In a recent blog post I talked about my great experience on a trip I did to the Philippines, you haven’t read that one already you should check it out. Anyway, in this post I would like to expand on a certain part of the post, specifically how I mentioned that every kid I saw in the Philippines had a smile on his or her face. I think there’s a way to explain why it is this way: Shifting-Baseline Syndrome. Now, this isn’t a syndrome like you might be thinking that is an actual disorder or anything, it’s simply the idea that the world someone is born into is the one they expect their life to be like. So, basically, the kids in the Philippines were born into their homes and their life as it is, and that’s all they’ve known so they know to accept it and be happy about it. But, in the United States we are reminded every day by social media and other things that there are people out there with way more things than us or are way better than us, so we constantly expect more from life and are never happy with what we have. We constantly want more because we see how much more there is that we could have, while kids in the Philippines have only really seen what’s around them and have simply learned that that’s what their life is and they should make the best of it. It’s a very upsetting truth, but a truth nonetheless.
I never expected to circumcise anyone at the age of 16, let alone ever. I also never thought I would circumcise someone even if I was given the chance. But, when I went on a medical mission to the Philippines with the group S.A.M.E., I did. I can never thank SAME, Dr. Patel, or any of the other people that helped put this trip together enough for the great experience I had. It was definitely the best experience I have ever had. I was a dentist, a pharmacist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a surgeon, a doctor, and a friend. It was great to have actual hands on medical experience, but the best part about the trip was meeting the individual kids. No matter where we went, every kid had a smile on his or her face. From the 1st and 2nd medical sites to the indigenous tribe every kid looked as happy as could be. None of the kids seemed to care about the fact that they lived off of trash or might only get one meal that entire day, they were just happy to be alive and spending time with each other. I think that’s something I’ll take away from this trip and never forget, the smiles. Actually, it’s unlikely that I’ll forget any part of the trip because all of it was so perfect. From the new friends I made that live in the Philippines and the ones I made that live here in the US, everyone was fantastic and so was the trip. So again, I would like to thank anyone and everyone who took part on this trip of a lifetime, the kids in the Philippines that put a smile on my face through their own, and the fact that I was lucky enough to go on this trip. I would recommend this trip to everyone who wants to go, and I hope I get to go again some time because it was the most fantastic experience of my life.