Togo Closer to Perfect
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I sometimes feel like a Preacher, I debate whether I capitalize the word Preacher or is preacher correct.
I have two Togo friends, Michel a man from Ghana and a girl in Atakpame, Togo. I feel semi-weak, maybe sad; they both have expressed the same sentiments to me. They say,
- Andre, I do not want you to leave, I trust you. -
Then continue and say,
- I like this. -
I have this lead us not into temptation speech I use and it hits a homer here in Togo as at the base, most people feel a deep need for religion. This mean in their ideal world, or if they had a perfect world they would be closer to God. They want one person to be honest with them.
I am no saint and have no desire for the job; however, I truly do work hard to avoid feeling guilty. I feel that guilt is hell, and if there is a hell, it the facing a person after you have sinned at them. Done something unfair, unjust or hurt them in a willful manner. I had this conversation about lies, and said, hmm… Please do not lie, it make me lose confidence in you.
I will work harder to avoid guilt than I will to be good.
On most of the planet a small white lie or real good lie is given in every sentence, and very annoying. I told my friend, please do not do give me petty and silly lies, please think a little, and when you are tempted to feed me some bullshit lie, just do nothing. Do not accept the temptation to lie, say no, and it is easy, just do nothing.
There is this cultural need here to feel everyone deserves an answer. The problem is the answers are about 90 percent not worth listening too. If I ask a person here a question, and I do not see an instant look in their eyes of understanding, I move on down the line, otherwise I will be there ten minutes later listening to totally ridiculous comments, then soon there will be three, then five people, next thing I know, I am in a soap opera and I am the lead actor.
I rely totally on my bullshit meter, a surgically inserted meter, in my heart and soul that says to me,
- True -
- Not True -
- 80 - whatever true? - Maybe
I am amiss why people do not trust their feelings, they seem more reliable than brains. A brain is full of convoluted waves of abstract ideas, and it takes a long time to find the calm waters. With my feelings, I can just sense, this feels good or bad, if I am not sure, and then the answer is, it is bad. Yes, I do lose or miss some opportunities in life by these instant decisions, however the good people continue and the bad people avoid me as a bad person really is looking for bad, and good are looking for good. It is a natural preclusion of culture, we find people that are like us, and we do become the same as the friends we keep.
Closer to perfection, the amusing aspect here is a very bad and sinister type person from the USA, could be of higher moral turpitude than a normal base level person of Togo. There seems to be a belief in the USA that perfection is possible and a good goal.
Europe has this we will fail attitude, they believe all marriages fail, and people in the Middle East need dictators to keep them in line. There is no trust in good, that a good idea can take hold. The cultures of the planet are somewhere on a continuum between evil and good.
I truly believe some cultures are more evil than others are, or more good than others are. Togo is a good culture, very little true problems, they just are overwhelmed with the small lies and the big type of sins they rather avoid, however there is not many needs here, they have few wants or desires, they have what they need.
The best way though to lose friends on the planet is to encourage them to behave and stop being bad. The best way to get a friend that will never leave you, is to be closer to perfect, amazing how one small white lie can destroy trust.
I guess there is a bargain, if I tell you the truth, will you continue to like me. I personally make this bargain, you need to like the brutal truth, or you cannot be my friend. I do not have a shortage of friends, even my enemies trust me too much now, and it has not always been this way.
Nothing worst than having an honest person talking about you, everyone will believe them.
I remember a women saying to me, a long time ago, to a group of people getting on the elevator. One, said, I never ask Andy’s opinion, why would I do that, he would tell me the truth, I want to hear what I want to hear, not the truth.
Not lying is so easy, just do not talk.
Note for travel safety, if you are in a place where it is dangerous, the social group, the neighborhood, the band, the community will protect you if they believe you are good person. If you are bad, they will allow what happens to happen, they have to believe you lend good to the culture, not bad, and strange at it may seem, bad people respect good people more than they respect themselves.
What is good advice, Togo, Honesty, Truth, Lies
Togo Closer to Perfect
Doing Business With Liars
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Is it possible for the majority of people in a country to lie more than the tell the truth? The answer is no, unequivocally no, but sometimes as a rich many in a poor country I believe the answer is yes. However, then you say to me,
- I am not rich! -
Sorry, I am sorry, perception is more important than reality, and the truth is you are rich walking around in 80 percent of the countries on the planet, and in about 2 percent you are poor.
Assume the average United States person earns 30, 000 US per year.
What would you think… if a person told you, I paid 60,000 US for a plane ticket to Africa? You say,
- You are RICH! -
You are rich, if you come from the USA, Europe, in some way took an airplane flight into West Africa, then you must be rich.
The average person in Togo is earning about 730 US Dollars per day.
A round trip ticket from Chicago to Togo should be about 1500 US Dollars, and wildly higher is you do not know what you are doing and an travel agent takes the advantage.
Congratulations, if you always dreamed about being rich, you can be, travel to India, Africa, Southeast Asia and you can revel in the joys of being rich. Taxis, cars, women, bars, all the debauchery and the fast life you could every want, you can be a jet setter, for once in your life you will not have to work for the man and you will be rich.
Also enjoy the good life, every person will come up and beg for money, ask you for favors and tell you many lies to try to earn money from the rich man. You will be famous, every person will stare at you, look at you and never allow you a moments peace.
These are the four major types of reason people lie off the top of my head with very little thought on the planet.
1. Lies for financial gain.
2. Lies to avoid to not be proven a fool. (Save Face)
3. Lies to increase appear a higher class level. (Not be low class)
4. Lies for protection of privacy, safety, and to remain separated.
(I am not from the USA) (I do not make much money.) (I have to leave, I have an appointment.)
Doing business with liars? Ok, who is a liar? I was a Estate Broker in the USA and I often am asked, why did you stop, I say,
- Who wants to listen to liars all day. -
Could you imagine being a car salesperson?
People think it is the sale person who lies, the truth is when it behooves a person to lie, when they believe they can say one small lie and make 1000 dollars.
- How many miles doe you trade in have on it? -
Your answer is, no use in explaining, you now the lies you will tell.
Buying a home, buying a business, an the number is 100, 000, 200,000, 300,000 USA Dollars, one lie and the believe the can increase their gain by about 5000 US dollars.
In my estimation when I was a Real Estate Broker, at least 9 out of 10 people I did business with started the relationship with massive amounts of lies and slowly started to open up and tell the truth.
Hello, my name is Andy, how can I help you.
Blah Blah Blah and then I ask,
- What is your telephone number? -
- 523-0000 -
Thank you, I am looking at the caller ID and think, wow, they could be a little smarter, this one is on the slow side.
Did you lie on your taxes last year?
If the answer is yes, then please think, try to understand, so did all the other people you know, you can hear them brag about how they cheated the government out of tax money in the bar, the restaurant anywhere. I am amazed how people will just tell me, I did this and that and saved 20,000 dollars in taxes.
So how do you do business with liars? The truth is, you do it every day, all day, ever minute of every day. If the richest man the world walked into your life would you ask him for money, a small amount of money to set you up in business, or would you ignore him.
I am in Togo, I walk into a business here, I am the richest man they ever met.
You assume I cheated on my taxes, wrong, I did not, but I did lie, I showed I owed more money than was the truth, and then paid more last year the was correct. This is true. I did not want the government of the USA to think I was greedy, paying no taxes puts up red flags. Shame on me, I paid more taxes than I truthfully owed.
Lies, Business Section, Export Import, Togo, Money
Doing Business With Liars