Finding Altruism

I have been in Lao for one week now & in this week I have been privy to more selfless acts than I was to in Australia in six months. People here have helped me find my way when I was lost, they have fed me, given me beer, showed me to dance like a Laoation, taught me there language and accepted me into there culutre- all within one week! These people were complete strangers to me but have treated me like I am a member of there family.
I feel as though whenever I experience this kind of treatment it is in a developing nation. Not to say that it doesn’t happen in westernised developed countries, but it is just more common in the developing world…why?! 

I believe it is because people in developed countries are obsessed with the idea of being safe. They think that everyone is out to get them and that other members of society are more likely to bring them harm than anything else. Now I don’t know where people have got this idea from but it is totally untrue. 

Sure, people kill people and some people do bad things but it certainly is just a small percentage of the population who carry out these acts and we shouldn’t let it dictate our lives. I’m not saying that taking certain precautions is a bad thing but being overly cautious is! Because if you wrap yourself in a little bubble and don’t allow others in freely then you will never experience the good that they are dying to show you,  especially not when you are overseas. 

Want to know what life is like for the billion people who live on under a dollar a day? Go to a village and see for yourselves! Just because you are well off it doesn’t mean that they’re going to rob you for all that you have. From my experiences they’re more likely to sit you down for a meal than to ask for anything from you. Although these people do not have much they’re some of the happiest people in the world, they take the time to see what is around them and don’t get caught up in the materialism of the westernised world.

People in these kind of societies care for everyone, wether you’re a relative, a friend , a friend of a friend or a complete stranger.  Altruism is so alive in these cultures, it is the core of so many cultures and it is so refreshing to see. 

I think it is what we are missing in so many parts of the world – a sense of community. The media has oversensationalised the dangers in this world and it is making us close our doors. But if you open up your door to the world around you then you’ll find out just how much good there is in this world.


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