card. Later I learned with all the money they had "saved", her husband went out and "invested" in some new trading cards. However i try and help family it always seems to backfire.
I couldn't afford beer and now I can.
Easy, but not simple
If you obtain a large sum of money in a vacuum (metaphorically, not in a Dyson) then yeah having money is not a bad thing and can't be construed as such. The reality though is that generally large amounts of wealth are obtained through a huge amount of work which almost assuredly brings problems. That being said, problems like work/life balance, managing people and so on would be preferable for almost anyone over wondering how you are going to pay your rent or bills next month.
The long con is doable
Basically, money is a safety net. I feel like I can buy my way out of problems fairly easily. Also, not being poor bring economy of scale on everything... like, I can cook a meal for 4 adults with $7 because I have all the staples in my pantry.
NO MORE BRATS
I have to make sure my kids aren't entitled little brats and don't grow up to be entitled, awful adults.
License to chill
Went from extremely lower middle class (where I didn't carry insurance because I couldn't afford it, and could never pay all my bill in any given month) to 1%er. The biggest difference is bar none the loss of that fear and shame. My wife is an incredibly empathetic sympathetic person but she came from money and doesn't understand the feeling. The stress, shame, and sleeplessness that comes from not having money just can't be explained unless you've lived them. Not having that feeling, just knowing I can buy what I want (with in reason, don't confuse the 1% with the .01%) is one of the greatest changes in my life. Having come from almost nothing to where I'm at now there are no problems. The problems I face now are totally first world problems, because money.
Level up to Robinhood powers
I can give now. We support youth development causes in our town, but more importantly, we pay "scholarships." This is when you are signing your kid up for something cool, and you pay 2-4 times the amount, so the poorer kids can do it too. This was my childhood. My best friend was rich, but his parents really respected mine, and they also loved me. Every cool thing that came up that I knew I couldn't afford turned out to be just "free!" My friends mom paid double for everything, and neither I or my parents ever knew until she had passed.
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, perhaps we can solve these problems.
Here were some of those answers.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.