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)…

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About lunny06

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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