The main reason I’m writing this because I’m too free, having retired for quite a while and also I can note that many of you unlike me are still in your prime of life. I’m not a Filipino nor am I “white”, but I come from South East Asia and having lived for many more years than you guys may also experienced a little more understanding of human behaviour. I’m now living in North America having worked here for quite a while and drawing a small pension here, so I can talk about both cultures with some confidence.
Your guys probably doesn’t know what it’s like growing up in a 3rd world country in the fifties. People were really poor then. The things that they will do to save a nickel would blow your mind away. Some of the countries in South East Asia have developed to 1st world status but others remain the same. You have to that they are living many decades behind you in living standards and thinking.
In the fifties, I saw a 2 boys around 6 years old playing under a banana tree, they were stabbing at it with small folding knives and laughing as the sap came out. Later on they played “run and catch”, one of them tripped and fell and cut his eye pretty badly. Blood was spurting out and soon his whole face was covered in blood. His mum came and managed to stop the bleeding. Later on they were seen praying at the banana tree and the mum was apologizing to the spirit living in the tree for have offended it by the boy’s action of stabbing the tree. They were burning specially printed shiny papers and burning incense.
People in those days believed that banana trees housed fearsome spirits, most other trees do not. They attest to it by showing how the leaves of the banana tree sprout out like a woman’s hand with long fingernails and also the story of the well-known folklore woman vampire “pontianak” who lives in the tree. I used to be extremely frightened when I had to walk past a clump of banana trees especially in the dark. Incredulous? Of course ridiculous. What utter nonsense. I laugh thinking about these superstitions now. But back in those days all these are like real to everyone. This is just one of the hundreds if not thousands of superstitions that has existed even up to today. It’s like the American general manager I worked for who always tossed some salt over his shoulders just before he starts eating his lunch.
Have you seen the evangelist pastors on North American TV who receives thousands of $$$$ through the mail asking him to pray for their requests and then he piles up all the mails (I doubt he even read them) and then asks God to help all these people who wrote the requests and grant them their wishes. He also sells bibles which he autographs for US$100 per bible (that was 10 years or more ago, bet you it has gone up now). People going to his sermons for healing and how with 1 wave of his hand a few rows of people will just collapse being slain by the spirit. They also speak and pray in “tongues”, have you heard? What do you think of all these people who filled up his sermons and others living far away who constantly gives him money to live lavishly and cancer patients going there for healing. Are these people stupid. The answer is depends. Some are really simple minded and easily convinced and controlled. Some others are easily frightened, especially incurring the wrath of a supernatural power and ending up in hell.
You have to understand that there are all sorts of people with all sorts of thinking. Of course in general people in North America have had education much longer than people in other countries and this has liberated many of them from all these superstitions. There will be people who still believe in all these supernatural stuff but the number is much less because of the education effect. People in poorer countries will take a longer time because they are behind as you say “traveling back in time”.
Even in North America, there are many people who are in desperate situation whether it be their health, their finance or family and they live fearfully from one day to the next. So is it wrong for someone to give them hope so that they have the strength to continue living. Alternatively they have to see “shrink” (it may cost more than the guy who gives you false hopes) who will prescribe them some medication to put them in a zombie state. So they are alive but not really aware of what is going on around them, they are then not worried. That’s one major reason why people drink and smoke pot, to leave all their troubles behind. A psychiatrist will try and tell you that the problems are not that serious, again it will cost you.
Some people are troubled easily whereas some are completely unperturbed even though the sky above them is crashing down. Look at Bill Clinton, how he handled himself during the Lewinsky problem. He was really calm and composed. a president needs to be able to take pressure and still think. I think that’s why they have such a tough campaign. This is to weed out the weaker candidates, it’s not enough to be only highly intelligent. Of course having a dad who is a powerful politician helps a lot.
You guys talk a lot about leeching from you. In North America, there are lots of single mums with many kids receiving cheques from the government. Aren’t they leeching from you too? It’s just that you give your money to the government and they give it to these single mums, i.e. there is an intermediary, so you don’t see it that way. Basically it’s the same, people who doesn’t want to work for a living needs someone to give them money to live. It’s as simple as that. If you call it leeching than it is, if not it’s social assistance.
People in Asia generally have very strong family ties. Those who have will really care for those who don’t. Of course this trait is slowly going out as people become more “westernized”. Previously, you are supposed to take care of your parents and brothers and sisters. I have known a man who did not get married because his brother with 2 kids died. He brought up the kids (no he did not get his brother’s wife, that is a big no no, also the kids are definitely not his). You can see how dedicated people are to their families. Again many of these strong ties are also slowly eroded. That’s why your Filipina wives keep on asking you to support their family. It’s the only way they have been taught since young.
Please remember that everything that I write about here is a matter of percentage, it doesn’t mean all the people behave this way or don’t behave this way. The reason it’s more noticeable is that more people in a certain country behave this way. Also please excuse my English as it is not my first spoken language.
I think that the countries who are not doing so well are because the people are not willing to work hard. It takes a few generations of hard work before a country can become prosperous. Hard work and long suffering is the key to success. Of course having someone to add financial help and intellectual help will make it much easier and faster to reach the goal.
I hope that your thinking can be moderated somewhat after this.