Since Heather has been in South Africa, our conversations have been filled with discussion of the vast cultural differences of our respective countries of residence. (Her = South Africa; me = USA)
Though I wouldn’t say I’ve taken off the rose colored glasses, through these conversations I feel as if I’ve been given a new pair of eyes to view my surroundings with.
In South Africa, many people close down for the day around eight o’clock at night. In America, I’m just now thinking about what I want for dinner at eight o’clock at night.
In South Africa, people take the time for tea breaks and rest during the day. In America, you’re given a fifteen minute smoke break, then it’s back to work.
In South Africa, it’s not uncommon for the majority of people living there to only receive one meal per day. In America, I more than likely eat double the food a South African eats in one day just for my lunch.
My point isn’t to make us feel bad if we’re Americans (of the Northern variety). It’s more to help us see and understand the deep chasm that separates our way of life with that of the majority of the world.
While we’re in the middle of a recession, there is much panic and confusion about what’s going to happen next. Will we have enough money to make payments on our leased BMW X5? Will I still be able to afford Starbucks three times a day? When will I be able to purchase that new 50 inch plasma T.V.?
We have been spoiled for so long, having been the recipients of the fastest growing technological advancements in the history of mankind, and now that we may have to scale back a little, it’s all just too overwhelming.
This isn’t to say that many people and their families don’t have a reason to worry a little. I don’t have a family of my own at the moment, so I can’t possibly presume to understand the intense pressure and stress that times like this can create. But being someone who has a slightly outside view into this moment in time, I think it a good thing to encourage a little perspective.
Be smart about your life. That also means how you view it.
God knows I have some work to do in this area myself.
*steps down from soapbox*