Don’t admire wealth

Which driver should we admire the most?

Sometimes the people we should admire most are not those who have wealth or power.

Sometimes the people that we should admire the most are those who have nothing.

These are the people who really work hard. Who really do something for their loved ones.

Of course some of you think I’m crazy. What on earth can you learn from somebody who has nothing? I should be telling you about rich people, powerful people.

Well what if the rich/powerful person gained their wealth or power through unethical means? That’s not somebody that I’d admire and if it’s somebody you’d admire then I’m afraid you’re reading the wrong blog.

The income gap in Tanzania is high. Ridiculously high in some cases. This means that many people here have drivers compared to more developed countries.

One of the drivers that I know starts work at 7am.

He wakes up before 4am everyday.

He takes public transport and it can easily take him 2 hours to travel around 40km.

Although he normally finishes at 5pm, his official working time is till 7pm.

Depending on traffic it will then take him another 2.5 hours to get home.

Yet he never complains. Ever. He always greets people with a huge, warm, genuine smile.

Now drivers in Tanzania are paid an ok salary compared to the national average. But they generally live in urban areas because that’s where the work is. This means their cost of living is high.

One day while talking to this driver friend of mine and I learnt that his wife is a housewife. I thought that based on their salary they could both survive.

Later he told me he has 3 kids, one grown up and married and 2 still in school. So with his wife not working money would definitely be stretched.

Then he revealed his knock-out punch. He sends both of his younger children to “private school”.

Now this private school is not the same as you are imagining if you are from a developed country. The fees will be much lower. However my friend still has to pay school fees.

He’s commuting between 4–6 hours a day to work and what little money he makes he spends on school fees so that he can provide a better future for his kids.

All without complaint. All with a smile on his face.

This is a man I admire.

People may argue that he should “educate” himself and get a better job if he really wants to provide for his family. That’s an ignorant answer and too simplistic in circumstances like this.

The lives that many people here in Tanzania live are tough. They don’t have the benefit of a good, national education system. Finding a job is difficult. There aren’t many jobs and there are too many people fighting for them.

So before judging my friend you should come here and understand what life has been like for him. He is doing the best that he can for his kids. Sacrificing everything for them.

I would rather admire an honest, hard-working man like my friend than a dishonest man who drives a Ferrari.

06 Jun 2016 PPP

Progress

  1. Blog post
  2. Memrise Swahili lesson
  3. Memrise Malay lesson

Plans for tomorrow

  1. Memrise Swahili lesson
  2. Memrise Malay lesson

Problems

  1. None. Work has been hectic though.

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