Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It Is Easy To Forget

Have you ever wondered why we live the way we do? It is very easy to forget your morals and values. It is easy to forget that we are all human; no one is better than anyone. It is easy to forget that we were put on this planet to love, create peace, and live in unity.

The African way of life is truly amazing and can be a lesson that everyone can learn from. Every step I take there is a wave, a handshake, a smile, a “mambo” and a “karibu”. What stood out to me most was that there is no ego here. This is very different for me because in America, there is a huge separation of classes. It would be rare if a CEO of a company talked to the janitors or the hired help. However, people here in Africa treat others as equal to themselves. They see no separation in different social classes, even if they might be at the top of that pyramid. The kitchen staff at LOAMO is treated equal to the headmaster or even the founder of the school. Yesterday at LOAMO, I brought picture books to read to the 3-year-olds. Little did I know I would be reading to a much larger audience. Two teachers came up to me with the picture books and asked me if they could practice their reading with me. They would read the book, sound out the words, and laugh at themselves when they would mess up. They were willing to learn even if it meant reading “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” and “Mr. Seahorse” to someone who was 15 years younger than them. This may have been normal to them and their everyday attitude towards life, but it made a huge impression on me. Let go of your ego and just enjoy life without worrying about what your social status is going to be or what others will think of you. It is easy to forget that we are all the same. It is easy to forget that one doesn’t need to act high and mighty to earn respect.

It is easy to forget that you don’t need to stay mad at people in order to show and prove that you are mad and that they did something wrong. One of God’s main purposes is to have others forgive each other no matter what the circumstance is, because that is what he does for us everyday. Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to go on another home visit. Madame Juliet, the 3rd grade teacher at LOAMO, took us to her mother’s house. This house was not in a nice part of town; some people would even say it is the ghetto. Living there was Patricia, who is Juliet’s mother, and Patricia’s three grandchildren who are fourteen, twelve, and three. These children belong to Juliet’s brother. He does not live with them because there is not enough room in the house, and his children do not live with him because he has been jobless since 2007 and cannot support them. The mother ran away after the first two children were born, came back to drop off the youngest child, and left again. Juliet financially and mentally supports three children that are not her own; however, she would argue that they are most definitely her babies.  Later on we asked Juliet if she has resentment towards the mother for leaving the children for her to take care of. With a smile on her face she replied, “Not at all. I am very sad she left because we miss her and we loved her very much.” My jaw dropped open when she said this. For a woman to take care of three children, along with her own child, and to not hold a grudge towards the mother, was amazing.

It is easy to forget this simple yet amazing way to live life. You are only given one life, and to spend it holding grudges, being rude, and not treating others as equals is a shame. I have truly learned an amazing lesson that will carry me through tough times for my whole li

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