In my last article I sought to describe village life for the children in rural Northeast Cambodia. As I described, despite there being reasons to admire their culture and community ethos, at the same time it shouldn’t be forgotten just how tough life can be for these remote villages with no access to healthcare, few job opportunities and a severely high infant mortality rate.
In trying to describe their situation I mentioned a phrase, often used in the UK of, ‘You don’t know how lucky you are’ which from my experience frequently comes up when comparing different environments, be it within the UK or also in comparison to different places abroad. And, whilst its fair to recognise that not all young people in the UK have excellent life opportunities or situations, it’s also fair to recognise that young people in the developed world have (overall) much greater life chances than those living in poorer parts of the globe.
I guess the same applies for adults too; there are certainly more opportunities living in England or Australia than there are in Cambodia.
We often talk and read about ‘third world problems’ such as infrastructure, diseases, public finances, climate etc. and there are numerous charitable appeals each year that seek to raise needed monies to aid countries that are less developed. A few years ago in fact, in an attempt to reinforce the differences that can exist in different places, as well as seeking to raise further funds, a new somewhat tongue-in-cheek term was coined, that of ‘first world problems’…
‘I’m hungry… but not for any of the food in my house.’
‘My oldest son is watching the 50-inch TV; my youngest son is playing Xbox on the 45-inch TV; and my daughter is watching a Blu-ray on the 40-inch TV; so I have to watch my TV show on the 10-inch iPad.’
‘I have too much chips for my dip, but if I open more dip, I’ll have too much dip for my chips.’