by Friends of Godwin


Sometimes it is good to be exposed to other cultures and different situations. Then you will realise what a lot of – how shall I put it – abundance and consumerism there is here. I will just give an example. When you come to the West, there are so many choices. I am always being asked: Would you like this tea or that one or another one? Because there are so many varieties available.

One day I was taken by a friend of mine to have some ice-cream, and there were about 30 varieties of ice cream! And I was asked to choose. I did not know how they would taste, so I just said: I would like this one. In Sri Lanka there are no choices. In our Centre there are only limited choices, simple choices, like: do you drink water or do you drink tea? For breakfast there is only one meal. If you do not like it … That reminds me: there was once a Western monk staying there and I always used to say to people: Try to eat the food here as if for the first time – that is the way to survive here. But the monk said: I eat it as if for the last time!

So because of this affluence, in these affluent countries there is a disease which I call affluenza! Have you heard of this disease? It is very interesting to see the rest of the world suffering due to a lack of things, and here the suffering is due to affluence.