"I don't know what depression is," says Taffy.
"You're kidding right?” I say.

Yeah, I think you white guys (or people from the West) get too involved in your emotions. You guys have everything, yet you still battle with being “depressed.”

We went back and forth for a while talking about why depression starts.

Maybe it's because social media takes snapshots of people’s lives at big moments and leaves out all of the mundane, diligent, normal stories in life. So we compare ourselves to fake ideals and images.

Maybe it's because we get let down by people who claim to be loyal, loving, and kind, only to realize that their intent was to use us and cause us pain.

Maybe it's because we have dreams in our hearts about what we want to become (and many people think fame will fill the gap). Then, when we don't see our path headed in that direction our hope turns into depression.

Taffy looked at me and said, "I can see why one would fall into depression. My worker Ngozo has none of that. He's the happiest guy in the world. He has 4 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, and a bicycle. He used to have pigs, but they died of disease."

He continues, "I ask myself sometimes, 'Why is it that Ngozo has 2 shirts and a small patch of land, yet doesn't want anything else in life?’ He's content. He actually transports both his daughters on one bicycle to school. Then he rides back and farms his land and is thrilled with his life. He wants nothing else whatsoever. But he doesn't have access to all the things you mentioned."

Ngozo doesn't want anything simpler.

We've been driven as a society by convenience and access. We don't want our national parks and wildlife to be touched, but if hotels get built there, we'll use them.

We don't want people to have access to us 24/7, but if the technology exists, we'll use it.

We don't want people stalking us or nosing about in our lives, yet we use the same technology to nose about in theirs.

We want to watch less TV, but if the TV is on, we'll watch it.

We want to eat healthier, but if there's a cheap fast food joint nearby, we'll use it.

We want to be content, but if someone has something better than us across the street, we want it.

Ngozo is content and he's takes good care of what he has. He's an inspiration. He doesn't know about depression and might in fact be the happiest man on the planet.

As an entrepreneur, or businessman, or politician, or human being, what drives you? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Could people say that you're the happiest man or woman on earth?

Sometimes we have to stop looking around us at other people's lives and focus on we've been called to do period. Not comparing, not wanting what we don't have, but being content with 4 cows, 2 goats, and pen full of chickens.

  1. Convenience is not the best measure of progression.
  2. Comparison will always make you depressed.

(photo via int'l maize)