I’m sure you’ve heard the term or made a joke about “first world problems”, “rich people’s problems” or “white people’s problems”. All are used, sometimes offensively, to diminish the seemingly insignificant issues that more privileged groups face.
My guess is that you’ve never heard or used the term “healthy people’s problems” – unless perhaps you or a family member has suffered through an all consuming health issue.
When you or a loved one is faced with serious, life altering health issues every other problem pales in comparison. The pain you feel or see in the faces of those you love renders all other issues trivial.
While my family currently enjoys good health, it has not always been this way. At different times my wife, my daughter, my sister, and my mother have all faced health problems that felt like the end of the world to me. At that time, no other problem in my life or anyone else’s mattered much, if at all.
Health is an often overlooked but perhaps the most elemental part to a happy life. Without it, nothing good is as enjoyable and nothing bad is as tolerable. Yet we constantly take it for granted.
Other terms like “first world problems” can be used pejoratively to make us feel guilty or shamed – maybe even poking fun at a perspective out of touch with the rest of the world.
Conversely, healthy people’s problems should remind us to both be grateful for the health we have and to provide extra care and support for those in our lives and communities whose problems cut to the core of happiness – health.
The holiday season typically comes with too much to do and too little time to do it. Problems and stress naturally arise. If healthy, take pause and perhaps use the time you would have spent venting to check in on a friend dealing with a health issue. If you or a family member is struggling with a health issue, please know there is probably a small army of friends who would gladly drop their problems in a heartbeat for a chance to help you with yours.
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