When discussing countries of the third world, it is very important not to underestimate the desperate plight of their populations. There is a growing trend, fostered among people who mean well, to glorify the third world and hold forth some of their examples as a better path for all of us. In some cases the elite of these third world countries are at the heart of this strategy (one thinks of prominent citizens of India, for example). But mostly, it is still people living in places like big urban cities who most likely don't see the full picture.
The fact is, the citizens of third world countries are, by and large, in desperate straits, and that does include emerging economic giants India and China. Average life spans are horrifically low, people starve to death regularly, and diseases long since defeated in the rest of the world continue to exact high tolls. Just think of all of the immunizations doctors suggest when travelling.. If you leave the resort you'll see a different world without unlimited buffets and an instant water heater to take your shower.
Given those facts, and the horrific degradations that any person who visits many third world countries will eventually see, one wonders what we could learn from third world countries.
Perhaps it would make it easier to see what we could learn should we strip away both the wealth of industrialized nations and the poverty of third world countries, if only on paper. Citizens of third world countries do live lives out of which they extract joy as well as pain, the same as people living in luxury properties. The biggest difference is that citizens of third world countries can achieve joy in their lives with much less than what we seem to need just to get by.
The biggest thing we could learn from citizens of third world countries is appreciation for what we have, and what we are talking about here are the basics, not the extras. For example, a trip to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, will show citizens who are absolutely sold on the idea of North American living. They see the same shows we do, and believe that what they are seeing on the OC is a snippet of everyday "developed" world life. Even simple things like the existence of septic trucks is a privilege we should appreciate. Imagine life without them.
Seeing this on display has to force one to come to grips with the fact that although we might shake our heads at this belief, it is not one which is too far removed from what we in industrialized countries think. Just like the Haitian citizen, we are ceaselessly buying into a fake idea of what life really could be like. We try to achieve this dream through more acquisition, easier lifestyles, and so on.
The result are products which have slowly but surely reduced the quality of our environment not only in our own countries, but in third world countries as well. Our ideas of perfect life, unrealistic as they may be, have spread all over the world and literally turned to poison. The greatest lesson we could learn from those who live in third world countries is that we can, in fact, get by with much less than we have. In fact, if we could all learn this, then there is little doubt that everyone would have enough. Page is compliments of BNI Forest City. Feel free to contact their office when their help is needed!