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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
You asked me recently how Filipinos can be more happy than Americans when they are so poor.
I will try to give my answer here, so that maybe Ladislav and others can chip in their input.
It's a different kind of happiness. They have a shared connectedness that American don't have. They aren't isolated and stuck up, nor do they live in fear and paranoia. So when they smile, it's much more genuine.
Happiness is not always like satisfaction. Some pleasures are fleeting too, such as material goods.
An American who gets a raise and buys a new big wide screen TV may be happy about his new purchase. That's more about comforts and material pleasures. It's not a shared connection type of happiness.
Americans are not that happy when they're around others or meeting new people. They get a bit defensive and remain distant, unless they are open minded types. There is not a communal spirit or camaraderie. People meet for convenience and then go their separate ways.
Sure, poor people are unhappy about being poor. But to compensate, they develop a more rich spirit and camaraderie with each other. It's similar in Russia too, where people are proud to be "happy pessimists". Their views may be jaded and cynical, but they know how to revel and celebrate it. At least they have a spirit and will that has overcome all odds and survived the most extreme conditions.
The happiest people tend to be not those who have too little or too much, but those who have just enough.
Compare for example, the smile from a businessman closing a deal in America vs the smile of poor children in Mexico or the Philippines. The former is plastic and fake, a put on, while the latter is more pure, natural and genuine.
Ladislav once told me:
"The Philippine society puts primary emphasis on family, human relations and the development thereof- which includes sex, friendship, love, etc. Socially, it seems to be one of the most advanced societies on earth. Of course, these developments are not mentioned in the western press which only measures progress in political, technological and financial areas. If it started measuring societies by the healthfulness of social life, the place you are at would win hands down. Cheerz."
The article at this link below explains why Filipinos in general, though poor, have a pure radiant happiness about them and in their smiles (which I can personally attest to, having been in the Philippines) attributing it to their fundamental view that they are NOT separate from others:
http://www.livinginthephilippines.com/a ... happy.html
â€œUP Professor Felipe de Leon, after a decade of researching, has concluded that Filipino culture is the most inclusive and open of all those he has studied. It is the opposite of the individualistic culture of the West, with its emphasis on privacy and personal fulfillment. It is also the opposite of certain collectivistic cultures, as one finds them in Confucian societies, that value hierarchy and â€˜face.'
"BY CONTRAST", Filipino culture is based on the notion of kapwa, a Tagalog word that roughly translates into "shared being." In essence, it means that most Filipinos, deep down, do not believe that their own existence is separable from that of the people around them. Everything, from pain to a snack or a joke, is there to be shared. "The strongest social urge of the Filipino is to connect, to become one with people", says De Leon. As a result, he believes, there is much less loneliness among them.â€�
One of my readers who has lived in the Philippines also noted:
â€œI've lived in the Philippines for a year. Some of the best people in the world. Poor in material life but SUPER RICH in the heart. Thats where it counts after all.â€�
See this page of my ebook that will shed more light on this.
Ladislav, what's your take on this?
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne
Filipinos are not that poor. They have enough. The country has no winter, plenty of sunshine and natural resources and lots of cheap food. Catholicism has given one good thing to the country- there is no bride price/no dowry. So you do not need to pay to get married. It has also taught them that love of money is the root of all evil. So, people do not chase all that extra money. They are happy with what they have ( because all people have enough food and all have some kind of shelter) and they can find mates even if they have little or no money.
The fact that the country has been on the crossroads of so many migrations and wars has introduced them to lots of races of people with whom they have mixed readily. There was no serious teaching of racial exclusivity or racial hatred. So, the people mingled with all races that came. Not a bad thing.
The Philippines definitely has its place in the quilt of one's multinational world and makes an excellent patch on it. Now, having said all the above, Filipinos do not produce much technology, or create that many scientific breakthroughs. Yes, there are geniuses there, too, but you cannot compare the Philippines and its achievement to those of say, Germany, Britain, France, etc. Countries that are populated by miserados, basically. So these miserable people produce and innovate and work hard and create most civilization/technology on the face of the earth.
So, the question is this: does a nation have to be miserable to be at the forefront of humanity?
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!