Steve, I like your blog but I see you becoming too "Americanized" with your posts lately. In your Quality Contribution post you said "Ultimately the physical stuff in your life is a reflection of your lifeís inner quality, not the cause of it." Is "stuff" really that important?
I'm wondering if you've set foot outside the US to see how other people live. What Developing Nations Can Teach Us About Personal Finance ‚ąě Get Rich Slowly
Happy in Colombia |
My favorite country to visit in the world is Colombia. It has the most beautiful and most awesome natural beauty I have ever seen anywhere on this planet, and has the truly nicest, most generous, and most kind-hearted people in the world. When I retire I want to live in central Colombia and live on the coffee plantations, whose mountain scenery is so crazy gorgeous it cannot even begin to be expressed in words.
Colombia is a very poor country, and has been torn apart by violent civil war for the past four decades. There are more internally displaced persons here than any other country in the world, except for the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bogota is a major world city yet in the vast suburban slums just outside the capital, many people are starving to death (literally), and lack running water and functional sewage systems.
While we can afford the latest iPhone and various other luxuries, a mere four hour plane ride away from the richest country on the planet, some people cannot even afford to feed themselves. Yet the people of Colombia are happy. They place extraordinary emphasis on family and friends, and are not defined by the size of the house they live in or the gadgets they have.
The average Colombian I have met seems a lot more happy and content than the average American I have met whose life is consumed by go-go-corporate-takeover lifestyle. I donít know about you, but I spend one-third of my life sleeping, and I can vouch that it is more enjoyable when I know people care for me, than when my only concern is the latest rat-race of the week, bucking for the latest promotion. When you walk down the street anywhere in Colombia, people will smile at you, you can strike up conversation with any stranger, and they project happiness. I think the Colombians are on to something.
If you think money is a social debt, tell me, how much was Gandhi worth? What was his income? How about Mother Theresa?
Do you honestly think you are contributing more to the world than them because of your income?