Well now that is Christmas is almost upon us I thought I would write a little holiday blog. Although, I must confess I am not totally in the holiday spirit considering that right now (I just checked weather.com) it is 84 degrees F or 29 degrees C haha. It is a beautiful night and I can see many stars and feel the wind on my face. Also, considering that Thailand is a mainly Buddhist country Christmas is not that huge of a deal. As Thailand gets more touristy though I can feel a "Christmas" excitement, even my kids at school are excited! But, I think the excitement is mainly for the benefit of all the tourists here. I am unsure whether Thai kids get Christmas presents from Santa or what they do here. In any event I am going to be on the beach with some friends enjoying Christmas and I have a few days off over New Years Eve and I plan to go relax on the islands down south with some friends. All of my family and friends are back home in Texas and I do miss them of course but I know they will have a great holiday even if I am not there. So all the best to everyone, I hope your Christmas and New Years is great!
Now for the more serious side of this blog post... I want to talk about suffering and inequality in the world. It is just a fact of life, it has been around since the beginning of time and I fear it always will be. Knowing that fact doesn't make it any easier for me though. Traveling as much as I have to 3rd world countries I do see many things that give me a great perspective on life (or so I like to think) I have seen some very sad things that make me very grateful for what I have and allow me to not take anything for granted. The divide between rich and poor can sometimes be very very large. I have seen people living on just one dollar a day. That really changes your outlook on life. You just cannot see these things and remain totally unchanged. What bothers me the most is that even if I dedicated every moment of the rest of my life to helping the poor and underprivileged I would be just a drop in the bucket. Sure I would help some people, possibly even a fair amount of people. But, would I help enough people to REALLY make a difference? The answer sadly is no.
You might say well Tyler that really is quite a defeatist attitude to have. It may sound like it on the surface but I would disagree with you, I would say my attitude is realistic. I am a realist if nothing else. I heard just the other day there was a storm in the Philippines and over 800 people died with 100,000 now homeless. I can also use Thailand (the country I am in now) as an example. When the floods were here over 1000 people died and the multiple hundreds of thousands if not millions of people are now homeless. This has hit especially close to home for me because I have seen the flood damage with my own eyes. In America (excluding the damage of Hurricane Katrina) the chances that over 1000 people and have millions of Americans homeless due to a flood is almost zero. Why is this? It is because our country (and all first world Westernized countries) are wealthy enough to have governmental agencies to prepare for natural disasters and help out when one does happen. These nations are wealthy enough to have plans for these problems and most likely have the infrastructure already in place to prevent them from happening in the first place. We are almost in 2012 and people should not have to live in some of the conditions I have seen.
I am trying to mold my thoughts into something coherent and I am having trouble lol. Basically what I am saying is that suffering and inequality suck. They have always existed and I fear always will. The only thing that will change any of this is a GLOBAL mindset change. So the poor can become richer and the rich can care enough to help those who are not, on a global level. I doubt this will happen in my lifetime but one can always hope that my kids will have a better future and live in a world where there is much more equality. People in America are able to turn on their tv's,laptops,ipods,xbox's all the crap that we have but don't NEED while people in Thailand and elsewhere may not even have a toilet that flushes or have electricity.
Well on that note, here is to hoping that 2012 is better for me (and better for the world) than 2011. If we survive that is lol. We may all be dead come December 21st of 2012. If that is the case that me
ans the Mayans were right and that this blog post won't even matter haha. -Tyler
P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! All the best for 2012 from me :)