the day i got off the plane from uganda was the day i realized that ugandans are privileged with the pure pleasure of not owning the concept of calenders. they don't worry the about the type of toothpaste they use or dress to wear to a dance. they don't own microwaves and refrigerators like we do, and yet they seem to be happier than us. they don't have busy schedules like an average american would. they live on relationships. if it means missing an appointment or meeting with someone, they will do it because they put their full attention into the people they are with at that moment. this would get extremely annoying to me at times because i would sometimes be waiting for hours--days for someone to come by the house. this drove me absolutely crazy at the time, but now that i'm experiencing the polar opposite lifestyle, i'm beginning to realize that they're sense of time isn't completely crazy.
the longer i live in the states, the more i realize that people are lonely. when you see someone on the street you haven't seen in a while, the natural conversation is "small talk". the short, and sometimes awkward conversation to see how some one is doing. but i have noticed that people don't really talk how they are doing... not really. not the dirty stuff that is sad and complicated. not the stuff that requires time and energy. we wake up and go to bed in our locked doors in our big houses and still wonder why there is loneliness and broken souls in the world. the whole situation is kind of ironic. we engage in deep and profound conversations about the meaning of life and why people are sad and lonely when the person sitting next to us is dealing with anxiety or depression.
when i came back to the states this summer i didn't notice any of this. maybe because i was too busy myself or because i was too prideful to notice, but the transition this time around has been far more difficult. i haven't been as busy while others are busy with school, sports and clubs. i have had more time to notice that we are putting sports and school in the way of community. its not necessarily a bad thing. some of our closest communities are with our teams, but it goes much deeper than having fun with your friends. some of us live our materialistically perfect lives without telling our best friend about the brokenness inside of us. it seems that we have lost our sense of community and friendships due to less important things like deadlines and things that cause more stress and anxiety. i don't know about you, but i would much rather be with my friends and family than writing a paper. its our nature to be with people. we long for a friend to just listen to what we have to say- maybe not even talk but just listen to whats making us angry or sad.
i feel that its so hard to really be with someone--to look them in the eye and really talk with them. we can't be with some one without having our phones in our pockets. our generation has gotten very good at double-tasking. we can talk to some one in person while being on facebook, twitter, and txting someone else at the same time. its incredible! its mind blowing how we are in deeper relationships with our iphones than our next door neighbors. i know its hard to physically and emotionally be invested in someone when we have so many things to distract us, but i don't think its impossible. i think people can talk about this topic all day long, but not do anything about it. we need to start really carrying on our words with actions. its going to be harder but i know we can do it because of uganda. they can do it. yes, they may not be as efficient and fast as us, but who really cares? if this life is about spreading the kingdom of the Lord....then who really cares who can come out with newest and the best thing? how will that glorify God? ugandans spend time being with people--really being with people. i'm not saying that we should be exactly like them, because that country has a lot of their own issues, but instead of pitying them, we should be inspired by them because they live one day at a time and don't worry about whats going to happen tomorrow or the next. they know that God will provide, and that to me is way more satisfying than checking something off a list.