Ghana, February 23, 2005
In that 'I am happy to be alive' kinda way, every day
What can I say? I love Africa.
Sub-Sahara Black Africa. East and West Africa to be exact. The people are so nice, the land so rich, the life so good, I feel very happy here. I now know why Africa is Africa and by Western standards, undeveloped. By African standards, I think we in the West are the undeveloped ones.|
We still spend day in and day out, fifty, sixty, seventy hours of a week working in cold, sterile, hermetically sealed buildings pushing buttons and passing paper.
Our off hours are spent in front of TV, Tivos, and CRT's, passively absorbing spoon-fed mind mush. Excitement is a new issue of People or a new OC episode. Is that development? Is that the good life?
I look around Africa and I see people who are happy, really happy in that 'today I am alive' happiness. No Dads bitching about the morning commute, rising property taxes, or crashing servers. No fat kids needing overprotective Moms to drive 'em to suburban schools in big SUV's.
Granted, many Africans would love to have these problems. Theirs are usually much more basic: water, food, shelter, security. These basic problems allow them to have basic happiness, happiness that shows through purely and honestly.
It is this happiness, from Puce growing watermelon in Kisumu to Amadu washing his moped in Bamako. They reach a level of happiness we would be wise to search for.
I know I am trying to find it. Just now, as I type this on the flight from Dakar to Accra, I looked out the window and saw us passing a giant thunderstorm. Instead of typing, reading, or even eating, I stopped everything and just watched Nature at her finest. I only wish I could do that more often.
Stop and smell the roses or watch a thunderstorm, and be African happy.