Togo Closer to Perfect
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I sometimes feel like a Preacher, I debate whether I capitalize the word Preacher or is preacher correct.
I have two Togo friends, Michel a man from Ghana and a girl in Atakpame, Togo. I feel semi-weak, maybe sad; they both have expressed the same sentiments to me. They say,
- Andre, I do not want you to leave, I trust you. -
Then continue and say,
- I like this. -
I have this lead us not into temptation speech I use and it hits a homer here in Togo as at the base, most people feel a deep need for religion. This mean in their ideal world, or if they had a perfect world they would be closer to God. They want one person to be honest with them.
I am no saint and have no desire for the job; however, I truly do work hard to avoid feeling guilty. I feel that guilt is hell, and if there is a hell, it the facing a person after you have sinned at them. Done something unfair, unjust or hurt them in a willful manner. I had this conversation about lies, and said, hmm… Please do not lie, it make me lose confidence in you.
I will work harder to avoid guilt than I will to be good.
On most of the planet a small white lie or real good lie is given in every sentence, and very annoying. I told my friend, please do not do give me petty and silly lies, please think a little, and when you are tempted to feed me some bullshit lie, just do nothing. Do not accept the temptation to lie, say no, and it is easy, just do nothing.
There is this cultural need here to feel everyone deserves an answer. The problem is the answers are about 90 percent not worth listening too. If I ask a person here a question, and I do not see an instant look in their eyes of understanding, I move on down the line, otherwise I will be there ten minutes later listening to totally ridiculous comments, then soon there will be three, then five people, next thing I know, I am in a soap opera and I am the lead actor.
I rely totally on my bullshit meter, a surgically inserted meter, in my heart and soul that says to me,
- True -
- Not True -
- 80 - whatever true? - Maybe
I am amiss why people do not trust their feelings, they seem more reliable than brains. A brain is full of convoluted waves of abstract ideas, and it takes a long time to find the calm waters. With my feelings, I can just sense, this feels good or bad, if I am not sure, and then the answer is, it is bad. Yes, I do lose or miss some opportunities in life by these instant decisions, however the good people continue and the bad people avoid me as a bad person really is looking for bad, and good are looking for good. It is a natural preclusion of culture, we find people that are like us, and we do become the same as the friends we keep.
Closer to perfection, the amusing aspect here is a very bad and sinister type person from the USA, could be of higher moral turpitude than a normal base level person of Togo. There seems to be a belief in the USA that perfection is possible and a good goal.
Europe has this we will fail attitude, they believe all marriages fail, and people in the Middle East need dictators to keep them in line. There is no trust in good, that a good idea can take hold. The cultures of the planet are somewhere on a continuum between evil and good.
I truly believe some cultures are more evil than others are, or more good than others are. Togo is a good culture, very little true problems, they just are overwhelmed with the small lies and the big type of sins they rather avoid, however there is not many needs here, they have few wants or desires, they have what they need.
The best way though to lose friends on the planet is to encourage them to behave and stop being bad. The best way to get a friend that will never leave you, is to be closer to perfect, amazing how one small white lie can destroy trust.
I guess there is a bargain, if I tell you the truth, will you continue to like me. I personally make this bargain, you need to like the brutal truth, or you cannot be my friend. I do not have a shortage of friends, even my enemies trust me too much now, and it has not always been this way.
Nothing worst than having an honest person talking about you, everyone will believe them.
I remember a women saying to me, a long time ago, to a group of people getting on the elevator. One, said, I never ask Andy’s opinion, why would I do that, he would tell me the truth, I want to hear what I want to hear, not the truth.
Not lying is so easy, just do not talk.
Note for travel safety, if you are in a place where it is dangerous, the social group, the neighborhood, the band, the community will protect you if they believe you are good person. If you are bad, they will allow what happens to happen, they have to believe you lend good to the culture, not bad, and strange at it may seem, bad people respect good people more than they respect themselves.
What is good advice, Togo, Honesty, Truth, Lies
Togo Closer to Perfect