Travelling to different places and seeing parts of the world mainly uninfluenced by western culture really opens your eyes to what it truly means to live.
My most recent voyage was to Nigeria; large country right on the edge of West Africa. The reason I chose that particular country was because it's so diverse. Never have I seen a country so influenced by western culture yet so untouched by western culture at the same time.
I set myself up in a modest accommodation in Lagos(www.amarasuites.com), the thriving former capital of the country then embarked on my journey.
There was a man who I had sort of "employed" as my tour guide. I use that term loosely because it really wasn't formal in the very least. As he took me around the city of Lagos, there are many things I discovered.
In a country where corruption is no new news anymore, it's still surprising to find that to some people money truly isn't everything. For a large shop owner in Ikeja, living large is her family being able to do just that. As long as they're comfortable, she's living well.
For my tour guide, living large to him was being able to move anywhere in the world unrestricted.
Living large for these people that I am describing doesn't necessarily center around anything material. For some of them it was family, others, it was simply the freedom to move freely. Life extended past how much money you made, or how much was inside your bank account.
We live in a world today where the money is the staple of success. If you're successful and want to prove it, just show everyone how much money you have and we'll believe you, and in a way, that sort of mindset isn't completely wrong. Being able to get yourself whatever material thing you want is some form of success, it also enables you to be a good impact on other people, through many ways like philanthropy, on a large scale.
People like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, are seen as successful because of how much money they've made during the course of their lives, because that's the only way we really know how to gauge success.
For extremely rare cases like Mother Theresa we are able to note that she didn't need any material thing to show that she'd made it in this world. People all over the corners of the globe know her today simply because she was kind beyond measure, and put every single person before herself.
The main thing I noted with these two people that I spoke to while I stayed in Lagos, was that they didn't say anything like "Money isn't important." Instead they seemed to put their happiness before the importance of money. They believed that if they were fulfilled in life, everything will fall in place, and it looks like that philosophy has been working quite well for them so far.
A great theologianâEUR¦ comedian said; People say money cant buy you happiness, but it can buy you a jet ski. Have you ever seen someone unhappy on a jet ski?