Too often, people are quick to dismiss the problems of others. They look objectively at someone who has a relationship or money problem and decide that it doesn’t hold up against those starving in some third world country.

Many are under the impression that straight white males have no problems and never have. They speak of them as if their life has been on long string of successes and merely articulating what they want and getting it.

You hear people use the phrase, “sounds like a first world problem,” to joke about a problem another is encountering in an attempt to add some perspective to the situation.

But problems are relative, and everyone has them. There’s not a person alive who hasn’t run into some real obstacles and been in an uncomfortable situation that causes them real mental or physical challenges. When held up against life or death struggles, they may not measure up. But then, not everyone is dealing with life or death struggles.

Dismissing a problem as a “first world problem” ignores one key reality: we live in the first world. First world problems are real problems to those living in the first world. First world people have problems, and they’re allowed to have problems.