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For the first five years of my life, I lived overseas in a developing country. Thankfully, my family weren’t poor like my neighbours and my dad worked in Australia supporting my family and I while we waited for our visa applications to be processed. This took many years as my mother had health issues to address and eventually they were but during that time I learned a lot. I learn’t just how lucky I was to have a dad in another country sending back money each month.

This provided my family and I food and housing in a place where basic food was considered a luxury. I never starved, I never understood what it meant to go hungry in a place where so many did. I learned from a very young age that life is not fair, I was given an opportunity because I was born to two people who were able to give me all I needed in life. Not every child is given that opportunity. Throughout the formative years of my childhood I would walk a lone in the streets, something that is not done in Australia, or many parts of the world. I noticed the skinny, dirty covered children, much older than I, they could not afford proper clothes. They could not go to school. Many begged in the streets, and when my dad came to visit us, he would give these children money.

I remember how happy the children looked, it was nothing to my dad but probably a few good meals to them. To this day, I look back and think about that kindness. How lucky I am to live in a country with so many opportunities and kind people. I am lucky I no longer live in a developing country but I take so many lessons from the time I spent there.

I try not to be greedy, even if it’s as simple as seeing my favourite Jalna yoghurt on sale. True story, there were only two containers of Jalna yoghurt left, I only took one despite my love of yoghurt because I thought, someone else would probably appreciate half price yoghurt as much as I do. Silly as that may be, I try my best even now to consider other people when making decisions. I give to charity when I can. I don’t take more than I need because I realise how lucky I have it and in an ideal world, it would be nice if everyone could have enough to meet their needs. Not necessarily their wants.

I want to try and improve myself and be a better person, I want to help others because I grew up in a place where everyone needed help and so few of those that could help did. This is my experience of growing up in a developing country. Not a luxury holiday but the reality of the workers and starving poor that the luxury holidays and tours gloss over.


Posted anonymously, 11th May 2015


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  • Good on you for not forgetting about those times now you are in a more comfortable life. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.

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  • I loved your story, it reinforces my belief that they are indeed, still thoughtful and caring people in the world.

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  • I believe every country has it’s rich and poor, and in the world there is a scattering of wonderful caring people willing to do what they can to help their fellow man and it’s these people that are the worlds gems.
    Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt story and I wish you and your family much love and happiness. :-)

    Reply

  • I try not to be wasteful, thinking about whether in 20 years when resources are scarce, I’ll look back with regret.

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  • what a wonderful world it would be if there were more people like you. I also try at all times to just take/use what I need and to give what I can. We certainly live in a lucky country

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  • What an inspiration story. We need many more people like you in the world!

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  • A lot of countries can be like this; tourists see one side and scratch below the surface and you can see the other side that is not glamorous. I have travelled the world and even in countries that we would least expect to see poverty; has it! hidden; but very much there. Doing all we can to support those that are less fortunate is important and something that is close to my heart too. :)

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  • Wonderful story to read. I do not know though if I could be so kind hearted as to leave a second jalna yogurt jar behind if it was half price :)

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  • Good on you for sharing your insight and for giving to the community.

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  • Thank you for sharing your story
    Sounds to me like you are a very caring person

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