... You forget a big part I think: planning for your future. ...
Perhaps this view of life has some roots in the Buddhist religion as well.
I do think if I would choose to stay in Europe it would be very hard for me to live in the moment, but I think in Thailand it should be possible. The problem is here you have to pay a lot of taxes, can make little savings and pretty much have to work 40 hours a week to have some disposable income, this is especially true if you have a wife, children, etc... As a software developer it should be easy, when staying in Thailand, to just work perhaps 25 hours a week and have enough income for a very easy, worry-free life.
That has nothing to do with Buddhism, it's because developing countries dont have govt provided social security so old people have to depend on their kids for support.
But suffering tends to be sharper in poorer countries and some people find it stressful to be around so much less hidden suffering than a richer country where the poorer people are invisible.
> “The church should care for any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God very much....But those who won't care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8)
Migration flows are always away from those cultures, and towards cultures where people do think about the future.
The thing is, everybody likes to dream about the care-free life, but nobody wants to experience the inevitable ultimate results of that: poverty, crime, underachievement (e.g. never accomplishing anything on a long time horizon), and powerlessness at the hands of people who planned.
Never forget the little red hen .
I grew up in a diverse community in Brooklyn NY. There were marked differences in ambition amongst cultures. BUT Not all lack of ambition is negative as I personally witnessed. It may be negative at a society-level, but I witnessed very happy people. Parents who played soccer with their children daily. Parents who were always present at dinner. People who lived paycheck to paycheck, but were happy. Obviously, this is NY, so there are some safety nets for two-sigma cases (medicaid, housing support.)
Remember that ambition often comes with a cost (I worked 10+yrs on Wall Street, most high achievers I worked with rarely made it home for dinner with kids.) So many people I worked with were miserable.
> Migration flows are always away from those cultures, and towards cultures where people do think about the future.
Source? How exactly is the amount of "thinking about the future" determined?