It’s really strange how we can look at other countries, particularly ones that seem to have less, and feel superior and inferior simultaneously.
Whenever I watch documentaries on people from places like Africa, South Asia and South America, I feel admiration for them.
I know a lot of Westerners look down upon them, believing that these people live a horrible and miserable life. Yes in a way, given the precarious conditions they go through on a daily basis, they do indeed have it harder. Their environment is definitely much less comfortable than ours, having to fight with everything they have to simply survive.
Yet, beautiful miracles occur in these regions.
The members of these “less-developed” communities possess a trait that I think has been lost among us “more-developed” people:
That is courage to persist through all obstacles until their dream has been fulfilled.
For them, it’s not a question of whether or not they want to do this; it’s a question of life and death. The inequality issues, the violence, the economic disparities, and the food shortage fuel their need to take action.
With a goal in mind to change their situation, regardless of the consequences and the obstacles that stand in their way, they take the necessary steps to make it happen. They read and learn new skills to equip themselves with the knowledge to tackle the problem at hand. Then they go out into the “terrain” and test out their methodology.
This drive to put into action their thoughts and convictions is what a lot of Westerners lack nowadays. Since we live in such conditions where we’re always “comfortable,” we become easily deterred when something hurts. It’s sad. It’s sad because we have almost an infinite amount of resources and an education system to give us a vast inventory of the world’s facts and information. These are the things that people living elsewhere would kill for.
Yet, paradoxically, plenty of Westerners take for granted their resources, their education, and their ability to continuously learn thanks to the availability of the first two.
It doesn’t help that when learning does take place, it has nothing to do with social issues or community improvement, but with subjects that hold no positive impact on the world (e.g. celebrity gossip) or that relates to consumerism.
For this reason, I admire our so-called “less-developed” counterparts. I admire their inclination for solidarity for social change. I admire their human way of living that brings forth gratitude, courage, and persistence.
I firmly believe that we can learn from them that we cannot give up so easily and that we need to work together. Our society has instilled in our minds that individualistic lifestyle is the best. However, this also encourages isolation and non-dependence on other people. We’ve closed ourselves and it’s time to open up again.
It’s time to open up to hope and faith by learning incessantly from books, teachers, mentors and community leaders.
It’s time to set aside pity and condescending tones when judging the non-Westerners and assuming they are less-educated and less-reputable to be respected.
It’s time to believe that we all have the potential to create global change even if a lot of challenges come our way.
May the endless streams of learning and excitement get you through any ruts you’re going through at the moment! ❤