Posted by: ahmedashfaque | May 18, 2014

A vagabond life

I have traveled to countries in the North America, Africa, Europe and Asia over last 18 years. My goal in life is always to seek truth and find out how people from different religions, backgrounds and financial status lead their lives. How people’s lives are affected by political, financial, industrialization and social factors. I must say that it has been an enriching experience and I learned so many things which could not have been possible if i had not traveled so much. I improved as a person. My parochial thinking is replaced by my acquired broad knowledge through meeting and working with diverse set of people from different countries, different ethnic backgrounds, different races etc. My linguistic ability is not so good and I could not learn many languages but still I am good on observation and through observation I have learned that what glitters from a distance may not be gold. Yes, it is ironic but true. Material wealth does not yield to happiness. I have come across happier people in so called poorer societies. So acquiring material wealth may not lead to happier and better lives. This is the universal truth.

Let me summarize my learning through experiences

  • Glittering and fast life style may not be a happy one. Living in a big and glittering city may not lead to a happy life. In fact many people have a very stressful and miserable existence despite having all the money at their disposal.
  • Democracy may not be always good. Many industrialized and developed countries in the West have developed policies which cater to a group of people (vote banks) and these policies have detrimental effect on other people.
  • Greed is a human nature and can not be eliminated. However, poorer people have smaller greed and richer people have big greed. That is why for example, if a rich man who possesses a wealth of $5 billion, aspires to have a wealth of $10 billion. He may even resort to scams to fulfill his goal. On the other hand, a poor person who earned $500 per month may be very happy if receives a raise of $20 per month.
  • Capitalism may generate jobs and expand economy. But governments should ensure avoidation of environmental degradation and upliftment of weaker sections of the society. I believe other forms of economic models do not work.

The best lifestyle I believe is the one which embodies:

  • Earning as much to fulfill your present and your future needs and not more. If you are earning more then it is better to do philanthropy and help poorer people.
  • Tolerance for other kind of people around you. This problem is easier to deal with in societies which are mostly made of immigrant people. For instance, in USA which is considered as a country of immigrants, tolerance is automatic as everybody is an immigrant. So ethnic, religious or racial background of people do not matter much as every person thinks of the other person as equal (you are immigrant, so am I). But so far in history, tolerance for other kind of people has never been accomplished anywhere in the world. India is an exception because of a great man called Mahatma Gandhi. South Africa has also demonstrated peace largely due to another great man called Nelson Mandela. We need more people like these great men in other parts of the world like Palestine-Israel, Iraq, some African countries like Nigeria etc. so that permanent peace can be brought in these parts of the world.

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