i've just returned from the country that is so near and dear to my heart .... the Philippines. if there was ever a country that chooses to live in simplicity .... it would have to be the Philippines. i'm sure it can be said of many developing countries .... but for me .... it is the Philippines.
would you dare to live a simple life? no excess .... but only the essentials? it forces you to focus on the things that are important .... PEOPLE. every time i go to the Philippines i am overwhelmed by the kindness and easy-ness with which people are involved in their community. no expectations .... only participation. no need to be jealous of what your neighbor has because most of it is communal anyway.
ironically, it is this lack of striving to be "better and bigger" that probably lends a great deal to why the Philippines will never be a global leader .... they just don't try to. sure there are elements of that .... you find it everywhere .... but as a whole, they are not a people who NEED to be better than their neighbor.
think about it. look out your window at your neighbors house .... could you (or maybe you already do!) live in community with them? sharing of your life and stuff so that their lives are better? it is a concept that many of us westerners have a real problem with ... we need our privacy, we need to live apart .... JUST BECAUSE. i am a firm believer that this approach breeds distance and jealousy.
what are things that you could to to be more neighborly? here are a few to try!
- put a gate in your fence between you and your neighbor
- make something yummy and take it to your neighbor .... just because
- take in their garbage bins after collection day
- if you see them struggling to get something done .... offer to help
- and here is a really simple one .... SMILE
so don't come by my house and expect me to have a gate in my back fence .... i'm still working on it. but i can tell you that i talk to all my neighbors and have given most of them help at one point or another. and you know what? they have helped me in return.