Thursday, September 10, 2009

Material what!!??

A couple more questions asked ....
What did you learn about material possessions while on this trip?

The culture in Lebanon is quite different from our own, yet we were never really exposed to abject poverty. The country is filled with those that have and those that have not, perhaps more noticeable than here in Canada.

Some things they didn’t have were quite surprising because I would have thought that most people could have afforded some of the basic things yet still chose to do without. Why, well, because you could.

For example, I have a broom and a mop for cleaning my house. Our host home didn’t seem to have these items, and I’m thinking that it was not because they couldn’t afford it, they just never saw the necessity of it like we see here in Canada. So some things were less clean than a Canadian would want it to be, yet they were content. They found other ways to keep things presentable.

In the compound where we worked there was a noticeably shortage of tools to work with. Basic screw drivers, wrenches, pliers, hammer . . . completely non-existent. All that could be found was one flat headed screw driver and one oversized hammer that would not be used to hammer a nail. It was more like a small sledge hammer.

So I think some things are just not thought as being very necessary and not always because they couldn’t afford it. The one home we visited was spotless. I have no idea how they kept it that clean but I’m thinking that their creativity is far greater than ours to solve the same problems. We buy things for convenience. We even celebrate inventions that make life simpler. This type of thinking is not even on their radar. They find existing things to use in which to accomplish their objectives, and if no creative solution exists then perhaps it wasn’t that important after all.

(Lebanon has a 40% unemployment rate. Some of these people work, they just don’t report it to the government.)

Did you resolve to make any changes in your own life in this regard?

I can most certainly do a second take next time I “think” I need something. I usually run to the store for just the right tool to do the job at hand. I am good at spoiling myself.

I can use a little more creativity and probably solve my problem without the purchase. This is going to be a huge challenge for me because I love to go to Home Depot early on a Saturday morning and look at the tools. Many times I leave with something that I somehow justified in my mind. I don’t think I’ll do that anymore.

Feel free to join me.


1 comment:

  1. I like the questions and answer format... blessings



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