Money can’t buy you happiness, but it sure helps, unless… the effort is takes to make it and then keep it coming becomes so stressful that you end up frightful and anxiety ridden. Then, money only buys you misery.
Why are Poor People Happy?
I think that might be part of the reason that many of the very poorest of the world—people without running water or electricity or sanitation—can also be some of the happiest people in the world. I know it sounds illogical but those of us privileged enough to visit the rural areas of third world countries have unanimously drawn the same conclusion. It is truly baffling.
The first time I visited rural Uganda was one of the most life-altering experiences of my life.
I was with a group of new friends in the regions of Mubende and Mitiyana visiting the clean water wells we helped build with the non-profit, Wells of Life. For a mere $6000 Wells of Life can construct a “bore hole” (read “well”) that will provide water to 1000+ people for twenty-five years. One of the beauties of WoL is that the entire $6000 is allocated to the well. No money is withdrawn for administration. (WoL raises administration funds through a separate and distinct fundraising campaign.)
The Gift of Humility
No one returns from a trip to rural Uganda (or any third world country) the same as they left. The ever-so grateful and joyful residents mark you deeply for life. I’m sure nothing has impacted me more.
I walked away humbled by families in the deepest of poverty yet possessing the luxury of happiness in the midst of their adverse squalor. What is it that makes them so content with what they have and then be immensely grateful for what they are given? I don’t have a good answer. But this I do know, it’s not all about money. Something else is going on. Is it love for the family? Is it the ability to be satisfied with a simple meal and the love of others in the community? I don’t know.
But, when 1 in 5 children under 5 will die from drinking contaminated water I can say this for sure, clean water is life and it most certainly contributes to the happiness I’ve been pondering. To date Wells of Life has provided clean water to more than 300,000 Ugandans, saving the lives of 35–40,000 children under 5. And in 2018 the organization will begin what is called a WASH program that teaches villages the basics of cleanliness and sanitation.
To Serve or Be Served
Do you ever wonder about the meaning of life and your personal purpose on this planet? Have you asked yourself what it would take to make you a happy person? Obviously I ponder these questions regularly. It was Aristotle that is credited with saying, “the purpose of a person’s life is to contribute to the value of society.”
Is that what it takes to make you and me happy? I believe making a difference on this planet is wrapped up in giving and serving. Jesus said, “It is better to serve than to be served.” I know I am at my best when I help others and I’m sure the same is true for you.
So allow me to give you an opportunity to serve some kids and families in Uganda. As I write this, Wells of Life is just $29,000 shy of reaching their 2017 donation goal of $1,000,000. A mere $6.00 will provide clean water for 1 child in Uganda. And any other donation to help us make our milestone goal would help protect the lives of hundreds or thousands in rural villages.
This blog will be posted on December 30, 2017. If you are so moved you can go to www.wellsoflife.org to make a donation. And if not WoL, there are plenty of organizations that would appreciate your help as they serve the needs of the most needy.
It Really is Better to Serve
Than to Be Served
Photos from Charlie’s Library