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Saturday, October 21, 2017

First World Problems

img source: http://www.ggportland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Yard-Sale-Sign.jpg

I have been living in the US for about three years now and one of the facets of American culture that I have been interested in is the nature of its problems – maybe because, they are different from the country where I came from.

The first problem is getting rid of so much stuff. It is not uncommon to accumulate a bunch of stuff through the years that at some point, people wish to declutter. It’s a meticulous job to figure out how to do it because Americans are guided by different ideologies: things like saving the environment, being generous to friends and helping charitable institutions or some just want to keep their house prettier.  You will find people here who would literally beg you to take their stuff so they don’t have to worry about renting a dumpster or doing a yard sale (because yard sale is hard work). Most of the time, they are just happy that their stuff are still being put to good use and are not wasted. It is not uncommon to see free stuff on the curb – old couches, kids toys, TVs.. you name it! I will not lie but many of the things we own have been given to us. We like to think of it as God’s way of providing our needs and even our wants.

The second problem I have noticed is arguing over who will get the bill at the restaurant. I like this problem because I believe it comes from a desire to be generous and to bless others. Often, you would have to secretly connive with the waitress so she will run your credit card instead of your friend’s then your friend would later give you the evil eye for doing so. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, specifically in the Philippines, it’s not uncommon to tease a friend into paying for your meal.

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