I developed a theory based on my experience in Myanmar back in 2005, it’s called the Life Resource Theory. On my way to Mount Popa from Bagan, we stopped by the road in a small shack where a family, we will call them the Palm family, were selling liquor and candy. The Palm’s were very hospitable and kind. They offered water and food for free even if it was clear that they could not afford to do so. When I sat down with them and herds their story I understood why they didn’t worry about giving it for free.
The Palm’s showed me a large piece of lang behind their home, about 100,000 square feet. The grandfather used to own and work on that field until they lost it to the government during the Burmese Civil War in 1948. The Palm’s used to plant and sell sesame and peanuts to survive. Even after loosing their land they felt thankful to continue living in their home, the government allowed them to continue to live in their shack, unlike other families in the region.
Their home is very humble. The inside was very dark, it only had a couple of windows where little light sneaked. It had a small stone fireplace for cooking and brewing. The only real opening faced the street but it didn’t have a door. On the outside the home felt sturdy but not enough to survive a strong storm. They owned a cow that moved a grinder that was beside two large Palm trees with home-made ladders attached to them. The Palm’s the reason why they had small windows was because that way animals would not try to sneak in and that the entry was shut by a sliding door because door were easily broken down. They also told me that their confined environment allowed them to work more efficiently in their craft without the risk of thief’s, monkeys.
While I was sitting down with them, I told them that I was really enjoying their candy and asked what was it made of? The Palm’s said that they make the candy from coconut meat form the palm and that the liquor, that I was sipping, was also made from it. I started noticing that the walls, ceiling, chairs, table, beds, doors where all made from the palm. The trays, plates, bowls, hats and utensils were made from the coconut and palm leaves. At that point it hit me, the Palm’s found a way to survive out of two palms. They used their creativity to use the little resources that they had to find every possible use for them. At that point is when I developed the Life Resource Theory.
The Life resource Theory says that in order to live life at its fullest we should use one object or resource in every possible way. You can also applied it to situations, relationships and opportunities with a slight difference, that we should learn the most that we can from them instead of using them. We live in a society that constantly persuades us to consume. We own multiple objects for the same purpose. I am not suggesting that we should stop consuming, but at least we should take advantage of what we already have. If you have one computers, do you really need a second one? If you have a phone, do you really need to upgrade to a new one? well maybe, if the new one allows you to be more efficient with your time and benefit your communication with your relations. But, if you already have five pairs of shoes do you really need a sixth one? We should not get another object unless it is really needed. Use your old shirts as cloths to clean your home and cars. Use the glass containers from your spaghetti sauce as containers to store food instead of toper ware. Learn the most that you can from your friends and family, their experience will only benefit you.
Today, after using the Life Resource Theory in my life I have found that my life is more simple and happier. I don’t have to worry about little things, like wearing the latest fashion to be happy or let social pressures get to me. Now, I understand why the Palm family were happy, turns out that the richest home and life that one can have. So, thank you Palm family for the teaching. And, are you willing to give it a try?