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1st and 3rd world problems – count yourself lucky!

I’ve just been very fortunate and had an 8-day trip to Tanzania. My wife and I had 5 days on safari, and then 3 in Zanzibar. Apart from the absolutely marvellous chance to see many beautiful wild animals close up, we also travelled around 1,500km through the country. We met many locals, either in the hotels and lodges, or just walking down the street. Everyone was friendly, in particular the little kids walking to school who were giggling whilst they said “Jambo” to us and wanted high fives.

Our Safari car driver told us that he was responsible for his Wife and child, their parents and a niece whose mother had died of HIV. One income to cover 8 peoples’ needs. We also realised that the average wage in Tanzania is around £300 / month. People were living in pretty impoverished conditions, and yet they were genuinely happy and not the slightest bit envious of our relatively affluent western life style.

So there is your “3rd world” comparison. Here is the 1st world comparison.

Separately I have just watched the Billy Monger story “Driven” (available on the BBC IPlayer). If you don’t know, Billy is a young Englishman with a very promising racing driving career. He had a dreadful racing accident just over a year ago, and as a result lost his legs. This would have been devastating for anyone, leave alone a 17-year old. However he is so positive and determined that he will not just overcome his new disability, but that he will continue with his ambition to drive in Formula 1.

Now it is clear that Billy comes from a family with pretty good financial resources (motor racing is very expensive). But nonetheless a tragedy like theirs transcends wealth.

So my point is simply this: many of us perhaps forget how lucky we are, so we fret about Brexit, and also life’s lesser concerns like traffic and what to get the kids for Christmas.

Few of us face such setbacks and hardships as the two examples above from both the 3rd and 1st worlds.

So if you are feeling a bit down today, maybe your customers have turned down a proposal that you had high hopes for or things have gone wrong on site, perhaps it is worth taking stock and considering how we in the UK have life so easy compared to many around the world, or even closer to home.

I know I am certainly seeing things differently now!