In our world, we not only have what we need, but we also have the opportunity to get what we want. What about the other side of the world? How often do you think about the other side of the world? I know for me, the answer was: as little as I can. There’s another side of our world that’s very different. We all try to push it under the carpet, so most of us don’t know what it’s actually like. Now that I’m living in it, let me tell you what it’s like.
Most have little money, no cars and often live in places they built themselves. But you already know this. What I’m interested in, is how they appear to think.
On the other side of the world they think differently. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. The family comes before the individual. Honour is important; shame even more so.
Most fascinating to me though, is their resilience. On the other side of the world, tragedies have befallen almost every area, with most still in living memory. In Cambodia, there’s no sign of change either. Yet still, they hope. All they need is a chance.
Children will walk miles to school to create an opportunity for themselves that is likely to be taken away from them at any moment. Yet still they walk.
Corrupt governments, terrible infrastructures and widespread propaganda are all injustices. But to the individual, the biggest injustice is not getting an opportunity to fulfil their potential. Not even getting a chance.
So many on the other side of the world aren’t given a chance. Sure, they’re educated up to the age of 7, but then they have to start begging to pay for their father’s medicine. So who’s to blame?
I’m not going to sit here and point fingers or pretend I’m the right person to change the world. I’m not. And the truth is, you’re probably not either.
Learn to deploy gratitude every day. I don’t want you to be thankful for your new car, your new house or your new job.
Be grateful that you got a chance and your children will get a chance. When we decided what and who we wanted to be when we grew up, most of us had that chance. If I’d really wanted it, I could have tried to be a pilot. I’m not, but I could have had a real crack at it.
In a world where many don’t get a chance, be thankful that by sheer dumb luck, you did.
A few months ago, we met a humble man in India who owned a small material shop. We bought the cheapest thing in the shop and it looked like we’d made his year. He said to me:
“Gratitude is the right attitude”