Friday, 1 July 2011

A rich, white, western woman walks into a poverty-stricken third world country.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
- Winston Churchill

Last year I travelled to Bali three times. This isn't exotic for an Australian. Indonesia is at our back doorstep. It's a rite of passage in your twenties to go, get drunk and sunburnt, haggle at the market, complain about the foreigners and then fly home. I'd never been before - it was pretty shocking. The beggers and desperation was not something I could get used to. I gave away money like it was sheets of candy - tried to stuff their dirty hands with my dirty guilt. Breastfeeding women, lying on the street with their hands outstretched. Sometimes it made me feel so uncomfortable that I had to go back to my resort.

                                                    Poor, uncomfortable me.

I interspersed getting massages and facials ... with going to the orphanage, to take toys and pencils to the children. Because I am a do-gooder .. helping makes me feel good, down in the deep void.

Can you imagine the self-satisfaction I felt, pushing around this trolley?

                                        Coming through ... it's for the poor people!

Oh, that's right. I didn't push the trolley - my driver pushed it. Apparently I was some kind of Queen, because I was white. And rich. I'm better than them, aren't I? I'm white and rich.

     Such *dear* little eggs! I must snap a photo, for my album!

I went to the orphanage a few times. Took a lot of pens and books. And paper. I asked the kids to all draw me a picture. I still have them all, and will keep them until I die. (Even though I can't remember any of their names - too hard to pronounce.)

Just before I left for the last time, the loudest boy of the group (the girls were all hiding out in their treehouse) ... pulled out ten dollars. This was a LOT of cash. I asked him where he got it from, and he never answered me. Just stuffed it back in his pocket. My heart lurched when I noticed he also had a gold chain.

The ten dollars worries me a lot. Who gives an orphan ten dollars? And jewelry?

I hated my last trip there, and don't know if I'll ever go back. It mocked me. The truth kept getting stuck to my shoe and I couldn't ignore it.

Was I an arse, for helping? Helping is selfish ... it made me feel better. Took me out of myself. Perhaps I should not have helped at all?

What of bloggers like Dooce - using her blog to share her experiences abroad? Is it just cringe-worthy - is she just too popular to be taken seriously? Why? Some people call it "poverty tourism." So, I guess there's no point in doing anything at all? Why bother.

There's some great discussions going on, about using your powers for something that can actually mean something. Imagine!

When I saw that photo of Erik Thomson I thought wow - he actually means it. That's no goddamn photo opportunity. All my American friends were like, "Butter menthol?!" (America, I am so sad for you. You don't have Bounty bars OR butter menthol flavoured throat lozenges. I thought you guys invented everything?)

I had a bad day today. Every stupid day is bad, lately - if it's not a cancer scare it's a stupid argument with my husband. Or struggling to be a good stepmother - a good mother. But you know what? I'm not lying in a street, breastfeeding my naked child, with my arm permanently outstretched for money. THAT is a bad day.

That's actually a bad life.

And if people want to use their time and their blogs to shine some light on issues that could do with some publicity? POWER.

If you are the kind of person who is going to shame somebody for helping, I will shame you. Because that makes you the biggest arsehole of all.


Cate Bolt is a top Aussie chick who is using her powers for good. She has a million things that need doing, at any one time. She started a foundation. *yawn*. She's not just taking pencils and paper into orphanages ... she's clothing those kids and sending them to school. I triple dog dare you to tell her you want to help. If you tell her Eden sent you ..... I'll, do something drastic. I will.

I may be a spoilt rich white western woman .. but I'm also an inspirational arsehole. It's a potent mix.


  1. I love your blog! I've actually been reading for quite a few months but never commented, think I was just in a blog funk. But I really love your blogs. I'm sure you don't set out to always have a purpose in what you write. But you do! You are like so many people who's heart breaks when you see the less fortunate. Helping (even if it's a scaming kid) even only a little bit is a great thing. I'm not rich and really don't have a ton of cash to give away. and I don't always know which one is putting on an act because s/he doesn't want to gt a real job. But it's not my job to peel the wool, it's my job to be a good person and help those in need if I can. And I do, and even a cart of pencils help some kid out there who desperately wanted one. Good for you, and God bless you for pushing through all the shit you've pushed through. It's all any of us can really do in life right? Blog on sista! I find you refreshing and so brutally honest which I'm told I am also :o)

  2. You're amazing. Inspirational. And it's awesome that you took those children pens and books. I think that each person should do what he or she can, and pens and books is pretty awesome. You know what's more awesome? That you went to see them. That you spent time with them. They don't have mommies, so imagine what a great day it must have been to have you as company. Even if you are white, rich, and western. :)

  3. I find it interesting when people call out celebrities for championing some cause . . . saying it is all for publicity.

    Who cares what their motives are if it means that a great cause is getting some much needed publicity?!

    I cannot and will not apologise or be made to feel guilty because I was fortunate enough to be born in a weathly country. What I will do is use what power that gives me to help those who were not so fortunate. If that means helping out people who are obviously struggling in a country that I am visiting . . . then that is the method it will take. If it means giving donations to purchase backbacks filled with school supplies instead of buying a useless gift for my kid's teachers . . . then that is what form it will take.

    If we all used whatever amount of power for change that we have available to us . . . my god, just imagine how much change could actually occur.

  4. Perfectly said. I've been to Bali too, several times, and I couldn't stop getting $10 massages while my heart broke a little bit each time and I hoped that the young masseuses actually got to keep the money I handed them. A decade later, I had my experiences in Asia in mind as I headed down to Haiti to live at an orphanage for a month. I don't know if I accomplished anything positive, but I know my beautiful daughter didn't starve to death on the streets of Port-au-Prince. Tiny actions make a difference.

  5. I think you are wonderful! You should be proud of yourself that you can't walk past human suffering without feeling it deeply and trying to do something--anything!--about it. You have definitely inspired me today and I thank you for that.

  6. i've been mulling on this issue while watching the mama blogger cannibal fest the past few days. i worked in australia for a few years with an one of the biggie humanitarian aid organizations (that regularly shills celebs to raise awareness), got my degree in community development from deakin, had an aunt who worked in bangladesh 7 years, a sister in sub-saharan africa..blahblahblah. anyway here's the thing i noticed from my personal experiences...there is no easy answers here.

    poverty tourism is real to some degree (a frightening degree in south africa where one can actually ride through the slums in an air-conditioned bus). but then, what's the alternative? do nothing? obviously not.

    is sponsoring a child going to save the world? is it exploitive? i've worked among this for years and still don't have answers...

    people live in desperate poverty around the world. and listening to what they need and giving them the financial empowerment to create the change they need at a grassroots level does work. but we (funders, donors, etc) need to be able to get out of the way and let them just get on with it.

    maybe that's the good coming out of all this mayhem. a challenge is being laid for talented, creative people to be part of developing innovative new strategies. because the scenarios of "famous person visits the 3rd world" in the past has honestly not made more than the smallest kitten lick of a difference.

  7. I volunteer at a local school for homeless children. Apparently they can't go to public schools without an address and proof of a utility bill. Why? I don't know. But this school takes them in, sends buses to the shelters, parents drop them off in cars that double as their home. I love and hate going at the same time. I leave in tears often. I feel guilty sometimes at night sitting in my home, I wonder what those children are doing. But I think that the day I stop and can ignore these tragedies will be the day people should truly worry about me.

  8. Eden, I hate that you are having a bad go of it lately but love that you have such a great heart and spirit. I hope that you have someone to support and inspire you in your daily life just as you inspire us.
    It takes a special woman to recognize that the situation for that 10 yr old boy doesn't look good. It takes an even more special woman to write about it and make us think about it and make us realize how great our crappy little lives really are.
    Thanks for the kick in the butt. It's time I get off that butt and start doing something for someone else. Today

  9. I love you. I think I've told you that before, but it's always fun to say ;)
    I kind of hate that you felt a need to write this. To me, you feel like a truly geniune, caring person. I don't doubt that you did those things, in part, to make you feel better. However, I also don't doubt that you did it because you cared about each and everyone of those that you helped. Don't let others define your heart or reasons for good will.

  10. I loved reading you on Twitter last night about this and I love this even more.

    I think for those of us who have been to these kinds of places, it's natural to feel conflicted. But that doesn't make it wrong. You put it into words perfectly.

    And I gasped thinking about the gold chain and the $10 bill. It's hard to even let my mind go there.

  11. I'll never forget the poverty in Bali, it's heartbreaking. You did the right thing, if everyone did what you did the world would be a better place!

  12. I read the UK article about bloggers following Dooce's twitter 'discussion' yesterday. Critics can moan all they like about poverty tourism, but without a celebrity attached to issues the Western world (who has the cash) would never know or be INTERESTED in such issues. At the moment I'm working on some PR work for an Australian not for profit who do great work in South East Asia.

    Recently a friend of their's walked his dog from Sydney to Melbourne to raise funds - a fucking long way and do you think the media was interested? Not at all because there wasn't a celebrity attached to the event.

    That is the reality for Charities and Not for Profits. So if bloggers lend their support and help spread the word then that is a good thing.

  13. The bible says something about doing good deeds in silence, and I think that is quite relevant to these discussions. Silence does not necessarily literally mean without noise, but without praise required. At the end of the day who knows the intentions of the heart better then our God and ourselves.

    I'm sure there are people who do things for publicity - this IS a very selfish world, but let us not forget that without dialogue what change can be made. Without dialogue what knowledge can be shared. And if we are to discourage those who attempt to share with others their personal experiences and horror at the face of poverty because we may feel their 'motives' are not pure, are we not then just allowing this poverty to continue? Are we not then directly to blame?

    No one has the right to make judgements on others, regardless of the situation. Discouraging others away from works of charity is not simply a matter of lost integrity but if we are serious - a matter of life and death.

    If nothing changes, nothing changes.

    You cause a change, Eden.

  14. I had similar feelings in Vietnam and Morocco. I remember someone saying it was best to give to foundation or charity working directly with people in the communities to stop the beggar bosses controlling the kids on the street. Then i felt this whole other level of guilt, shame and terrible sadness. Man, I am a lucky person.

    To be honest, watching the tweets last night to and from all parties attacking each other just made me feel really comfortable. Regardless of who was "right" or "wrong" it gets really vicious.

    Another wonderful post Eden, you know how much I dig ya x

  15. I spent a few early years living in a third world country. My dad decided we wouldn't go to the expat school, so I went to the local preschool. I was the only white kid in a sea black kids. I hated every minute. Being a painfully shy kid all I wanted was to disappear, but here I stood out like a gleaming blonde beacon. Despite crying every, single morning, it taught me a valuable lesson for the rest of my life about being in the minority. It also taught me from a very young age about how priveleged I was. I have clear memories of visiting and orphanage and handing out big brown paper of lollies. Sometimes I'm a little sad that my kids won't have the same experience and all they know is our safe Sydney world.

    Travelling around Australia broke my heart, seeing the poverty that exists was horrific. Driving into tiny towns and seeing there was no supermarket but a giant Woolworths liquor was shocking.
    It completely overwhelmed me. Here we were in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and people lived this. I felt completely and utterly impotent.

    My brother lives in Vietnam, his wife grew up in a tiny rice growing village in the north. So poor that they often caught field rats for protein. She did the unthinkable for a Vietnamese girl and went out of her own find a life for herself and her family. She now runs three businesses and lives a (in Vietnamese standards) wealthy life. Some of our Australian friends think she's work obsessed and money obsessed. Wouldn't you be if you grew up eating rats?

    I think the key is to go with your heart. People are always going to bag others, you've just got to tune them out and feel sorry for them as they're going to be poorer for it. Live life with an open heart. Give others, no matter who they are, a smile. Do what feels right. Don't overthink and don't underestimate. It's all the small things that we do that can make someone's life a little better. What's the point of briefly sharing this big ball of rock if we can't make it a little better for everyone.

    This rambling probably makes zero sense, but basically, just keep doing what you're doing. You are an inspiration, no doubt. xxx

  16. What wonderful timing you have. (And when isn't it a wonderful time to help?) I've been thinking of this and how to parlay my blog and upcoming new jewelry line into some way to help this planet of ours. Those thoughts and your blog remind me of that story of the boy and the thousands upon thousands of starfish stranded on the beach. Do you know that story?

    If not, it goes sorta like this: a boy is walking along a long stretch of beach littered with dying starfish. As he walks, he tosses starfish back into the ocean. A man walks by, a man overwhelmed with all the dying life around him, and he asks the boy how he could possibly hope to make a difference. The boy picks up a starfish, tosses it back into the ocean and says to the man, "Made a difference to that one."

    And, that's really all we can do, right?

    If you or anyone else is interested in planting a tree in one of our most endangered rainforests, stop by my blog or go to The Nature Conservancy directly where one dollar plants one tree. Their goal is 1 billion trees by 2015 and guess what?

    Every single one makes a difference. :)

    *end of PSA*

    I've been reading you for awhile Eden and am always excited to see that you have posted.

  17. Thank god you're an inspirational arsehole. The world needs more of them.

  18. Can I just start this comment by saying "Fuck you, Eden Riley, for making me think this early in the morning"?

    You've actually written about something that really inspires my rancour. I don't really understand the whole blog world, at all. I don't know who the cool bloggers are or what the "right way" to blog is so I can't comment on this Dooce fiasco - I'd never heard of her before today.

    One thing I do know something about is guilt and giving. And honestly, I could go on here for the next 2 hours but I might just do my own blog post on the subject. But I can tell you two things for a FACT - no one in Bali wants anyone to feel guilty for being more fortunate than them. It contradicts the Hindu faith to feel that way. And even though I feel SO guilty that I barely even eat while I'm there, it's something that people shouldn't feel.

    Secondly, nothing ever happens if no one knows about it. When I had my 2 strokes earlier this year what I learned from them is that I needed to talk less and do more. As a writer the concept that you should shut up is quite annoying BUT there's a fine line between writing to raise awareness and writing because you need people to pat you on the back and sometimes I think I've been guilty of needing the pat on the back.

    That probably makes me flawed but that's a badge I'm happy to wear. I don't want anyone to support what I do because they feel guilty, BUT the sad reality is that at least 80% of people give out of GUILT. Not just because it's the right thing to do. So I'm sorry, if I have to make people feel guilty, then that's what I'm going to do. Because at the end of the day, I can't change human nature and I'll be fucked if I'm going to be side-tracked trying to while I have 33 children in Indonesia who won't get an education without me.

  19. Hi Eden,

    Years ago I would have an argument with a friend of mine who hated the fact that Tom Cruise could command $20 million a movie. He doesn't believe in endless wealth. There comes a point where you just don't need any more money.

    My argument was, whilst it's true, Tom Cruise probably didn't need anymore money, I was happy for him to charge $20 million because at least I knew where there was $20 million I could tap into (if I was a charity).

    I'm no economist but if the money exists we may as well know where it is. So if I was a charity I would find an angle to target Tom Cruise.

    For me, better Tom Cruise have the cash than some faceless executive.

    Sending Heather Armstrong to Bangladesh, this isn't even about her. It's about awareness. She is merely the tool to bring the message home.

    And those that are banging on about Heather, well, that just says more about the naysayers and their tiny little bubble. What have the naysayers done for those in Bangladesh.

    That could be a naive idealist approach to it all, but where would be we without our ideals.

    Why is it at Xmas it's the giving that makes us feel good but any other time of the year we're just trying to absolve ourselves of our guilt?

    With our family we don't exchange gifts anymore. We donate to charity. We really don't need any more stuff.

    And as for you feeling guilty Eden, well that just tells me that you're a human being with a soul.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

  20. My heart stopped reading that. The image of the woman lying in the street breastfeeding her baby with her arm outstretched will haunt me. No one should have to live this way. Why is so much money being spent on big TV's or gaming consoles, or big flashy cars when people don't even have food to eat, water to drink, clothes to wear and a warm dry place to call home?
    Ignorance can be bliss. But really at what point? It all catches up with you sooner or later.

  21. I used to see that image every single day of my life when I was still in the Philippines. Two years ago Manila's temp suddenly became so cold, very unlikely weather, and the news flashed this family living in the streets. Their baby was as old as mine then, only a couple of months old, and he was sprawled on a cardboard on the side of the road, happily sleeping -- no baby monitors, no mobiles, no baby bottles, no swaddling. They live like that and they still smile. I'm going to post something about this one day and I'll let you know. These people need help and if someone is up for that then god bless them.

  22. I'm just going to ready you to know what "conflicts" may be going on in the blog'o'drama!

    i still want to know where the little dude came up with $10 and a gold chain! because i'm totally noisy!

  23. I'm not sure what I think about all this. Some things I think are:

    - tourism is an industry that benefits so few people in impoverished countries that it makes me sick when they talk about it being 'necessary'.

    - we can raise all the awareness we like, but if nobody actually does anything, then it means nothing.

    - our Western Culture is responsible for the bulk of the world's poverty.

    - poverty is not the exclusive domain of the third world, the weather the rest of it.

    Lots of other stuff to think about. to Cate's comment above "there's a fine line between writing to raise awareness and writing because you need people to pat you on the back " I ask, what's wrong with getting pat on the back? The awareness thing happens regardless.

    But, this is too big an issue for me to even think about right now. I would need to research and think it through properly, otherwise (as I have) I will just sound like some daft twat. x

  24. I fail to see how anything written about a situation that gives me information and knowledge that I did not have before can be criticised.

  25. Go you sweet rich Queen.

    I can't believe people can criticise bloggers who blog about poverty.
    Nor celebrity figures who promote the causes of charities like World Vision ...adopting them by the half dozen I am still undecided about.

    I agree with Maxibella - we can raise all the awareness we like, but if nobody actually does anything, then it means nothing...At the very least you are doing something.

    Me - I sponsor two kids through World Vision , have done for 24 yrs, even when we couldn't afford it - I have a credit card, they don't

    I don't think I could actually go there though like you did and hand it over.

  26. And here I am, fucking whinging because my in-laws house doesn't have a gas heater. Ugh. This post really puts things into perspective. Thank god for inspirational arseholes like you, Eden x

  27. Oh lady. I read this this morning and have been thinking about it all day. It's one of those things that makes me feel all confused and uneducated and I don't know where I stand.

    I think that having so much (as I do) when people don't have much sucks. If I try and help out because I can, and I want to, and it makes me feel better AND helps others, then that's OK. We sponsored kids for years now and while it's very much at an arms length, we CAN so we DO. I don't see how peeps showing people what's going on that they might not have known about can be a bad thing. Those people ARE arseholes and it makes them feel better and important making other people feel like shit. I just don't get it.

    I DO KNOW that you rock. That your heart is ALWAYS in the right place and that you are spreading the word. Because you CAN so you SHOULD.

    Sorry you are having a shitty time at the moment. Hope it gets better. Soon. Things could be worse sure, but right now I am sending you some BabyMac love because I want to. And it makes me feel better.

    TORLET x

  28. order cheap drugs

  29. You know what the really sad thing is? That while there is certainly poverty in Bali, Bali is actually relatively well off when it comes to other parts of the Third World -- Burma, Vietnam, parts of the Philippines -- and even many other parts of Indonesia.

    This isn't to belittle anybody's feelings, but just saying. So that while yes, my heart twists to see the women begging on the streets in Bali, it doesn't break the way it does in Labuan Bajo, or parts of Manado, or places in the Philippines. Bali is actually relatively lucky. Its particular problems may be that the poverty is harder to find, due to the money it makes from tourism -- and that this sets up certain divides within the island itself.

  30. Applause for you, Eden. Just a mighty roaring applause. YES! A bloody pat on the back.

  31. Sometimes people fail to see and/or give a flying flip about the poverty that is on their back doorstep...sometimes almost literally.

    I know a counselor that used to work with street outreach for the homeless in Ft.Worth (I live in Texas). many of the clients remain the same, but they are always understaffed, and there is always that "the homeless guy is gonna rob me" kind of mentality.

    Now I work at a sort of rehab for teens, in the questionable part of town. I've gotten lost when going elsewhere before, and it's been told to me that if I'm not in the wrong part of town, I'm in the wrong place.

    And I'm not downplaying the poverty there in Bali or other third world countries, because there, it's everywhere. In Ft Worth, you can drive to the "right" side of town.

    Unfortunately, I can't help everyone that asks, because I'm technically in poverty myself, I'm just feeding off my parents until I finish uni. I want to take everyone that asks out for a meal. Give them a food voucher. Give them a place to stay. I can't even do that for myself yet, but someday....

    Thanks for this post. Poverty really is closer than you think. And there is something you can do, even if you aren't by any standard rich.

  32. So much thinking going on, can you hear my brain going?


    Ok, so I totally get the feeling you had in Bali, it is the main reason I have no intentions of going there. The guilt would ruin my holiday. But that kind of makes me weak. I am glad that people do go there and experience another culture and help out where they can.

    I also find it sad hat people like Cate who just give so much are always fighting for more money, but there are so many causes to give to, to take part in, I usually support those closer to me or those that I feel a connection with, or that are just in my face at the right time.

    But information and education about an issue even if I don't financially support it is crucial. If a blogger can tell me about something i knew nothing about than I can't see how that is a bad thing. The more I know about something the more it may affect me, the more I might do something.

    We shouldn't feel guilty for the good feeling we good for helping others. It is that feeling that makes us do more good deeds and look after each other. If we stop feeling the happy feeling, the world will be a shitty place.

  33. This is an interesting discussion, and it's not an easy issue. I've been thinking about my interactions with Bali, which is a place I've been going to for twelve years, in the context of this. Should I feel guilty for going there? Should anybody? I don't know, it's personal choice. That said, I think I'm pretty socially conscious and the thought never even occurred to me. I stay in small hotels or bed and breakfasts that are owned by Balinese families, so my money is very definitely helping local families. In one case, I've seen the family send its children through medical and dental school -- and my money helped. These kids will now have a direct impact on the lives of many other Balinese.

    I faced the same issue when I traveled to Burma in 1995, when people were very definitely being told not to go there. Did some of my money "help support the dictatorship"? Presumably. Yet by keeping low to the ground, staying in locally-run places as opposed to huge hotels and arranging everything from people we knew, money also got into the hands of ordinary people. In the case of Burma, after we came back and told everybody we knew about the country, about 30 people then knew about a place that had only been a name in a book. So going to places and bearing witness -- and telling people about it, as you're doing -- is also very important.

    Could I be doing more in Bali? Yes, certainly. This kind of discussion is a reminder to, as with Burma, stay as close and local as possible -- small hotels, small restaurants. Unfortunately Bali has built its economy around tourism, for good or for bad; that's a fact. Not going there out of guilt is money that won't get there at all.

    But I think the woman who talks about poverty close to home also has a very good point. There is poverty everywhere, and there are things to do close to home, too. I admire you, Eden, not just for contributing what you did, but most for the time that you spent with the children.

  34. This isn't a 'modern' issue - there has always been poverty. And with human nature being what it is, there always will be. Poverty isn't an issue you can solve, except on a one-to-one basis.
    We micro-finance through Kiva, and I would thoroughly recommend it as a way of helping real, individual people who are looking for a way out of their circumstances.
    But if sponsoring through WV, or visiting orphanages, or raising awareness is your thing, then do it with a whole heart, because if everyone did one small bit, the world would be a much better place -- you just have to find a starting point and go on from there.
    Also -- we're hard-wired to feel good when we do good. Most if us, if we feel guilt, will avoid the thing that makes us feel bad, so it's smarter and more 'efficient' (anthropologically speaking) to allow ourselves to enjoy the feeling of doing something for someone else.

  35. Friends and workmates spew stories of how cheap everything is and how wonderful it is to be pampered day and night for next to nothing and none of them, to a person, seem to have had any moral dilemma with this slave labour. The dollars may really be helping the locals but I can't bring myself to think of this as some sort of altruistic exploitation. Hell i can't even bring myself to get a shoe-shine here at home.

  36. Here's a question -- is it any more or less exploitative to get a massage in your home country? or going to a restaurant for a meal? do you know for sure the restaurant workers are making a wage commensurate with their work efforts? what about buying a pair of sneakers/running shoes?

  37. I guess that makes me a rich, black woman. I've been to Bali twice. Once in 1999 and again in 2001 and we got married there. I loved it and it has never left my heart. We saw some poverty, not a lot but I suppose a lot has changed since then. Poverty too makes me feel uncomfortable, squeamish, disheartened. I couldn't fix it by giving away all my hard earned vacation money away even if I tried. The kids, oh, they break your heart. It's hard to look them in the eye. All I had to offer was a few pencils and pens and Canada pins. My husband got so carried away bargaining over a piece of jewellery, I had to remind him that he was haggling over $5 and his thrill of getting his price wasn't really worth the sour look on the guy's face. Somehow he managed to pay an outrageous price for a wooden piece of crap sold by a wisp of a girl a few days later.

    I found it amazing to think they people thought WE were rich - of course, we had flown thousands of miles from our country to stay in a fancy hotel, we had to be rich. I guess it's a matter of perspective. Guilt is such a useless emotion sometimes, don't you think? Having what you have does not change anything for those who have nothing. But you did what you could, more than most people would in fact. Positive action create good karma. If you didn't get a massage or have a driver, then somebody wouldn't have a chance to earn money to eat, or feed their family.

  38. I spent my late teens and the majority of my twenties breeding and lactating.

    So no Bali trip for me.

    I think you need to start a foundation for me.

    (yeah, I suck. But everyone else was so thoughtful and wonderful with their comments I just HAD to be the suckful pathetic first world needy one. Right?)

  39. Its nice to know that some rich people give back..I'm not rich (yet)but I still give. I was raised too..I don't judge people based off their financial status.. We all the same..


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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