Everywhere we went in Myanmar. Every city, every village, every. single. day. Everyone was smiling.
How is it that people who have so little can be so happy? Why is everyone in Myanmar SO happy all the time?
I once posed this question to a local friend there who explained:
Because of the fact that the people of Myanmar have had so little for so long, they have been forced to figure out something that the rest of us spend our entire lives trying to do.
What is it that they understand?? That Happiness is on you.
It doesn’t matter what you have: material things, relationships, health… It’s still going to be a decision that only you can make every day. Fortunately in Myanmar this has become a collective mindset. A way of life. Just the same way that we as Americans are born to be naturally proud of our country. The people of Myanmar are born with a Collective Happiness. They smile all day every day. They laugh with their family, and friends, and neighbors. They spend their lives outdoors in nature being grateful.
The unfortunate thing though is that this collective happiness is also what has allowed the people of Myanmar to be treated so poorly by their government for so long. They allowed it to be okay, because inside, they were still happy. And unfortunately, they just didn’t know any better.
They have no idea what its like to live in a country where you’re free to do what you like. To be what you’d like. To say whatever you’d like. You know, like the country where we live. America… Where so many of us still struggle to find happiness in every day. And why is that??
For me, being in Myanmar has shown me first hand what it is like to be like these beautiful people- absolutely unequivocally happy no matter what you have.