I’m in Vietnam at the moment. Before coming here I spent 10 days in Cambodia. Life over here is so vastly different from back home in Sydney. So much so I wonder how much of the day to day life of some of the people I have met here I can even begin to understand with my “western mind”.
It seems to me that for most people in this part of the world, life is not about thriving, but about surviving. Something I really don’t see in my normal day-to-day life in Australia. We’ve got it good people!
I’ve seen the fishermen living permanently on Cambodia’s largest lake (Tonle Sap) throw their nets and get nothing. No fish. Next time: no fish. And again: no fish. And yet, they keep going. They have no choice. This is their life and livelihood.
I’ve seen the fishermen in Halong Bay do the same. They come down to live on the water during the time of year they cannot grow rice on their small farms. They move between the land and the water to wherever the likelihood for survival is better during that time of the year.
We have kids at the temples in Cambodia selling trinkets to tourists instead of being in school, with their parents blessings. They see the likelihood of making money that way as bigger than the likelihood of making money from a good education.
Then we have the life in the mountains. Yesterday we went trekking outside of Sapa in the very north of Vietnam, only about 50km from the Chinese border. The local tribal people here live off the land. They grow rice and corn and they cultivate the terraced land using water buffalo. Some of them have electricity, some don’t.
And here I am as a visitor. Dropping in and out of “modern life”. Going for a walk or boat ride, and then coming back to the comfort of my hotel. With wifi connection, a clean bed and a hot shower.
And I feel so very grateful for this – my life! In the last few days I have been reminded of how blessed I am, and I love it. I love that perspective on life. I love that I have the time, space and luxury to ponder things like “Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? What makes me happy?”. And that I can go and explore these questions, and all the others that run around in my head.
I love that my life is not about surviving, but about thriving. And I have been reminded of this so many times in the last couple of weeks. And so I feel obligated to make the most of my life as I know it. To live to my potential as much as I can. I’ve been given this gift as I see it, and it’s my job to make the most of it.
Therefore I want to explore what makes me happy. Look at what I can do to better serve the greater good. Fight for that which I believe in. Give back. Not because it’s “the right thing to do” (even though it might be), but simply because I can, and because it feels better.
I will wake up every day with joy in my heart. And I wow to remember to be grateful for all that I have, and appreciate the people, experiences and places I come across.
Put simply – My life rocks!
How about yours?