My “poor” but happy friend


A boy in Africa offers me a gift he made on the side of the road
A boy in Africa offers me a gift he made on the side of the road

Everything is a matter of perspective.

I have a dear friend who lives in a developing nation, and by many standards many people might consider him extremely poor. 

Once he told me “Matt, I should be grateful because I have so much and my life is so good. I only feel bad that I cannot help people don’t have such a good life as I do.”

Yesterday he told me: “I feel very happy and relaxed. Life is good.”

This person lives in a month on what many of us make in a day. He works hard and appreciates what life has to offer him without envy or comparison. My friend lives without what most of us would consider bare necessities, and in a place with very high crime. He has even been robbed twice in the last two months. Of course he strives for a better life for himself. But despite his circumstances, he continues to go through his day with a smile on his face.

I wish I had such inner peace and acceptance. I must learn from my friend who has less than I do externally, but so much in his heart.

I always forget that the things that matter in life have very little to do with the external, and so much more to do with the internal. It’s so easy to be tricked into thinking that what we see on the outside is a good indicator of how how a person actually feels.

I will probably always be my “Type A” personality, working towards my goals. But I will strive to appreciate what I have and accept myself while doing so.

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