As I stood at the balcony of my hotel overlooking clusters of houses in Phnom Penh, there was an intriguing attraction towards the sight before me.
At first glance, one might notice the deplorable state of poverty when compared to the beautifully furnished and neatly organized rows of HDB flats back home in Singapore. Yet by pausing for a moment and slowly taking in the unique mix of colours bursting from the roofs and windows in a random but somehow equally captivating and mesmerizing manner, along with the strangely calming presence reeling from the diversity of intricate patterns and angles which form one entire backdrop, I can't help but be reminded of the same effect the kids in Cambodia had on me. Despite the poverty and the backwardness of their daily lives at first glance, if you could only pause and take in the strangely captivating joy and contentment exuding from within their poverty, the true colours of how they are truly living life to the full and appreciating every single aspect about life that glows from their faces. Through their random acts of warmth and laughter for no apparent reason but simply due to our presence, they paint a far more beautiful picture of human living compared to many of our lives that may seem 'beautiful' and clean and organized from the outside, yet seem to fall short of the sparkle from within, clouded by the many distractions and petty frustrations that we carry with us in our daily lives.
Perhaps this is a reminder for us to rethink what houses we are truly building deep within us. Perhaps the houses in Cambodia do not need as much rebuilding as the spiritual houses that are within our souls, which were meant to sparkle and shine.