(Excuse the quality of the pictures taken from my Nokia E63 mobile phone. I did forget to bring my camera on this very special day).
Whenever I stand in front of a sacred monument I am in complete awe. Bestowed in front of me is what they call ‘The Big Buddha’, a holy sacred figure here in Thailand.
The lady who goes by the nickname of Nana and who is also my landlord took the time to show me and my french friend ‘Dominic’ a very special spot here on this island in Koh Samui. Together, we spent some time observing this figure and also spent a moment with Buddha, kneeling in front of the sacred monument and praying for better days to come.
Although words do not quite capture the essence and the vibrance of this exact moment, it is simply a moment where you just had to be there to experience this yourself.
With a direct panoramic view over the island, the ‘Big Buddha’ is situated roughly about 1000 metres above water, presenting a very nice overview of the island.
Nana tells me that 40 years ago, prior to the erection of Big Buddha on Koh Samui, a young Thai lady was killed right on this very spot. At the time, she was working for the Thai mafia and also dated a foreigner. Due to unfortunate circumstances, she ran into trouble, got caught up in the wrong crowd, turned up at the wrong place at the wrong time and suffered a fatal gun wound to her body.
For a few years following her death, local residents say that they were afraid to go to the very spot where she was killed. Rumors say that her spirit haunts the place. In turn, this called for the construction of Big Buddha in order to ward away the evil spirit.
Now, thousands of local residents come to this very spot to pray for a better life. It is a privilege to be here. You can see the difference between the poor and the rich people of Thailand, but despite the differences, they have one thing in common. Buddha.
After the viewing and the praying to Buddha, we retreated into Chaweng for a tasty dinner. For 500 Baht each, we got a big table full of foods that can surely keep a family in Africa satisfied for a week.
This very thought entered into my mind as I was having dinner… the contrast between the poor and the rich. But that’s another topic for another time…
As I was sitting down one night having dinner at a street stall, I spot a man quietly having a meal by himself. He is Thai. He is an ordinary citizen of Thailand. He is wearing plain clothes, eyes down on his food, comfortably poised, wearing sandals.
So… what is so important about this man you may ask?
I know this man. He is a millionaire. I have heard and seen this man before here on this island in Koh Samui. Why is this man eating dinner at a local street store, 35 baht for every dish? Why isn’t he at a nicer restaurant having dinner when instead, he gave himself that option of being surrounded by flies and eating less pleasant foods.
I have heard stories about this man. But you need to be able to hear 2 sides to every story before making a finalized opinion about someone. I hear that he is made of money. I hear that he is very humble and rarely speaks.
Today was the day where we were both at the same place, having the same dinner. He walked the walk. Here he was, having a nice cheap dinner to himself, eyes down, eating quietly. When he finished his dinner, he got up quietly, payed the bills and left.
The moral to this story is that, you can never quite succeed in life unless if you are humble. You may have millions of dollars in your bank account, but if you run your mouth; you have already failed. The art of being humble is discretion. That is the lesson I learnt today. If it wasn’t for my Thai friend who told me about this man, I would of never knew he is a millionaire.