Travel can be great for giving you a true sense of perspective on your life, especially when you travel to a developing country. I am currently in Bali at the Copass camp and today we travelled from the luxury of our resort to the Ulun Danu Bratan Temple.
During our journey there and back several things struck me, fortunately not literally.
One thing, for example, the population of Bali is over 4 million and for a small island that means the roads are pretty crowded, and the drivers do not follow the highway code in quite the same way we are used to in the sanitised developed world. They love their scooters, a cheap and an easy way of navigating the traffic. But for those not used to this, they would look with amazement when one passes laden with children, gas cylinders and a surprising number of adults and other items, none of the passengers wearing a helmet and travelling in the wrong direction in monsoon style rain.
The majority of the population here are poor and their day-to-day existence is tough, yet blind to the world we live in, most seem contented and cheerful. Although, that does not mean that their lives could not be improved by a better system of wealth distribution. That is a whole new topic for another time.
Many in the developed world would almost hyperventilate, in an often phoney hysteria, one which has been cultivated by a society that has risen well above Maslow’s basic needs, to an elevated part of the triangle, where we question ‘why we are here’. The bottom section of food and shelter has been replaced by date codes and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Our fear based media and society has us worrying about flu’s, insects, bugs that will leap from the toilet and eat us. We worry about the sell-by dates, we fear terrorism, we fear almost everything. Yet if we lived or experienced more or the world that billions live in daily, then we would worry less about the mundane.
We would be less fearful, we would be a lot more grateful for what we have and we would be happier with what we have.
We focus our energies on what we do not have, when compared to most people on the planet, we have it all and more.
We would focus more on people, activities and shared experiences and a whole lot less on material stuff and many more unimportant things.