So after being here in Thailand and Cambodia awhile and having worked in many different orphanages and other aid programs I am a little disheartened by how folks go about things. Are those things bad? No. Are those things good? Not really… but not really bad either. And at a later post I will explain more in depth about those differences.
It is stunning to live in someone else’s shoes, having the experiences I have had and wondering why can’t these folks see how useful this way of doing things my be “better” at the start of the day. By the end of the day, I see how there are reasons folks go about their ways due in part to financial issues, cultural issues and just access to stuff I have taken for granted. Like not having to fish for my food, grow my food, beg for my food… or even at my level of education folks not in the big cities have very little access to education that will improve their lot in life. On the other hand, being in some of these big cities like Bangkok or China and seeing how aggressive the young people and the culture is focusing on making a better living for themselves — and meeting so few westerners these days and just about every Chinese, South Korean, Aussie tourist one can meet because their economy is for the most part doing well in comparison to that of Europe’s and America.
I have now seen super-cool rip offs from all American products that worry me as many of these countries are making improvements on them and worse, making them cheaper to acquire. That I am truly getting worried how my country will get through this time of economic hardship — which I firmly believe was mostly caused by slick wall street folks and big corporate banks praying on the hopes and dreams of folks wanting to “own” a piece of the American pie.
I have spent the last two days really dealing with the Buddhist philosophy and ya know what? It’s just another freaking religion that takes your money and promises you if you “do it this way” good fortune will shine upon you. Personally, (and I have always believed more in this) if you follow your little small voice and really follow what makes you happy — you are a success. It doesn’t take amulets, money, or statues… to be “forgiven” or to gain “happiness” or find “fortune”. It takes listening to your gut. That little voice that always tells you — if one is to listen — what to do.
And, next time that little small voice tells me not to eat that really yummy pork sausage from a backstreet vendor off the main highway in Northern Thailand? I am gonna listen to that freaking in my head — as I wouldn’t be having this huge voice and other junk scream at me from my stomach right now. Talk about being taught a life lesson!