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Great advice from my cultural consultant that makes a lot of sense and rang true for my life!
http://forum.internationalliving.com/vi ... 5e6f782bec
"Advice: Go where you are wanted
So many of us spend decades of our lives climbing social ladders of societies where competition is high, the dog-eat-dog attitude is the norm, and true friendship and love are devilishly hard to find. We grow stronger in such an environment, wiser in an unhealthy way, and, at the same time, tougher and colder. We are true societal warriors, ready to crush the guy next to us for the benefit of taking his place in the social order.
In the meantime, there are places in the world where we are needed by many people who are actively searching for our help. Many would like to make friends with us and even share their lives with us. However, somehow most of us do not like to look â€œdownâ€� â€“ we are trained to climb, climb all the way to the top. Be like the big players- the highly paid actors, millionaires, doctors, and other great people.
Then, many of us complain of loneliness and coldness among the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, New York or Tokyo not realizing that ultimately we have made the choice to be there, karmically or otherwise. If we really wanted, there are many places where people want us, and often, we can go there and live a life with much less competition and much more acceptance and respect, but many of us simply do not dare to. Or, we are just ashamed to. What will our friends think of us when they see us with those who are poorer than us? In countries that are poorer than ours? Nah!
One of the sources of my feeling inferior to my fellow (wo)men was that I would always compare myself to those above me socially, economically, ethnically and otherwise, while totally ignoring the so many people â€œbelowâ€� me in so many places where I would be so much more welcome.
After I hit forty, had a divorce and a near bankruptcy, I finally woke up and began thinking of where I could contribute to the development of the world while at the same time not to become a pauper. It did turn out that one could do both- one really did not need to sacrifice oneâ€™s comfort for the sake of serving oneâ€™s fellow human being. I also started looking for social life in countries where I felt people would be seeking me out instead of me having to seek them out.
So far, such a balanced life has proven to be a very happy one. When I compare my personal state of mind, and, most important, my present level of happiness to the times when I was living in the concrete jungles of big 1st World cities, thinking only of myself and how I could please the people above me, I always note with satisfaction that, I have, in fact become happier.
So, the lessons that I have learned can be summarized as follows:
1) There are plenty of people in many countries that need you. Find out in which ones, where and go there.
2) Do not worry about not becoming one of the people at the top of the world. That may or may not make you happy. There are still many places where people would like to have you as a leader; and you can serve them and enjoy the same respect amongst them that billionaires have in large industrial world capitals.
3) There are jobs that pay well, but which are still located in places where people need you. You can kill two birds with one stone- make good money and contribute to humanity. There is no need to become a â€œhippy volunteerâ€�.
Finding a situation like that is easier than one may think. And it may be the best path to follow if one wants to become happy."
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