A Sari Sari Store
As I traveled throughout Southeast Asia, I have seen plenty of amazing people raising a family on a tight small budget yet living a happy and meaningful lifestyle. It’s amazing how we in the West look at the poor people in the third world countries and automatically feel pity and build our own “false” misconceptions and judgements towards their lives. In our head we usually think how “unhappy” and “poor” their lives might be, but instead it is actually the opposite. To these people, this is “normal” life, and majority of them do not really feel like they are missing anything in life.
Lets Look at the Numbers:
Family owned “Sari Sari” Store (A family owned small store business)
Monthly Income (from the business):
$200/month or approx 9,200 Pesos (PHP)
Housing: 3,000 pesos
Electricity: 1,000 pesos
Food: 4,000 pesos
Misc: 1,000 pesos
Expense TOTAL: 8,000 pesos about $180
About Money: Prior to the creation of the (early stage) monetary system which (evidenced) have shown to began in Babylon, the majority of civilization used the bartering and commodity exchange method. This basically means that people exchanged goods and materials for things or services that had the same face value. Fast forward to the present time. It is very important for us to not lose sight of the fact that half of the world’s population still lives in less than half a dollar a day. It means that each nickel and dime is very valuable to these folks. While us here in the western world are lining up for the most recent model iPhone, half of the world are just wishing to get enough food on their table. I heard a pretty funny but sad joke from a friend that I had during one of my visits in Malaysia when I traveled South-east Asia, and what he told me was that there are only three enemies in his hometown… and that is breakfast, lunch and dinner. If they get at least a couple out of the three, then it’s a very good satisfying day.
As they say, “You gotta hustle to eat,” to survive in this present World, therefore we need an income. There is no denying that we need income to survive and to feed our family. So, we go to school get a degree in order to get a “practical” job that we do not really like or enjoy. We work on our 9-5 with a sense of “emptiness” and “hate” towards going to work. And when we get our little paycheck, off we go to buy “something” than can fill our “emptiness” because we think that would make us feel “happy.” It seems to me that there is always a need and a hunger for wanting “something” anything as long as it is something.
The Ideology of 97% of the Western World (America) is this:
MONEY + STUFF = SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS
Wealth means an abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. But we are stuck with the “IDEOLOGY” that wealth is an abundance of money and material possessions without a broad sense of it’s real value to us. It is outrageous to think that we can just go and spend so much money on the other hand a person somewhere in Africa who might earn less than a dollar a day has to be very careful with their money since they cannot afford to loose any little money they might have. This is a very self-DAMAGING ideology. Wealth can mean different things to different people. A person can become financially wealthy, yet be very sickly or physically un-wealthy. A person can be spiritually and physically healthy yet can be very morally corrupted. What we need is a balance between all levels and qualities in the spectrum of life, and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to track down and journal my life’s journey in this Blog.