• Valentina Poletti

The happiest people in the world

After hours walking in the jungle, I had hiked up and down the Himalayan mountains several kilometers, had encountered countless leech attacks, filled my shoes with mud and rain, and the sun was about to set. Finally I saw in a small clearing that seemed a mirage in the endless jungle, a little hut of farmer people. As I got there they took me in their stone and wood hut. They offered me a hot shower. They collect rain water to wash, which they partly boiled and placed in a bucket, that I could pour on myself in a tiny side stone hut which they call bathroom. After that I was exhausted. They showed me my straw bed, and gave me a thick blanket, then offered me some dinner, a staple of black millet with some vegetables. I asked them where they get their food, as I doubt anything can be grown or harvested in the jungle. They explaned that they cultivate some cabbages, onions and potatoes in the nearby clearings that I saw on my way there, just a few miles away. For the rest of the things they need, including staples, they hike up and down the mountains for days with large baskets carrying everything on their shoulders. After we played some games and they told me about their life, including their expeditions to Afghanistan and Iraq during the wars, we decided to play, sing and dance some of their local songs. As we were dancing I couldn't help but notice that these people are the happiest people in the world. There is nothing that we do or have in our advanced and convenient societies that adds to what they have, the ability to live the momnent, to be present with themselves. In fact, quite on the contrary, we take away from that, by filling our lives with distractions, activities and things.

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