Life’s Little Lies ...

When we are little they tell us we are special.  It takes a while, but soon enough, we discover that we are not.  (Even if few acknowledge the fact.)  “You can be anything you want to be.”  Another lie.  “You deserve only the best life has to offer.”  Ah, but how are you going to pay for it?  “You are destined for great things and were put on this planet for a unique purpose.”  So there used to be 3 billion of these “destinies” when I arrived.  Now there are nearly 7 billion and counting?  Each one put on this Earth to fulfill some greater purpose?  It all starts to sound a bit like Santa, delivering presents to every little girl and boy, in one night.

Is it any wonder then, that we find people in the West, with such inflated expectations and sense of entitlement?  Everyone with so much and yet whining about not having enough.  I suppose it is human nature to want more.  That desire pushes us to move, ever forward.  Never to be content with what we have.  A consequence of not knowing when to stop, however, is the wanton destruction of our environment, our resources and sometimes our own lives.

Some believe that escaping into another culture will resolve all issues in their life.  Another one of those misnomers.  What one reads about a culture’s beliefs, values and structures are often on the theoretical side, bearing little resemblance to the drudgery of daily existence.

Transplanted into their new world, what was once shiny and new, becomes glaringly annoying.  The whiner resurfaces to point out all the garish discrepancies between their lofty expectations and what they see now as ludicrous or loathsome about their new home.  Therein are born a multitude of articles and websites and blogs about the oddities and quirks of Thais and Thailand.  Dire warnings ensue about the hazards that lurk below the surface and anecdotal evidence of the horrors that await the innocent.  If it happened to him, it will most likely happen to you, as well.

With a constant upwelling of newcomers discovering Thailand, there is an unlimited pool of innocent, naive and sometime desperate individuals who will believe almost anything they read.  Sure, the food and language are different.  One has to learn the rules of the game, as well.  I would suggest, however, finding your own path and relying less on the advice and warnings of others.  So you make some mistakes along the way.  Who doesn’t?  We learn more from our mistakes, so a life void of them, certainly falls short of its potential.  A little caution is a good thing but if you expect bad things to happen, then that is often what you will find.

Thailand has been good to me, as I’m sure it has been to others.  I would have missed so much had I not found myself in this amazing place.  You may not find that it makes you into a new person, but you may just find that it allows you to be yourself, for a change.