Tuesday, March 22, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 12 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“The municipality provides the rate payers an excellent cleanup program”
- Myron Thompson  
- Director of   
Operational Services   

 

 
In the days following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I imagine many of us have taken a moment or two to realize just how lucky we are to live in an area of the world where we don’t need to worry about these kinds of events.
We may see the occasional freak weather occurrence here in The Pass, but the threat of hurricanes, tornadoes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, and earthquakes is virtually nonexistent.
This is partly why I get so frustrated by people living in this area of the world, who fail to see the global picture and focus only on their trivial “problems”.
The term “First World Problems” is a common one in the online community, specifically among Twitter enthusiasts who frequently update their status with self-criticism of their own frivolity.
For example, one might tweet, “so mad at the Starbucks girl! She put whole milk in my latte instead of soy! First World Problems”, or “the lineups at Wal Mart make me want to shoot myself. First World Problems”.
It’s during times like these when I realize what petty and self-absorbed morons we can really be.
There have been several occasions when I have let myself focus all too much on these kinds of “problems”, neglecting to realize that in countless areas of the world, there are people losing their homes, families, and friends, struggling for survival due to malnutrition and poverty, fighting for democracy and freedom from oppression, fearing for their lives due to civil or international war, or even closer to home, where labourers strike in order for their needs to be addressed.
It really puts not being able to get a mud stain out of the carpet into perspective.
Even larger problems I have had throughout my life seem silly to have dwelled upon during times such as these.
 
During the summer of 2008, I lived in a house in downtown Calgary with three good friends.
One day, unknown to us and in an attempt to get us to move out, our scum-lord shut off the gas valve in our basement, resulting in us not having heat or hot water for eight weeks before we finally moved out.
He told us there had been a billing mix-up and that it would be resolved soon.
That soon morphed into “there’s something wrong with the hot water tank. I’ll replace it soon”, and “we just have to wait for them to come and hook the gas back up”.
As naive and trusting 19-year-olds, it never occurred to us that we were getting, for lack of a better word, screwed.
But I realize now, that except for the financial hardship I have experienced for the majority of my adult life, this was the biggest life problem I have ever really encountered.
I couldn’t take a hot shower, and I had to wear an extra pair of socks around the house at night.
That’s it. that is the biggest problem I have ever faced.
I wish I could go back and shake my 19-year-old self and tell her to be grateful that she has a roof over her head at all, food in her stomach, a support system of friends and family, a free and democratic country to call home, and the luxury of never having to know what it is like to lose everything, or start out with nothing at all.
I hope you continue to keep informed about the situations which are going on throughout our world in areas such as Japan, Libya, Egypt, Haiti, Sri Lanka, The Congo, Darfur, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and know that these problems do not go away just because the media coverage does.
Love, Kimberley
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   Volume 81 - Issue 12 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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