This place we call home has changed and it will continue to change as souls live and die. Sadly, there are many souls who have forgotten what it actually means to live.
On one side of the world in a South Asian village lives a twenty year old man who farms for a living. There’s really nothing too special to his life. He doesn’t have the best education. Nor does he have money to buy everything he desires for himself or his family. In fact, he has often dreamed of some day migrating to the Western world where he’d own a big house, drive the fancy cars that stars drove in films, and have enough money to buy everything he desires.
But the harsh thing about life is facing reality. And what’s more important is having the strength to accept it. That’s where he has his priorities straight and his life intact, and he has learned to make the best of it. Food is harvested from the motherland. And what he has is actual human interaction – friends who’ve become family as generations aged. For him money was only needed to feed his family and nothing more.
For those of us in the West, what would we think of such a lifestyle? Just the thought of living in a village gives many of us shivers. When we feel hungry, we expect to head over to the kitchen and have something to eat. Can we settle for small meals so the entire family can eat? We desire to have our very own cars. And they have to be top of the line because appearance is everything. Can we settle for walking or to taking a crowded bus to the nearest town?
If you are living in the Western world, take a moment right now and think about your dreams. Did your dreams in one way or another have anything to do with money? I’m sure it did because that’s what our world has come to. If I asked you if money could buy you happiness, many of you would agree that it does.
But the truth is a “materialistic life” can only bring you happiness for a limited time. Things come and make us ecstatic for a brief moment. Then they just become just another long-forgotten item in the corner of our rooms.
I am twenty years old. I was born and raised in Canada. My parents were born and raised in Sri Lanka. They made sacrifices to come to Canada so that I can live that upscale lifestyle. And up to this point in my life, I had always thought that’s what I wanted. I had always dreamed of having a huge house, driving a fancy car, dressing in the nicest clothes, and having the money to party to my heart’s desire.
Then I decided to sponsor a child from Sri Lanka. And when I got a letter back from this child I felt something. A spark. A feeling I had never experienced before. And in that moment I realized that this is what happiness actually is.
It has been months since then and it’s still a moment I hold close to myself. And whereas material possessions like a pair of Jordan sneakers or a gaming console gave me temporary satisfaction, this brought actual fulfillment to my life.
It’s amazing how your view of life can change in a matter of seconds when you open your mind to the way many people live their lives around the world. People may call me strange for this, but my dream now is to get people more open-minded about life.
I’ve come to think that making enough money for necessities should be satisfying enough. But to be able to appreciate moments in my life has become more significant. I’ve even contemplated leaving Western culture behind and moving somewhere where I can actually experience genuine interaction with other individuals and learn about their beliefs.
Classifying everyone has degraded us as humans. Try to care about people and appreciate the beauty the world has to offer over. Learn to live while you have time. Because when you are in your deathbed, you want to be able to look back on your life and remember those memories that brought you true happiness. All those things you bought won’t be flashing before your eyes in such a moment. It will be those moments that brought you true fulfillment, where you made a difference.