I have come to understand why people will see the glass half empty versus half full. I also firmly believe that technology is wonderful, when it works. Beyond that it is frustrating at best, infuriating usually. At one time, many years ago I owned a coffee mug that showed a duck with a sledgehammer poised to strike a computer. The saying under the picture was “strike any key.” I admit I have often felt that way as the years have passed and technology invaded my simple world. I have tried for a long time to look at the positive side of things. Being radically thankful, but it is very difficult to maintain a positive attitude at all times. I have come to think that there is something to be said for looking at life expecting the worse, hoping for the best. If I expect the worse to happen, then I will not be disappointed when it does and will be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t. If I expect people to not respond in a timely fashion, then I am pleasantly surprised when they do. If I expect technology to not work, then I will be pleasantly surprised when it does.
I have been heavily influenced by the “drive thru, microwave” mentality that permeates our society and there in (I think) lies the problem. I expect my computer to work instantly, I expect people to respond within a short amount of time (under 15 minutes.) In writing this I realize how unrealistic my expectations are. Although I don’t wear a watch, I am driven by time; pushing myself to do things quicker and faster and expecting others to do the same. What would happen if I were to slow down and move in a decisive yet moderate pace? What would happen if I just allowed things to “flow” and not seek to push? That would be a foreign concept for this American to accept- other side of the earth foreign to me!
Some of my best friends have recently returned to South Africa. I remember when I visited them a number of years ago being struck with the African way, which means (my interpretation:) things will happen when they happen; a meeting will start when people arrive and end when it is done. Granted, I live in America and work in an American company that runs by American standards and culture. I cannot simply allow something with a deadline to go past stating, “it will happen when it happens.” I can’t schedule a meeting, telling the invitees that the meeting will start when it starts and ends when we’re done. But what I can do is challenge my stress and frustration over things I cannot change (oh, I’m hearing the serenity prayer.) Seriously, being able to let go of things I cannot change and putting everything into perspective is what I’m talking about. Like I said earlier, I don’t wear a watch anymore, which is from my experience in Africa. The other change that I am challenged with and committed to is relationships, the value of each human. So now I am faced with implementing the “it will happen when it happens” attitude. How do I do that while living in America? I don’t have the answer to that question; it will be something I ponder for awhile. It is the subject of another blog, I fear, but while struggling I would welcome any suggestions or comments. And, as always…this and $2.50 will get you something, maybe a cup of Roobios Tea.
* roobios tea = sub-saharan tea from the red bush.