I Fell In Love With A Foreign Girl And It Changed How I Saw The World

Tom Kuegler

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I am an American. My colors are red, white, and blue, and I’m damn proud of it, too.

But there’s something you should know.

Last year I fell in love with a girl from the Philippines.

It was fitting, too, because I actually have a lot of Filipino friends.

Since I already had a strong bond with these people, I knew a little bit about their culture (not everything).

I knew how to cook certain foods from the Philippines (S/O Kaldereta and chicken adobo), and I knew that their country, while full of amazing people, wasn’t in the same position as the United States as far as economic opportunity.

The Philippines’ Economy vs. The U.S. Economy

The Philippines GDP is equivalent to $304.9 billion.

The United State’s GDP is $18.57 trillion.

GDP is just the value of everything produced by a country and its companies in a given year.

In short, the U.S GDP is approximately 61 times the value of that in the Philippines.

In laymans, it takes our country 15 days to produce what the Philippines can in one year (in terms of financial value).

That should really put things in perspective for you.

It’s not even close. We blow them out of the water.

The economic opportunities here are ENORMOUS compared to that of the Philippines.

I don’t say that to stick my big index finger up shouting “AMERICA, AMERICA!” loudly in your ear.

I say that because while America does have its problems, there are countries and people out there going through WAY WORSE situations.

This was lesson number one for me as I continued talking with this girl from a city called General Santos (or Gensan as they like to call it) located on one of the Philippines’ 7,107 islands.

Many Americans Are Too Detached From The Outside World

Contrary to what a lot of liberals might say, I actually think conservatives have just as big of a heart as anybody.

The problem?

They’re just blind to what’s happening outside of our country. And how can we blame them? Our news outlets largely focus on what’s happening inside our own country — never what’s happening on the outside.

Even liberals are blind. We’re all blind, to be honest. I know I was. We see our neighborhoods and our workplaces and maybe the bar on the weekend.

We didn’t know there was some city in the Philippines called General Santos.

The only way to get a glimpse of life outside the America bubble is to do some research, or meet people from other countries!

And we just don’t do that. We live in communities where there are people just like us, because we like being comfortable. I’m not saying that’s bad — everybody deserves to be comfortable.

I’m just saying that we need some perspective. Perhaps we wouldn’t be so hard-nosed about issues if we actually visited cities other than our own and looked these people in the eye.

Maybe..

I have, and their stories have frightened me.

We Aren’t Bad People, We’re Just Ignorant

I know some pretty amazing, caring people here in the United States. We love our neighbors. We generally want what’s best for each other, I really believe that.

But then we’ll turn on a dime and start saying some really nasty things about those from other countries out of nowhere.

I used to do it, too. I’m ashamed.

After meeting this girl, I started realizing JUST what these poeple from the Philippines go through.

How mothers spend years and years away from their children working overseas, all while missing the chance to watch them grow up.

How most workers are happy making $10 PER DAY in the capital city of Manila.

How a shower consists of filling a bucket full of water and dumping it over their heads repeatedly until they’re clean.

If only we knew, I think we’d do more. Furthermore if only we knew someone in these situations, I think we’d do more too.

But we don’t, so we pass it off to someone else to take care of.

It’s A Great Feeling To Know

It’s actually a really bittersweet feeling to know what’s happening in the world. There are people going through horrible things — unspeakable things — and it should make us feel that much better to live in a country where we don’t have to go through that.

It should also make us feel very good to know that it doesn’t take much to help people from the Philippines or other developing countries.

$2 can buy a meal for these people. $50 is their weekly salary.

It’s a good feeling to give. It’s a good feeling to be connected with those from the outside world. For some reason it makes me feel more alive than I ever have.

That’s why falling in love with this girl changed everything for me. It opened my eyes to another world I wasn’t seeing.

Now all I want to do is help — and that’s the best gift anybody could’ve ever given me.

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