I am teh commie blastr!
Greetings folks, I've posted a few weeks ago that I was going to move out of my dad's place and live on my own. Well, I finally did. I rented a room with two older Vietnamese couples, both in their 60's. They're very nice to me and we had a long talk about their lives. The elder male told me he was a captain in the South Vietnamese army for nine years and after the Vietcong took over, he was imprisoned for 6 years. The Vietcong consider it a rehabilitation camp to convert prisoners to the communist ways, but it's a freaking prison.They give you 1 bowl of rice (just enough to fill one palm of your hand) for lunch and dinner and they worked you to death. Some people never made it out. Those too weak to work or those who refuse to honor the communist ways were tortured or killed. He was 50 years old when he got out of prison and came to America to work for minimum wage on an assembly line sewing clothes until retirement. And I thought my life was hard!
The elder female has a heart wrenching story as well. Both her parents died when she was only 7 years old and she had nowhere to go. So she worked as a housemaid, washing dishes, mopping floors, walked for miles carrying fresh food and water to the home. And the couple she lived with wasn't nice to her because she was easily replaceable. But somehow she stuck with them and even went to college for a few years (completing high school is consider a big achievement in Vietnam back in those days). After she met the elder male and dated a few years, he was drafted to the war and they never saw each again for the next 15 years. Their only communication was through letters. Somehow they remained strong and faithful. I guess true love never dies.
After the fall of Saigon in 1975, she fled to America like so many other South Vietnamese to escape communism. Luckily, she had a friend already in America who let her stay at their place while she went looking for work. By this time she's already 40 something and barely spoke English. She can barely speak English now, but has gone on tons of job interviews and has landed many long term jobs. Amazing! Imagine going to a job interview when you can barely speak their language! And I thought job interviews were scary for me and I can speak perfect English!
After listening to their story, I've realized that I've been living like a king in America and I've taken it for granted. I need to work harder, not only for myself, but for some less fortunate people. They have become like parents to me and I am determined to stay on the fast lane and help them out when I make some money. Sorry for the poor grammar, I don't have much time to edit this. I just hope this post gives you some motivation as it has for me. Good luck to you all!
I am teh commie blastr!
Any time you feel sorry for yourself or feel like your life sucks, remember there is always someone who has it so much worse than you do. It really all boils down to what are you going to do about it? You can waste time feeling sorry for yourself or get up and do something about it. You have to want change so bad that you will go out and make a change. Nothing is impossible, even the word "impossible" has "i'm possible" in it! And congrats on making the leap and moving out!
Yeh a trip to Vietnam really opens your eyes to how some people live, even in 2011.
It actually makes you laugh at some of the things people back home complain about...
- Moaning about Facebook changes (its banned in Vietnam)
- "Mum won't buy me the new iPhone4"
- "The cup holder in my car won't hold my supersized drink. "
- "My aluminum-cased MacBook Air is too cold against my bare legs for me to use while taking a crap"
What a beautiful reason for wanting to be successful; I'm sure that your interest in other people and desire to help them will carry you far in business and in life, and I sincerely hope that you keep us posted along the way.
...As to what you were saying with how tough some people have it--we are so outrageously fortunate in this Country it is mind boggling. Just the fact that we have easy access to clean water and soap is such a blessing when you consider that about 30% of the world doesn't--and the diseases and deaths that follow seem so easily preventable if resources and education were available. Not to mention all the "little" things we take so for granted day in and day out cars, education, health care, choice in who you will marry (or if you do at all), equal rights, heating and AC, a bed to sleep in, reproductive rights, (just finished a documentary called China's Lost Girls that also makes you stop and be grateful) and on and on.
I heard a great quote awhile back that "your worst day is quite possibly someone else's best day." So true...and your post is such a great reminder for those of us who are so fortunate.
Thank you for sharing.
“Instead of wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” ~Seth Godin
To be born in a first world country, an individual really needs to be delusional in order to believe that they have it hard at all.
If you raise a person in a 1st world country for 21 years, and then send them to a third world country; it could be a very traumatic experience for that person.
If you raise a person in a 3rd world country for 21 years, and then leave them in that third world country; well, they are perfectly fine. The third world life style is the only life they had ever known.
There is a good chance this simple person is actually happier than you.
All people adapt accordingly to whatever reality they live and suffer as much as their environment allows.
As already said - To be born in a first world country, an individual really needs to be delusional in order to believe that they have it hard at all.. The problems we face on a daily basis are nothing to what some in this world face.
Problem is, they have to be getting along in that third-world country to be perfectly fine, and in some cases, it is easier to get along in third-world countries. Sometimes it isn't.
This brings up something that someone told me about the Philippines. He said that everything was extremely cheap there. He said that fast food, being some of the most expensive food there, was extremely cheap compared to the US and Canada. With a meager amount of money, you could afford maids and servants. I heard similar things about India and I wouldn't be surprised if this applies to other third-world countries.
However, the natives usually don't have nearly as much money or free income as an American or a Canadian who had a decent regular salary (around $40,000/yr) who chooses to live in the Philippines. The Philippines' GDP is much lower and their money is worth much less. Most of the food that the natives eat is grown locally or very close by in places such as Vietnam. The natives get along fine because that is all they know, and if they can survive and thrive, why ask for more? Bat is right, they are probably happier because they don't saturate their lives with silly worries such as dropping their smartphone in the toilet.
No first-worlder would be willing to move to a third-world country unless it was for a mission or to live with family. In order to live as cheaply as the natives (living off of, what, $1000 or $2000 a year?), you have to live like the natives, and that's not what most first-worlders are willing to do. Want to live in the Philippines? Say goodbye to your fast Internet and clean water; no matter how much money you have (unless it's quite a lot) you're not going to have that 12 mbps line, and a Brita filter won't get rid of the microbes living in your water. (Not to mention that foreigners will always get ripped off when buying things :P)
The immigrants who come to America, Canada, Europe, etc. all could not take it anymore in their home countries. Some of them had to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week in hellish conditions just to make barely enough money to eat. They had truly shitty situations and they set out to change it. Some of them arrive in the US and end up millionaires. The kids of these millionaire immigrants go to Ivy League and high-level institutions. Granted, most of them do not become rich, but just the fact that a considerable number of them do should give a nice slap in the face to every native-born first worlder. You all ought to wake up and smell the opportunity.
To you, a women on the ground beaten and robbed is absolutely awful. But to the women, it is not uncommon for that sort of thing to happen, and it probably isn't the first time it happened either. She is adapted to that sort of event and her emotional perceptions are adjusted to handle that sort of thing better than you or I would; therefore causing her less pain.
On the contrary, a women in a first world country who is slapped and pushed against the wall; may truly feel more distress than the women in the third world country who was beaten, slammed on the ground, and robbed. Their survival instincts are adjusted to different levels; people need to realize this before they start judging other cultures.
What you are doing is similar to feeling sorry for a Eskimo who lives in -40 degree weather because you live in Miami where it is mostly nice.
Why should you be cold when a 60 degree breeze causes you to shiver? Somewhere in the world an Eskimo is going through a lot worse.
Being empathetic is a good thing; but not when you are feeling empathetic according to your own emotions and culture. You need to be empathetic according to the emotions and culture of the person you are wanting to help; otherwise you are going to screw with that persons perceptions.
There are some instances when emotion and culture should come into play, and there comes a point where perceptions should be messed with.
We're off topic now. Why not get back on it?
Such liberal worldly views do more harm than good unless you plan on sticking around until the problem is completely abolished; in which most people are not nearly as committed.
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