Eighty three years of life is not a short time.
For Enele Samau, from the village of Malie, it’s time he has used to build wisdom.
Sitting at his home and watching the coming and goings of the young, listening to the radio for life’s updates; Enele has noticed that time has indeed changed and Samoa that he once knew is no more.
With zombie-like children having their faces glued to their phones, changes in how people dress, and violence he hears on the radio; Enele says that Samoa is becoming more and more unrecognisable.
“I stay at home and I just read my bible and some other books,” he told the Village Voice.
“I listen to the radio and I notice how much life has changed. I see so many young children walking around with a phone in their hands and it leaves them no time to listen to their parents.”
“They are so focused on their gadgets. Even the young ones who go to school, I assume they don’t listen well to the teachers with their attention always on their pieces of technology.”
“That’s a real problem, and I know for a fact that those phones are making these youngsters stupid. I always tell the children to leave those phones; they are too young to have them.”
Enele loves to speak his mind to his children and grandchildren about the cons of these developments but it often falls on deaf ears.
“My grandchildren get very annoyed when I tell them straight to leave their technology,” he said.
“I know I am right so I tell it to them straight. They want to take their phones to school but I tell them to leave it at home and go to school.”
“Phones are just for calling to their parents and not for any other purposes. The children waste money of credit when their parents struggle to put them through school. I always tell the children to focus on what’s important in life.”
“The youth these days are so rowdy and yet they are so stupid.”
His only dream is for Samoa to stop receiving influence from foreign nations and to focus more on God.
“We must not get too caught up with things of this world,” he said.
“All the foreign influences will not get you anywhere in life. Why be obsessed with the world when it has changed so much for the worse?”
“Back in the days there were fewer conflicts in the world and now we don’t go a day without hearing about a few murders somewhere.”
“We in Samoa are trying so hard to develop like the other nations but it’s causing so much sickness. Samoa did well living on our own strength and from the land. Why must that change?”
“Life and everything was so peaceful back in the days.”
Asked about general life in Samoa, Enele says everything is simple with him. He loves to be responsible for his own life and has no interest in money which makes life a tad bit more peaceful.
“People are responsible for their own lives,” he said.
“I am 83 and my wife has passed away. My grandchildren are all schooling and my children have their own lives with some living overseas.”
“For me personally, I don’t care for money at all and I always tell my children that they are more important to so that’s why they need to focus on taking care of themselves.”
“I may be old but I can still take care of myself. My children always want to help me but they don’t understand that I really don’t need their money.”
“Even my neighbors will come and offer me some of their food and I always kindly say no. We always have the strength to take care of our own.”
But what is the secret to such a long life? Enele says the key is faith.
“I have no secret to my long life,” he said.
“The one thing I know is that if you take the word of God seriously and you apply it to your life then you will live a good life. That’s how I lived my life and I owe all my years to the Lord.”
“Worldly things such as money, phones and what not will remain on this earth after this life. That’s why you must focus on God and your relationship with him so you can go to Heaven.”
“Leave those worldly things behind.”