I think it would be easier to be gay than to be Happy, simply…

What I mean by this is that it would be easier to explain, be understood and empathised with by my family, friends and society if I said I was gay than being someone who doesn’t own stuff (nor want to), wanting to walk most places, often volunteer full-time, not aspire to investment and generally NOT living a life of big purchases, debt and time poverty.

The exception I must add here is that this statement is not true for the current country I am in as Uganda still sees homosexuality a criminal offence punishable by death!

100_0273Still being an aid worker, being someone who feels more comfortable in poverty than excess and being someone who values family, community and nature above material goods and a big house I think is harder for people to accept, understand and even appreciate.

It is quite a small group of people who actually understand that I am happier with less (material possessions) and know that this is the person that I am, and not someone who will grow out of it or come round to the mainstream way of life – buying a house, having a car and following the ways of most.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am not complaining or seeking more empathy or understanding I just really feel the concept of ‘less is more’ and ‘just enough is plenty’ is more of a foreign concept than people understanding being gay is not a problem or curable or wrong – it is just who someone is.

As I sit here in Africa it is very strange again to have the total disbelief and lack of understanding from the locals that I would choose to live in as simple conditions as possible, choose to walk the 5km to and from work each day, eat beans and maotoke (boiled plantain) and not be a rich Muzungu living a life of ‘luxury’. The best I can do here and hope to share with the west is that I appreciate so many aspects of the way of life here.

100_0202The kinds of traits that Africa is so rich in are things like:

  • Rich family life – connected, communal and caring
  • Rich community life – sharing, understanding and laughter together
  • Rich in culture, music, dancing, festivals, occasions, events and general get-togethers
  • Rich in locally, fresh, organic, seasonal, tasty, natural food – very little processed or imported
  • Rich in time – for family, for interruptions, for change, for others and for themselves

I’m painting the positive picture here and obviously there are the challenges of dying from diarrhoea etc that I also see but the above mentioned traits are the ones I believe developed countries can learn from and strive for – a Happy, simply way of life.

I know I have never had to face the persecution, violence and other significant actions as gay people have had in the past and still continue today but I do know that more people in my circles would better understand me if I was gay than the life I have chosen of happy, simplicity and a fulfilling life of service for others (and of course myself)…

About Living Geo d'Arcy

Experiences are the richest thing in life. Love them and live them.
This entry was posted in 2013 Life, Simply Happy, Uganda and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I think it would be easier to be gay than to be Happy, simply…

  1. lunny06 says:

    Reblogged this on Happy Simply – lifestyle model & education project and commented:
    Those who read this blog and live some form of simplicity should be able to resonate with some of the points made in this one…

  2. I think I would have liked to hear more specifically about the lack of understanding from those in your life who don’t get why you lead a simple life. What do you think they are afraid of or disagree with? Overall great post though!

    • lunny06 says:

      Thanks for the comment and I don’t think I have thought of the why so much… Off the top of my head I think it is about difference – people are pretty quick to think that difference is bad, wrong or negative instead of just different. That difference can become popular and positive but I believe the majority think different is usually wrong. When you decide to go in the other direction of the mainstream it is confronting for them and almost a value judgement on their own lives and that their choices are wrong, when really for me it is how I like to live and other ways of life (like the mainstream) is just different…

  3. Lorri Urban says:

    Great post. Many people gauge their success on what they have accumulated over the years instead of what they have contributed to their community and beyond. A sense of caring and sharing is my greatest accomplishment.

    • lunny06 says:

      Thanks Lorri. I also think there is a huge side of contentment when striving for service above self (as the Rotarians like to say) – not in a self-flagellation side of things but in a experiential, growth, learning and connected way. To be honest I do community or development work not to ‘help people’ I do because it is so rich in experiences, interaction, learning and personal growth. For me there is nothing altruistic in my volunteering – I do it because I love it and benefit hugely from it. But I feel that people like yourself and I have a bonus of seeing this little secret and can’t get enough of it. I wish more people would have the same opportunity to have these experiences…

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