‘First World’ Problems Are Still Worth Solving

When an issue, problem, or annoyance isn’t life or death, we tend to brush it off as a “First World” problem. This suggests the problem isn’t worth solving, and, as School of Life explains in this video, that’s counterproductive.

Explaining what these problems are and why they’re worth solving, the School of Life makes some solid points. One of my favourites is that we should be excited to have the opportunity to solve these problems:

Just because an issue isn’t connected to life or death doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause genuine pain or isn’t worth thinking about. A problem can be important without being life threatening. Moreover, we should be excited about trying to solve the most advanced problems out there.

Yes, it does feel incredibly selfish to worry about finding a job you like when you compare it to battling Ebola. But in terms of problem solving, one doesn’t have much to do with the other. You can be grateful for all that you have and still work to make your life more fulfilling.

The video adds that First World problems trickle down to the rest of the world, so addressing them will eventually serve a greater purpose. Of course, there’s a pretty big spectrum for First World problems. Your hardened Nutella probably doesn’t contribute much your unhappiness, but being stressed, overworked, and tired definitely will.

The video runs down some common First World problems that often affect our well-being, then explains why they’re worth fixing. Check it out yourself above or at the link below.

First World Problems [The School of Life]


  • S’funny. I saw a documentary that showed EEG tests of the sections of brain that light up during discomfort or grief are pretty much the same for a struggling parent who just lost their job as a spoiled, rich teen who got a BMW instead of the Lexus they wanted for their 16th birthday.

    “The suffering is real,” is a sarcastic joke which turns out to be literally true.

  • This is an odd article. I think it’s confusing “first world problems” with trivial issues. In my opinion first world problems are like transietmind mentioned where someone has an issue with something that is a non issue involving a preference between 2 things.. A trivial issue is something like the battery life of a smartphone. Now that is worth fixing because having good batteries can benefit lots of things. “first world problems” on the other hand shouldn’t merit our time because people just need to be more mature about their non issues.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!