I recently went on a trip to the Philippines. I had no idea what to expect and pretty much thought the worse. I landed in Manila and drove 6 hours to a town called Baguio. I stopped along the way to visit different villages and got a glimpse of how people lived there. I was surprised to meet some of the nicest, most humble and gentle people I have ever met.

Feeling like a minority, I was a bit surprised at how I was received. What I found there was amazing. People living, by our standards, in very unfavorable conditions. Yet, there was a smile on their face and what food they had, they would offer it. There was also a politeness that was just their way of relating, not only to me but to one another.

If the people there could be as kind as they were in the conditions they were in, why can’t the people in America be the same why? Yes, we have an economic crisis going on that hasn’t happened since the great depression. I know. I feel it and see it as everyone else is experiencing it. The fear is palpable. The funny thing is the Filipino people were watching our economy because it effects theirs. Yet, the kindness was as if they were highly abundant and wealthy. I guess it depends on how one measures abundance and what one’s definition of abundance is.

If the wonderful people in the Philippines that I came across can be that kind, just as other people in other countries and hardships can find their way to be kind, maybe we can take new stock of how we treat people and situations.

In a time that is riddled with fear, it is now so very vital to look around, appreciate loved ones and empower what means the most. Do not empower fear as fear is shackling. Values, relationships and caring might be the universal way to measure abundance and when all is said and done, I want to have the greatest abundance of all, abundance of heart.