When we transferred from the beautiful and laid back Island of Koh Tao to the raw exploitation and commercialism of Koh Samui it was hard not to focus on the negative. The change was so dramatic. The impact was so harsh. The blatant selling of women in the bars to old European and Russian men shocking.
For all my positive thinking and understanding of how the mind works – I found myself focused on the negative – noticing the difference – the gap – what was missing that had been great before. I was sitting on my bed working out how much it would cost to get the ferry back to Koh Tao.
I forgot that as we arrived it was threatening to rain – so we dumped our bags in the room and rushed down to the pool for a cooling dip – we laughed in the pool as a torrential storm poured water on our heads. We “ahhed” as the lightening lit up the sky.
That evening we had a great meal by candle light as the storm had taken down a power line and we watched the local businesses adapt to what I assume must be a regular occurrences as they were just too practiced!
I fell into the “gap-trap”.
After four days there – I can honestly say we stayed in pure luxury compared to Koh Toh – the island was busier and more commercial, more tightly packed together – but no less startling. We had an opportunity to experience Thai people making a living in a way that was more shocking and maybe more real. We watched old ladies offering to clean our feet, young men juggling fire, middle aged women selling their bodies, heavily pregnant women standing at their market stall for hours.
Raw, real life – the reality of life, not a gap!
I learnt a valuable lesson about focus of course, about how one person’s mood can affect others, about judgement and gratitude. I will never complain that I work hard or long hours (not that I feel that way), I will never complain about walking, carrying or standing and please remind me if I do …..
What you do today will change what you can do forever