A Little Perspective to Start the Year

January 14, 2013

In a slight departure from my normal blog style, I’d like to write a post on a word that is so important, but we often forget the power it has over our lives. It is “perspective.” A few years back, I read a book called The Noticer by Andy Andrews. This is a must read on the topic of perspective. In that book he says, “A grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.” I believe that to be true and have witnessed it in the worst of circumstances.

On a recent trip to Kenya, we met a lady named Hannah who was living alone in a small shack that was only lit by the small slits in the side of the house. Despite her deceased husband’s family only living a couple hundred yards away, she was left to die alone in total isolation. She was reenrolled into a second group at the CARE for AIDS center because a stroke had severely set her back, and she was unable to walk. In these circumstances, she said, “God has given me a thousand reasons to smile.” Hannah’s circumstances have begun to change as she can now walk again and has found restoration through the CFA program. However, what she never lost was perspective. It was her perspective that probably saved her life.

When you look at a person like Hannah, it is hard not to feel blessed for all the opportunities and luxuries we enjoy in the U.S. This is not to say that we don’t have our share of REAL problems, but how often do we get bent out of shape over the most ridiculous things. I am guilty of this in my own life, but my wife is quick to remind me that I have “First World Problems.” When I am reminded of that, I can’t help but smile and be grateful. As much as that phrase is a clever social media construction, it really brings much needed perspective to situations. I encourage you to think of this phrase the next time that things don’tgo exactly your way, and I hope it will produce joy, gratefulness, and generosity in your heart.

Here are some of my favorite “First World Problems.” These are also my favorite because they are things that my wife and I have said over the years!

What are some of your favorite first world problems? Please share them with us.

*All of these images are readily available in various places on the Internet and are believed to be in the public domain. If you are the copyright owner of one of these photos, please notify us, and we will take it down immediately.