Yes, being envious of others is a normal human trait but according to Laeli Tausaga, from the village of Fasito’o-Uta, it’s the cause of many problems.
Aged 65, Laeli explains that even though people are struggling to make ends meet, they still try and spend money they don’t have in order to feel equal to another.
With the cost of living already high, Laeli says that it will be worse if we keep an envious mindset towards what others have that you do not.
“Back in the days, families were blessed and everything was peaceful,” he recalls.
“There wasn’t much need for money back then because all the families knew how to take care of their own and living off of plantations and livestock was the norm.
“But nowadays, it doesn’t matter how expensive something is, people still try to buy what they can’t afford.
“That’s the thing I don’t understand, people struggle with money but they try to compare themselves to others which makes them want to buy expensive things.
“Always compare yourself to you and you won’t end up using too much money.”
Laeli also says that compared to the past, the present is extremely expensive.
“To be honest, life is really expensive these days,” he said.
“If I compare it to the past, there has been much change. Back in the days, not much money went into the different family gatherings like funerals (fa’alavelave) but now that’s changed.
“The only thing we can do is hope for the best so we can try and take care of those we love.”
With Samoa going through a lot of recent developments, Laeli says that these great changes come with problems of their own that we all have to deal with.
“Aside from what I have already mentioned, there are so many changes,” he said.
“We have the many good changes but that comes with its own set of issues too. When it comes to personal problems within families, you can only rely on yourself because no one else can be there for you.
“Even though working together will make things easier, it’s easier said than done.”
And although Samoans would rather do their own thing and deal with their own problems, Laeli says that we should all start working together to make things a little easier for everyone.
“It may be tough because everyone has their own family, but if the nation came together then taking care of problems will be much easier,” he said.
“But if not, then work hard to deal with your own problems. If you have no job then just work the land to deal with the high cost of living.
“Work hard for tomorrows problems too.”