Thursday, November 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I am home now for a brief while. Once again, I've learned a lot....mostly from the people of the land I visited. Whenever I travel to a less prosperous part of the world, I am struck by how different my life is in the land-of-plenty.

The photo above is "Home Sweet Home" for a family in Indonesia. I had the good fortune of meeting them. We could not speak a word with one another because of our language barrier. However, we spoke in the form of smiles, gestures, bows, and on my last day -- hugs.

Each and every time I have an experience like this, one thing gets my attention loud and clear. They are no less happy than any one of us. In fact, I am certain that they are happier than some of the people I know here in the States. I'll spare you the reasons.

Several times during my visit, I was reminded of my friend Woody. He had been visiting Togo, Africa (bordering Ghana). Woody had been speaking with a man from Togo. The man asked how things were in the States. Woody's response was that the recession was making it tough on many of the citizens in the States. The man's response?

"Our country has never known the wealth of your recession."


(My farmer friend)

The people of Indonesia are among the kindest, most gracious people I have ever met. They have very little in material wealth, but they have riches in other ways. God bless them.



Jay said...

Wow. What a humbling thing to read. I don't know that I will ever be able to forget that.

This post reminded me of a song (big shocker, huh?) by India Arie called "There's Hope." It has a verse that goes:

"What's it like in the USA and all I did was complain.
He said, Living here is paradise..
He Taught me paradise is in your mind..."

You can hear it here:

You should check it out, it's a GREAT song... every line.

Dan Denardo said...

I'll check it out for sure, Jay. I always appreciate your recommendations and heartfelt comments.

Hindsfeet said...

Thanks so much for sharing this Dan....Such my...Seems like there's a freeing simplicity we miss....This pic and your perspective of it evokes the same feelings as your pic of the orphan's bed with the superman sheets....and I truly do wonder, who is the more impoverished?

....How I long for simplicity, seemingly so elusive these days...can it be that I actually feel a bit of envy looking at this photo?

I think our math here in the Western world has become a bit "fuzzy" over the years....

Well, let me stop 'soliloquying' here on your site.....

thanks for the pic, and the prose, m'friend....


frost said...

Thanks, Dan, for reminding us that only simple things bring happiness. There's really only a few things we really need in life. Everything else makes things complicated.

And thanks for your beautiful photos!

Wander to the Wayside said...

Of course we have known about the living conditions of the rest of the world ever since the advent of photography, especially thru publications like National Geographic. And we (mankind) have said from the comfort of our homes how sad that is, there but for the grace of God, etc., and give our $$ to adopt a child or a family, and sent volunteers to help - all good. But, on the whole, I think what you said - "They are no less happy than any one of us" - is true. It's all a matter of perspective. Their idea of having 'made it' is probably having rice to feed the family this week, and our idea is having enough credit on our plastic card to afford that new tv or tennis shoes. Perspective.

Thanks for the reminder that we may be more fortunite than some, but are certainly not always better off. - Linda

Andy Richards said...

Certainly puts things in perspective. Every time I start feeling sorry for myself for any reason, I see someone around me who makes me realize how small and insignificant my worst problem in life is. In spite of what may be the worst recession of our lifetimes, we are so blessed here in the United States!

Joy said...

A timely post... especially at this time of frenzied pursuit of 'things' for Christmas. The kicker is, we then have to find room for the new stuff. Come January, the magazines will be touting the virtues of 'simplicity' and decluttering. It happens every year, along with urging us to exercise and eat healthier. It's almost comical.