Friday, April 30, 2010

Some of the ways my Ghanaian friends are rich....

**They know how to keep smiling and laughing, even when things don't go as planned. Flat tire on the bus you're riding? Just roll with it.

**They know how to simply rest--with no other distractions required (T.V., computer, mp3, etc.). They can lay and think without DOING anything else and still not be bored.

**They are resourceful. They find ways to adapt when something stops working. They are all McGyvers!

**They know how to sit in tight spaces for long periods of time without complaining.

**They know how to "take it slow"--not worrying about tomorrow.

**They remember what family is all about and are there for their family members no matter how distant. Or at least, there for them longer than most American families would be. How many of us would be put out if our 3rd cousin showed up without calling first and stayed for 6 weeks? In Ghana, you're not only expected to welcome your family member, but also to provide them with food and lodging for however long THEY decide to stay.

**They remember what it means to respect their elders. They don't take for granted the not-so-simple task of living a long life, and all the wisdom that is gained from doing so.

**They still include religious and moral education in schools.

**They share what they have, even if they don't really want to, because it's the right thing to do.

**They still remember the joy of hanging out on the porch and talking to neighbors during the cool hours of the day..

I know I've generalized A LOT, but I would say most Ghanaians have these "riches" most of the time. There is always the exception to the rule. And of course we Americans have non-material wealth as well. All in all, I think there is much that each culture could (and should!) learn from the other! I could go into the things I absolutely do not appreciate about the Ghanaian culture, but will save that for another day (or year)!