Hi Yang,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your viewpoint and experience reinforces everything I’ve been observing and feeling since I returned to the United States.

The the other interesting thing is now you’ve recognized that you’re internalizing so much of the privileged status, and that many of the memories that had a huge influence on the way you see the world have begun to fade. It makes me wonder if one of the biggest factors in this situation is that several generations have lived with such abundance that we’ve totally forgotten what life without it could even be like.

If you add the media industry into the mix — corporations whose sole goal is to keep you feeling that the abundance is an absolute necessity — then you’ve got the recipe for an incredibly confused and misguided population who simply don’t know any better. Before I went on my six month trip, there simply wasn’t any other reality for me to compare life in the United States with. Videos, news articles, and photos simply don’t convey enough real feeling to give me that alternate perspective. But now that I have it, the world looks so incredibly different!

I wish we could send everyone to a developing country for a few months, but that’s definitely not practical! 😛 But as you and others have mentioned in the comments, we really don’t need to travel anywhere to gain that new perspective. While video, news, and photos might not convey enough of that alternative perspective, I think the right storytelling and a firsthand account of the experiences can convey a lot — which is what I was hoping to do with this post (and thankfully, it seemed to have worked!). 🙂