Slums

It is amazing that when people are pushed down by circumstances and there is no one to turn to for  help, no bailouts, no welfare, could go way beyond the imagined physical and mental limits and do what needs to be done to survive. 

After seeing the documentary titled “Slums” by Al Jazeera, I have come to appreciate even more the self reliant mentality of people in developing countries such as the Philippines.  Knowing that the country and it’s government do not have enough resources to spread around, Filipinos do what they need to do to survive.  
Even the people in slum areas find ways to earn money and put food on the table.  May it be by peeling sacks of garlic for grocers at the market, cooking food to sell to neighbors who can barely afford to buy ingredients let alone cook in shanties with no kitchen, free dive in the deep sea using raggedy boats to fish or push makeshift railway cars to transport people during rush hours on an active railway line, always alert so they can get off the rails quickly enough before the actual train comes so they do not get run over.

 The work is hard, dangerous and dirty and does not pay well but one thing is for sure,  they are not just out on the street begging or waiting for handouts from the government.   And the most amazing thing is they even do it with a smile!

 From finding their own livelihood to self protection.  People just have the mentality of dealing with it themselves.  Thieves and robbers don’t stand a chance if they get caught by the town’s people.  They get beaten up before the police even gets to the scene. The criminals don’t get to suit because the judiciary system is too backed up to even entertain frivolous suits.  Every shop and school has at least one armed security guard is allowed to do whatever it takes to protect the property, it’s contents and specially the people in it.  Compare that to the armed guards in California whose role is just to stand and observe. Forget protection, the security agency is more concerned of avoiding lawsuits than protecting anybody.

 I guess when there is no one else to rely on, people’s instinct to survive kicks in and finds ways to make due.  Poverty maybe the same reason used by criminals, saying that it is what have pushed them to commit the crime, but a strong law enforcement and the people’s intolerance to being harmed or stolen from somehow persuades people to find other legal ways to get by.   I am not saying it is better or that there are no crimes there, but at least law abiding citizens are allowed to fight back and not prosecuted when defending themselves and their property. What I am appreciating is the mentality of being self reliant and always vigilant.  The lack of welfare actually pushes people to do what they need to do to be fair and well. 

 Compare that to a welfare state such as California where people from  other states and country flock to take advantage off of the amount of money given away by the state.  The intentions maybe noble but like the saying goes the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Add in the lack of law enforcement and California is turning into a third world country. There is a despicable culture of letting people violate the low just for political correctness. Police are not allowed to enforce basic laws and are depicted as villain when they apprehend criminals.

The entitled and thin skinned mentality where people get offended by just about anything and everything is repugnant.

 Maybe because we have all these “welfare” that people have nothing better to do, that’s why they got time for these superficial stuff?  Maybe having more, actually disables than enables us?

 All I know is that pain, hunger and lack of resources are good motivations to work, manage resources and spend it wisely.  Sometimes having less welfare, with no one to help or bail us out makes us reach higher and force us to make it work for our own survival. 

 Hopefully we do not actually hit rock bottom and reach third world living conditions before we realize that we are driving the state to ruins.  Just look at the homeless and criminal population of San Francisco and Los Angeles and what it is doing to these once great cities.



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