People always say, "Hey, you gotta look out for number one." They mean that you have to be sure to take care of yourself first and foremost. So much of what we're taught echoes this sentiment--from self-help books to the fundamental self-interest premise of the economic system we espouse. But that's a limited view of what "one" is.

Wars have been fought, social unrest ignited, natural environments destroyed and diseases spread because of too narrow a view of "one". The spiritual greats throughout time have pushed us to develop a proper understanding of "one". Part of the "one" is the Jew and Greek, the Samaritan and the tax collector, the little children, and the "birds of the air and the fishes of the sea".

It is this One who thrives if looked out for. Else, no "one" will.

   - The Godmother
"Looking out for number one" in Cambodia: Perhaps the most troubling thing I discovered after living in Cambodia for some time is how destructive this modus operandi can be in a place without the rule of law. Officials look out for number one and scrape off the top of national budgets or from international assistance before it is used. Business people deal dirty that they might drive fancy cars. Police take bribes, teachers too. Even the "little people" cheat, maybe even this old woman in the photo counting her cash. Who knows. I've been sold a rotten mango after having sampled the seller's delicious one. Last week the bike repair guy put on a new tube but busted my brake lever so that I must come back. The upswing? Corruption (Cambodia's 162 out of 180 in the world for it) and cheating at all levels and in all facets of daily life.

I have confidence that a country rising from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge will find it's way to One eventually. I believe it is starting with families and then moving its way out.
You're welcome to share this email. The Godmother says, "The more the merrier!"
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Did you miss a previous Godmother's Advice email? 
  • #001: Khmer boxing & solving problems
  • #002: Workers' commute & "making room"
  • #003: Bright balloons & dangerous attractions
  • #004: Bats and others' ways
  • #005: Playing in the mud
  • #006: Tattoos and bad habits
  • #007: Make-believe
  • #008: Dental and other care
  • #009: Boat races and collaboration
  • #010: Loads carried
  • #011: Nothing beyond repair
  • #012: Solid bricks
  • #013: Toilet left standing
  • #014: Flying a kite
  • #015: Everyone is held
  • #016: Dry fish in the sun
  • #017: Little children
  • #018: Worth looking for
  • #019: Two-way windows
  • #020: Heroes emerge
  • #021: A wide net cast
  • #022: Take what you need
  • #023: Make your own fun
  • #024: See what the sun smiles on
  • #025: Fly high
  • #026: Open the treasure chest
  • #027: Where greatness lies
  • #028: Practice holiness
  • #029: Say it
  • #030: Read
  • #031: Leave alone to grow
  • #032: Judge the destination
  • #033: Choke it down
  • #034: Think in 3D
  • #035: Counterproductive loads
  • #036: Opportunity to rebuild
  • #037: Just ask
  • #038: Know what you believe
  • #039: Fill a small jar
  • #040: Gift of clarity
  • #041: Worthwhile fear
Background about this email: Several years ago, I was feeling like an inadequate Godmother due to my absence in the US and, consequently, my absence in my Godsons' lives. I decided to send what little advice I have as someone who has been in the world for 30 years longer than they. Thus was born my Godmother's emails--a tidbit of advice each week. I decided to share these emails with friends and others because I feel that  folks need some good, helpful or happy things in their Inbox these days. I hope these Godmother's advice emails are good, helpful or happy for you; otherwise, unsubscribe below.
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