“….I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Charles R Swindoll
I just love this quote. I first heard it some years ago before I came to Cambodia and after living here for nearly eighteen months I have seen that many Cambodians live this out-they probably have never even heard this quote before-but they are the epitome of it.
Born into poverty and destitution they have no choice but to work for a living and they will take whatever work is on offer. It is not their fault that they have been born into this way of life but it is their reaction to this that is amazing. Every day I see young children begging at the traffic junctions, people collecting rubbish with their own children sitting in the rubbish carts-today I saw a man with crutches pushing his cart with his young son sitting inside it…just another day in Phnom Penh. They never moan, they just survive as that is all they can do.
Yet they are such an inspiration. They will often smile at you and genuinely appreciate anything that is given to them. Many work at night collecting the rubbish as it is cooler-they have lamps on their heads so they can see what they are looking for…and also to spot the rats. It is no surprise that Cambodia was recently voted the friendliest country in the world by Rough Guides….that is quite an achievement out of nearly 200 different countries on this planet.
So Cambodia is proof that you can overcome adversity if you have the right attitude…..this does not mean that the people are just tolerant of their lives, it shows that they are among the most beautiful people in the world….because they have shown that what has happened to their country in the past will not hang over them and they will apply themselves as they only know how ……to never bloody give up.
Building a future……….. ……..for a better past.