In todays world one of the things I heard a lot is you have to look a the bigger picture and the all-time-great “Think Big”. There is not need to argue that point however it seems to be forgotten ever so often that all things big are composed of a lot of small pieces.
How often do I hear from friends and colleagues “what can I do, I am just…” well it all has to start somewhere and with somebody. This is the typical snowball effect, first it has to snow, then the snow has to get compacted and than it has to start rolling. But it all starts with a small and insignificant snowflake. The thought of being insignificant, not being heard is probably one of the best reasons (could also say excuse) to not do anything. Also I have to admit it tends to be more comfortable to just float along and not make any noise.
It just does not go with my nature to simply shut up, say yes and move on. I have an opinion and even better I try to make a difference when I can.
I have spent my recent holidays in Myanmar. It was a great experience. I have to say I have never come across friendlier people in my life and it was just very gratifying to see so many people smiling. This is not because I was a walking dollar (which did not really feel) but it was genuine in the people to smile and take life as good as the possibly can. There was not a single place I have visited in which people did not invite for a tea and a little snack.
Moments like when I gave 1000 Kyatt (which would be like 0.70€) to an old man who was very friendly asking for some help. He put a huge smile on his face and came back with three bananas as a sign of gratitude !
Another moment was visiting a public school in a village. I was impressed by the discipline the kids had and how they really paid attention to their teachers. But maybe even more impressive was to me how the kids (they were probably below 12 years) after their morning prayer sat down and simply started to look at their books, they wanted to learn !!!! A small gift like a ball point pen was received like a real treasure by each of them. Think about the kids we have in our environment. Can they really learn if they do not have the latest iPAD ?
Maybe one of the most impressive moments for me was visiting a Orphanage at the Inle Lake. We have been received by one of the girls who lived in the Orphanage. She was 15 and spoke an almost perfect english. She showed with pride the place which was impeccable. It was very clean and had an atmosphere which was not filled with sadness or grieve. In contrary she seemed to be very happy to have a good place where she was safe and could prepare herself for the next step in her life which is going to the University. Her goal and ambition is to become a tourist guide. When asking what could be done to help the orphanage or the girls directly they responded that they would need to have some additional clothing. When back in Yangon it was a visit to the market with Sheila, the guide and it took just a bit more than 50€ to dress more than 8 girls who are going to go to University and 4 of the little ones. 50€… just think about how much we spend on a pair of jeans or a dinner … It is sometimes very easy to produce a smile on the face of the people. Does this little gift of 50€ make a difference in a population of 50 Milion ? Alone probably not but if you put this into the light of the millions of tourist who visit Myanmar every year for sure it would make a difference. Having received today the foto of the girls who have received their new garments was a wonderful gift.