I was just remembering the discussions I had with my son when he was stationed overseas while in the Army. He was deployed to fight the war on terror….in Djibouti, and Ethiopia mainly. His experiences brought to his attention how much we as Americans have and take for granted.
His first phone call home he talked about how the people lived, how they lived in huts, without doors and owned very little. But what surprised and dismayed him the most was how the people adapted to live with the baboons who threatened them daily.
At night the baboons would tear through the huts looking for food. To protect themselves and their families the people would put all of the food they had outside the hut allowing the baboons to take what they wanted.
These are people who have no running water, no indoor toilets (they used the river which was lit on fire each night to burn off the human waste). They didn’t have comfortable furniture to sit on, or even a door to close for safety.
This is extreme poverty, a kind most of us will never know. When I think about how I live today, I do live simply compared to many in the first world, but I have so much more than others who live with barely nothing. I have choices others don’t have. All my needs are met, which many can’t say the same. What I do own is mine, I don’t have to set my food or other belongings outside to ensure some sense of safety.
Sometimes all we need to do is remind ourselves of how much we really do have as a reminder that we don’t need more. Simplicity and having enough is all in our mind-set. When we can be satisfied with what we have we will find the happiness we were seeking all along.