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Teen Talk

September 22, 2012

Teenhood Today: Trip gave perspective on true problems


Whenever someone talks about a third-world country, we usually imagine broken down huts with 20 or so people crammed inside, all sharing one bowl of watered-down soup and one blanket. I admit that there are some places where this is most likely the case, but from what I saw, everyone was cared for. Sure, they don’t get the ample three meals a day that we’ve come to expect, or have the privilege to open the medicine cabinet every time they get sick — they can’t even take a hot shower to feel better about the situations in life — but they have enough. 

Africans can make clothes whiter than you could imagine, and they do laundry in a bucket! There aren’t toilets, but then rest areas are unneeded and road trips become much easier. Roads aren’t usually paved and cars tend to have holes in the floors, but that means you get more exercise when you walk up the mountain than you ever would driving up it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that many pity third-world countries. But only for a moment and then we go back to complaining about our tiny little problems. I mean really, who wants pity? Instead of pitying less-fortunate people or situations, do something about it! Support a good cause, go on a missions trip, or at least stop thinking your problems are the biggest ones in the world, ‘cause let me tell you: they’re not!

Miriam A. Thurber is a sophomore at Unatego Central School. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at

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