Let’s face it.
There’s no harm or foul in enjoying decadence, top-shelf, state-of-the-art, grand, “insta-worthy,” premium, or over-the-top anything if you can. And as the old saying goes: everything in moderation! I agree; gluttony and overabundance never did anyone — or anyone around them — good. We live in a capitalist society that allows for such luxuries and now, more than ever, the ways in which we can potentially acquire life’s riches — however you deem riches to be — can be fruitful. Hustle and take on side projects. Start a business. Amass a digital following. Change jobs. Network your ass off. And at the exponential rate technology is growing — all claiming to make our lives easier — it’s now just a matter of “which one will help me take me to where I want to go?” in life, love, happiness, career, travels, material possessions, the list goes on. The expression first world problem has reached the tips of our tongues in conversation as a direct juxtaposition of the negative situation at hand with its inferiority to dire problems happening elsewhere, namely second or third world countries. And while we’re enjoying a $7 almond milk matcha latte or a $19 after-work cocktail, the slip of a “… and this is a first world problem” in conversation puts a 2-second Debbie Downer on the moment making one feel temporarily bad about the immediate present (myself included). But really, that immediate moment of feeling bad doesn’t do anything, does it? While it’s an acknowledgement, what is that phrase actually accomplishing? Because with all honesty, everything we’re dealing with in this society outside of providing basic food and shelter for ourselves is a first world problem. The grocery store ran out of dried apricots! My dermatologist is booked for the next 3 weeks! No one talks to me on Tindr! It’d be a different story if that expression led to conversation which then led to action (and perhaps over the long-term, it might — great!), but the only immediate action that’s most likely taking place is perhaps a tap on the waiter’s shoulder for a chocolate croissant or a second cocktail.
In partnership with Absolut Elyx. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.
But what if some of that first-world problem guilt — even if it’s just a smidgen — could be lessened by the luxurious indulgent moment at hand? This is why I admire Absolut Elyx for their partnership with Water For People in their five-year mission to bring safe water to 100,000 people. For one, Absolut Elyx is a self-proclaimed luxury vodka offered at a premium price tag (it tastes smoother with a slightly higher proof level compared to most spirits at 40). The spirit is distilled in beautiful copper columns, hence their boutique accessories (like this gorgeous pineapple cup) being made of copper. It’s luxury within luxury. But while you indulge in an Absolut Elyx cocktail in within a copper pineapple cup, there’s a component that gives back and provides safe water to those in need. Here’s how: one bottle of Absolut Elyx purchased equates to 1 week of safe water provided; one copper pineapple purchased equates to 1 month of safe water provided; and until Earth Day on April 22nd, one social media post with the hashtag #raiseitforward (as well as @absolutelyx and @waterforpeople) will also trigger a donation of a week’s worth of safe water to someone in need. So let’s go ahead and enjoy our picnics, fruit-as-decor, refreshing cocktails, cheese and meat platters, herb and roasted lemon garnishes, dried lavender arrangements, thinly sliced cucumber and mint-infused water; but indulging in the right luxuries — whatever our hearts desire — can achieve way more greater good than the simple and sole acknowledgement of a first world problem.
This in no way, shape or form takes replacement or precedence over humanitarian efforts of any kind — do not get me wrong. And conversations surrounding the world’s issues need to be had constantly as to educate, provoke change, and mobilize action. Luxuries are retreats in the constant push for the global good, but in doing so, let’s #raisitforward.