“If I have too much, I might forget my Creator . . .
If I have too little, I might steal from my brother.”
This philosophy was inspired by, who some believe, was both the wisest and the richest person who ever lived . . . King Solomon of Israel.
I recently returned from a trip to the Philippines, sponsored by a most kind benevolent friend of mine, keen to see me meet my fiancée’s family prior to our marriage. I noticed over there a perfect balance in the way-of-living that I had not seen anywhere else in the world . . . one of true moderation . . . a cultural balance which cultivates true happiness.
Africa, let’s say, for the most part, is impoverished. Europe, Australia, and the United States are, for the most part, comparatively rich. Then there is the Philippines . . . right in the middle. People have clean drinking water, nicely paved roads, electricity, and McDonalds. At the same time, the average salary is 1/7th of what it is in America. Nevertheless, most things there, including rent, utilities, and home ownership, costs about 1/7th as much as they do in America. Seeing how the richest countries, on average, have 30 times the income of the poorest ones, living with 1/7th as much as the richest is relative balance between the two extremes. This is the case in the Philippines.
Because Filipino’s are half way between poverty and riches, they are very resourceful and generous people. They waste nothing and share everything. (Just imagine America during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.)
While I was there, I threw away a small green olive jar when it was empty and got corrected by my fiancée because it could be used as a homemade salad dressing container.
The above picture best describes it . . . A motorcycle, at the most designed for two thin people, has a sidecar added, so that many more passengers can ride for a fraction of a dollar each.
What else do you see in the picture?
People are professional, immaculately attired . . . and VERY happy!
Can you put a price on happiness???
This is what I discovered; when resources and funds are limited, not only is incredible imagination spawned to improvisedly utilize what is available, what is possessed is shared and truly appreciated. This moderation soaks into one’s character from youth, creating a country full of humble, giving, and creative citizens. As a result, the crime rate in the Philippines is very low, the divorce rate is very low, and the happiness level is . . . Extremely High!
It is so hot there (being near the equator), that while most people can afford air-conditioning, they choose not to waste their limited resources on an excessive electric bill for mere temporary comfort (except perhaps for one small window unit in the bedroom to assist with a restful night’s sleep). Subsequently, fans are used in just about every room instead of air-conditioning. This means that people’s windows are open almost all of the time to circulate the air. As a result, a few gnats come in, about sundown, attracted to the overhead lights. After this, small lizards come in, who know to congregate near the lights, to eat the gnats . . . . The Creator provides balance yet again! I was so fascinated, watching the ceiling, as bugs were captured by the lizards, that I called it “Lizard TV”. Like a bee and a flower, balance and harmony thrives in the Philippines.
“The wealthy cannot sleep for worry about their possessions,
yet the peace of the average laborer is abundant.“
America’s material excesses, leads to the sin of selfishness and addiction. Africa’s impoverishedness, leads to the sin of thievery and corruption. The comparative economic balance between the two, in the Philippines, leads to harmony and spirituality . Let us thusly take a lesson from the balanced lives of the Filipinos and downsize our material wealth. (Mark 10:21) Let us invest instead, in true earthly happiness, which yields eternal rewards, undoubtedly springing up from character rooted in the simplicity of material living, wherein the modest of possessions is appreciated, and what is possessed is generously shared, resulting in the treasured state of . . . True Moderation.
“What good is it to gain the whole world . . .
And yet forfeit your soul?”
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