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.
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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".
We really take just about everything for granted. Life is full of miracles, and we as humans can only seem to ever notice the big ones, but really it's the small ones that count the most.
There are so many tiny gifts that many of us have that a certain number of us would be kill to have.
A lot of that truth came into perspective during this pandemic. Just look how many people are now food dependent.
Ask yourself, what little thing do I have that may be a privilege to another and a luxury to many and it may not even have that much monetary value?
Redditor u/vianneyal wanted everyone to take a good hard look at just how good some of us have it, by asking:
What is something people don't realize is a privilege?
Paper. Pens. A computer and a job that consists of using all three. It may not sound like much, buy it's far less stressful than retail. I often overlook that fact. I try not to though. God bless customer service people.
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"Buying groceries without having to carefully consider prices."
"Hot showers.... Holy crap, I was homeless for a year and a half, and there was a time I blew $50 on a motel room specifically to take a hot shower. I remember pulling off my cold wet socks and just collapsing into the hot water, sobbing. Felt like all my problems went away immediately."
"Having your own room/space. A lot of people and specially families around the world has to share living spaces. There was a thread on Reddit recently where a family couldn't give their teenage daughter a room of her own cause their house only had two rooms and they were poor."
"Everyone said the parent was a butthole cause the teen had a right to it and they should move to a bigger house/outside their area to amend that. Crap was freaking insane."
"Just having dependable, safe hot and cold running water on demand."
"This. I just got quite the rude awakening 30 minutes ago when my landlord texted asking me to severely limit my already very limited water use because the well that supplies our water is almost dry. I live in rural Canada where there's a drought and while I knew it was bad, my privileged self never thought we might actually run out of water before it rains next. Jokes on me I guess."
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"Being able to quit a job without fear of losing financial stability."
And here we are all trying to be Kardashians. When tons of people just want stability regarding food and jobs. I don't know what is more sad, that fact or that we live in a world where facts like that exist.
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"Being able to enjoy total silence. (Freaking tinnitus)"
For real. Mine started when I was 18 and I then realised how much I took everything being completely quiet for granted before that. I wish I could get it back."
"Having your parents to fall back onto for help or advice during adulthood. I've been estranged since I've been 16, life ain't easy navigating the world alone."
"I hear ya. I was emancipated when I was a teen. I am grateful for the mentors and chosen family who supported me through to this point (I'm almost 30) but I wish that I had the solid nurture, example, and support that I truly needed growing up. I probably wouldn't have needed to spend so much money on therapy after high school."
"Sewers. A literal city of tunnels you never see, draining and moving water in and out of your town/city, completely hidden from view. It's a freakin' luxury and you'd be surprised how much of the world doesn't have that while the rest of the world never even thinks about it."
"Decent mental health. While some people seem to breeze through their life goals, a lot of people suffer in ways that prevent them or slow them down. It's a privilege to have most of your emotional needs met and have the stability needed to focus on developing your artistry/skills."
People Break Down Their Greatest Accomplishment On The Internet | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
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"Going to school."
"Getting as much sleep as you need."
"I never realized it had a name, but I have always have pretty vivid dreams, often nightmares. I realized that if I believed I could fly in the dream, I could fly out of the bad situation. Still helps me now and then."
"I noticed that I was privileged with eating to my taste- my dad told me how in mexico they ate what they had, it was rural farm life, i mean he continued to eat that way even living here in america, he would buy me and my sister whatever we wanted and make eggs and beans for himself. I can eat mexican food, japanese food, chinese, burgers, italian whatever really."
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"Not having to worry about war directly affecting your life and livelihood."
"This might sound silly to some but the other night I decided to change my bedding randomly and realized how lucky I am to be able to swap to another clean set on a whim. Clean laundry, multiple blankets, a whole drawer of socks... those things make me feel rich. A lot of people don't have another set of clothes or a clean, safe bed to sleep in."
advancements in civilization...
"Having caring parents."
"Same thing in romantic relationships. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of thinking every partner is going to compliment you, tell you they love you, and so on because they all do that when so many people are in loveless marriages without any of that."
"Having access to dentists in childhood."
"This. I am in my 40's with braces. My parents couldn't afford it and I waited until my kids (the ones that needed it) all got theirs done; then It was my turn. If I had gotten braces as a teen I'd like to think my massive underbite could have somehow been prevented. However, at the end of this year I'll be having surgery on my top jaw to move it to the correct position."
"Going years without cancer or sickness."
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"I (am from USA) didn't have a flush toilet until I was seven. Early enough that a flush toilet still feels like the normal thing, but late enough that I still appreciate it since I remember potty training with an outhouse 50 yards from the house in Maine (which is cold in the winter)."
"Weekends off work. I think about this every Saturday when the gardener comes to mow. He brings his son to help him. My kids are sitting in their PJs working on coding projects, while his son is out helping mow lawns. That is his kid's Saturday off school vs. mine. The danger is that someday, if my kids become programmers or whatever white collar job, they will look back and say, "It's because I worked hard to gain these skills," taking for granted the privilege of the time to do it."
The basics of life and survival shouldn't be considered luxuries. We really have a lot of society fixing ahead of us. Be grateful for every meal, and good slumber.
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