A Lesson From Africa

While in Africa last week, we visited Neema Crafts, an organization that provides handicraft training and employment for deaf and disabled people in Iringa, Tanzania. To communicate with the largely deaf staff, we learned some sign language including how to sign "How are you?" and the only response ever given, "Good!" We asked, don't people ever say they are"OK" or perhaps, "Bad"? We were told the only time you'd ever say that you weren't "good" would be if you or a family member was deathly ill. There's some perspective for you.

It's funny how quickly I decide I'm not doing good when something trivial effects my life- I'm tired, overwhelmed with work, someone hurt my feelings, getting a parking ticket or even when a bunch of crappy things combine to create a bad day. But really, when those things happen, overall I am good. I'm just so quick to lose sight of it. 

Unfortunately, I've returned home to find out that my grandpa is in the hospital and very very sick. It's really driven home the fact that when I think I'm not OK for one of the trivial reasons listed above, I really am OK. I can tell you that this feeling of heaviness I'm carrying with me now, knowing my grandpa won't be with us much longer, is very different than being overwhelmed with a project or upset that things aren't going my way. Ultimately, it's about remembering what really matters in life and I'm thankful for the wonderful people I met at Neema for reminding me of that. 

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