Monday, October 5, 2009


It is not pity. It is not sympathy. It is not a feeling of hopelessness. It is inspiration.

There are thousands of people who live by the outskirts of the standard of living, continuing daily life in the most unimaginable way. This, at least, is in the view of those living the “normal” (or better yet “pampered”) life. Day by day they undertake the same round of chores, each of which is of considerable workload. In an average household, virtually everyone has a work to do (this may only exclude very young infants), and this depends upon the capacity of each member of the family. What should be noted, however, is that the job requires the full capability of the individual, i.e. if a person can barely lift a load, he or she should lift the load repeatedly and as often as possible. Such is not inherent in the job, but the need to earn enough imposes a psychological rule to each worker. Thus each person is not really required to climb a kilometer up a mountain, but the need to plant as much crops as possible pushes every farmer to do so. And they do it every day without cease.

Another aspect of their lives is the simplicity of their ways of living. They only have to have food to eat, water to drink, clothes to wear, and people to talk to. They do not fuss over what food is brought up in the table, and their appetite is one which is relative to the amount of food available and to the number of people who are eating. They do not and refuse to know the dirtiness and possible contamination that accompanies their source of water, relying on their strengthened bodies to combat such illnesses that their water bring. They vaguely know about fashion, and if they do they do so only to praise their favorite actors and actresses. Their sense of style is one which takes into account the wear and tear that their work is associated with. Therefore with their indifference on the first three needs they make it up on the fourth one.

As “working beasts” they are surprisingly more humane than many so-called “cultured” people. They do not read self-help books on happiness, but they enjoy life to the fullest. They never knew formal etiquette and the “appropriate social behavior” but their meekness and courtesy (which is the heart of all social graces) is more than enough. They never went to universities, but their knowledge on both the workings of their communities and the details of their job qualifies them as scientists, political thinkers, and philosophers. They may rarely have church services, bible studies, or even a bible itself, but their unfathomable faith which sustains them through such hardships makes them holy. They may not know the luxuries of the world, but by doing so they have transcended reality. They are, in every way, awesome.

Now disaster has struck, destroying areas of both the poor and wealthy alike. They grieve for what happened and they lie helpless as their possessions are stripped to nothing. The wealthy will pull out their cash and simply repair or replace the things that were damaged or lost. The poor are left out, seeking refuge upon those who are unharmed and are willing to help. The wealthy may complain about their favorite car getting crushed or their playstation games getting corrupted or their laptops getting busted and thus no internet for some time. The poor, however, has to deal with the loss of shelter, job, clothing, food and water supply, all of which they cannot afford to replace. Is this absolute despair? Is this the end of the world for them? Is this a great unfairness of things, with the wealthy having a simple “loss-of-replaceable-things” event while the poor have a huge catastrophe? No, it is not. For them, this is another task that they have to undergo with. Yes, they would have to deal with a mountain of troubles, but haven't they conquered such things every day? And because the whole community suffers the same loss, wouldn't it be easier for them, now that they can do it together? Thus it is not the loss of their things that matters to them, but the welfare of their neighbors and relatives. They mourn for those who were washed away, drowned while escaping or simply trapped inside their houses while the water rose. And they do not see the sadness of the washed out community, but the glimmer of hope from the volunteer workers and fellow refugees alike.

Aren't they awesome?

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