Got a great email in overnight that leads me directly to something I have said before and need to say again. Several points, actually.
I was in Cebu in 2008. I met somebody there. A poor girl, part of a large family. They have a fishing operation that barely supports them. I wanted to stay there, but my visa expired. I am not rich. It is my dream to return to Cebu and my girl for ever. I love her and she wants me to come "home".
I am sickened by my country’s lack of family values and morals. My country makes war where ever they can just to create jobs. I feel in my heart that I just can not stay in the USA. I have seen a better life. A life where people that have nothing are happy. They laugh, sing, take care of each other, and most of all, they love life and thank God for what they have, and never cry about what they don’t have. It truly was the most enlightening experience of my life to be in Cebu, and 4 years later I do not feel at home here. I would rather be dirt poor with my girl and her family, then to be here. The big problem is that I am not rich. Do you have any advise for me?
The first point I want to make is, stop equating work 9as in a job with living in the Philippines. jobs for foreigners here, especially in the provinces, are a losing proposition. Start reading here if you don’t know why. 10 Reasons You Don’t Want a Job in the Philippines . There are plenty more articles like that I have written.
I know Americans have conditioned by government propaganda for a hundred years now that life revolves around a J*O*B … life is a job, your job is your life.
Well, that’s OK if you want to keep trudging along that path, but it’s also bullshit of the first degree. It’s one way to live, but then again it is far from the only way to live.
Let’s review the bidding here a little. The US of A. Great country. My country. Your country. Best country in the world (IMO, of course, my readers from other great countries are all entitled to their own opinions too).
How did the UES get started? Some big powerful country just “birthed” the USA like a mother having a child? hardly.
The US, which was nothing much but wilderness and a few towns and a heck of a lot of ramshackle log cabins in the words, was carved out by people who refused th3e ‘status quo” and decided to go their own way. There were several hundred thousand of them, depending on how you wan to count, but let’s just say 56 of the most important and influential were the 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Do you know what they did for a living? Do you suppose any of them knew what their J*O*B would be after they did what they had done? Hardly.
I went looking , thinking it would be a real history research task to find out their occupations, but as usual, some good souls had already done the hard work … Google is a marvelous tool, for those who bother to use it, that is.
How many of them do you see who actually had a “Job”? Not many. (and remember in those days a lawyer didn’t even need a degree, doctors mostly worked by themselves out of their own homes, and many of the “land owners” and other entrepreneurial types left England as poor outcasts and became “owners” of the land by carving it out of the wilderness).
What the hell happened to us in 236 years? Do you think many of them sat around in England, unhappy with their lot, reading the want ads day after day and submitting résumés’ and CV’s and such until they got selected for a job?
Were Americans smarter 236 years ago? Well I don’t know, but we certainly have nearly infinitely more educational (formal and informal) resources than they did.
Were Americans more courageous then? Again, I can’t say, but I hardly think volunteers who risked life and limb in the Revolutionary war were that much braver than Americans who sign up today to serve in endless wars around the lobe, getting themselves blown up for a nebulous cause of a War on Terror (whatever the hell that may be).
So what is the difference? I am not smart enough to say, but I know that we, as Americans have NEVER had more opportunities to make ourselves independent of the servitude and restrictions of a J*O*B than today.. I write and write and write real-world success stories here that prove my point, how many have you read?
That’s just a few to get you thinking and more importantly, GOING. there are many more gifted writers than I to look at as well.
You mentioned several times in your email that you were “not rich”. I’ll say just two things about that:
- I hope you don’t think that by contrast you think I am rich. Hardly, my friend, hardly. In fact “being rich” and coming to the Philippines expecting to live off your riches is pretty much a recipe for becoming poor.
- If you are not rich, and you want to become rich, then just do so. The only reason you are not rich today is the person who typed the email. Especially as an American, living in America, there has NEVER been a more opportune time to ‘become rich” … but a J*O*B is not the way to become rich. It’s like playing roulette in the casino, the odds are against you and the “house” (your employer) will always win over time.
Now, I said I had two points to make, and I spent a lot of time on point number one. here is point number two, short and sweet:
Moving to the Philippines will NOT make you happy if you are as unhappy as you seem to be by your words. You will always be an American. Does our country have ills and issues Oh you bet, I could write a book on them. Does the Philippines have ills and issues? Oh yes, for sure, I could write a book on them as well. (difference being I could get deported for writing what I’d like to say about the Philippines … foreigners do not have free speech here). But what can one man do?
Well one thing we can do, which costs absolutely nothing and requires no investment of time is, “be happy in thine own self”. I think that line came from the Sopranos. Did you ever watch the Sopranos on HBO? Remember one of Tony’s many girlfriends, the Russian lady with one leg, Svetlana? She had a line that has always stuck in my mind about Americans and happiness …
Something like: You Americans expect life to be good, and so they’re always upset when it isn’t, while people in the rest of the world expect life to be bad, and “they are not disappointed”.
Be happy in who you are and what you do with your life. The rest of the bullshit will always be there, no matter where you live. Moving will not make you happy, because … “Wherever you go, there you are”. The reason your girlfriend and her family are happy with their very meager circumstances and you are not is not because they are Filipino. It’s because they have made a conscious decision to be happy with what they have. You have that capability as well, let no one tell you differently. Godspeed.