Telling People What To Do Pobe Benin West Africa Sunday, September 17, 2006
West African people do not like to be told what to do; this is great, independence of creative people. Too much independence, isolation or hermit cultures create belief systems that are not dynamic.
I can feel it, I just lost my mother and father, I type what I want, however I know my mother and father over 70 years old, print and read these daily. I put many photos in the blog for them, knowing they will enjoy and take to Chubbies Restaurants to show their friends.
I grew up in a small town in the middle of the USA, less than 500 people and what I thought as a youth as being the most boring place on earth. I now consider it one of the perfect places to live, have children, and enjoy the life on earth. It is closet to perfect I know.
The bottom line reason is this; it has no need for bars on the windows, or walls to protect the homes from thieves. It is safe for children, adults, family and my mother, father and friends. There is no poverty, just our token few lazy people, and a drunk, as any society has, I suppose it has one or two crazy people.
Orland suffered in my youth from something I studied in sociology in college. The young people from ages 18-30 moved away from the village, my parents always wanted to move to the lake, to a better life, to a place that was not like grandpa and grandma.
My one set of grandparents were just like West Africa small village in a way, they did not like to be told what to do, religious, and both tolerant and intolerant of people. They would pretend the town drunk was not drunk and be overly tolerant of weak people. However, also was capable of telling their children how to behave or live.
Do not tell me how to live, this should be the slogan of the world, it may be the number one wish of any person. It is Christian of me, if I can remember this, I believe that to love my neighbor as myself, I must remember, I do not have the right to tell them how to live, because for sure, - Do not tell me how to live my life. - This is how I want to be loved, so I should love them back the same.
I had a gentleman from the USA, a very wise, knowledgeable and probably the most well rounded traveler I know. By this I mean, he has traveled in three areas of life, as a soldier, as a businessman, and as a tourist to probably more countries than I have. He is missing the backpacker, go-slow version, although I suspect he thinks he goes slowly, but to take that Triple AAA personality and slow it down to backpacker happy would be difficult. He said about Africa, - It makes Asian poor seem like a middle class. -
He all so said accurately that I am traveling or getting a, - street level view - of Africa.
I am not sure often if I like this person, however, if I go slow, do not jump to co conclusions and feel to myself, - Do not tell me what to do. -
I often see the extreme wisdom in comments from him, as I do by my Mother, Father, Mentors, Friends and everyone else that hurt my feelings by telling me what to do, they was smarter than me, and I resented this.
AFRICA IS POOR I know about Africa the same as everyone else. I have read or looked at the pictures in National Geographic, been told there are starving people in Africa, think of naked people dancing to drums. Have a vision of Tarzan talking to a monkey. Barefoot, poor, grass huts and speaking in short burst of sentences, saying things like - White Man - come and take… hehehe. What a movie view of life I have, and will always have.
AFRICA IS NOT POOR
Paul Hewson, known as Bono, if I remember or understand right, sharing the Time Magazine man of the year award with Bill Gates and maybe wife said in a CNN sound bite, about Africa. - Extreme Poverty that is what we believe we can help.- Bono of Rock Band U2
DUMB - CRAZY - DRUNK - SQUALOR
I may have spent three months in Africa now, I have spent over three years in South America and over three years in Asia, I have spent more than three months in India and over three months in Nepal, and Philippines alone, I spent a year in Mexico.
I am like anyone else, I come to Africa looking for poverty, and because I look for poverty, I suppose I may find poverty. I on the other hand keep thinking to myself, in them honest moments of understanding. - Where are the poor people? -
Bono, if he gets to street level, I am not sure how it would be possible, his desire for fame has made it impossible for him to travel at street level. My consistent lack of fame, no photos on site makes it easy, and I keep moving… nothing famous about me. You need to stay in one location to make yourself famous, convince the whole groups to know who you are…? Fame, a great way to be lonely.
WHERE DO I THINK POVERTY?
When I think or feel poverty, it is not here in Africa, I have felt very little empathy of poverty here. Extreme poor feels or looks ragged, very dirty, soiled in a way; maybe a damp wet clothes feeling. If you wore the same pair of pants for one year, that is the feeling of poverty. It is the uncomfortable, unable to escape, unable to clean yourself, too far down, no longer capable of protecting yourself from the even the biggest loser in the city. There are people who do not fit in, who are so poor even the other poor will not talk with them, they probably have almost zero persons who will claim them as friends. The leeches of society, the person you most do not want to touch you or to cling, follow, or come close. The person I want to give any amount of money to, to just stay away from me… aagh. Not a good feel.
A.K.A. Bum, Tramp, and sometimes a HOBO… That is down on his or her luck, and cannot find clean enough clothes to get a job. Vagabond wonderers of cities and villages, not belonging.
MUD I like mud huts, I like dirt floors, since the first time I saw a person sweeping the hard dirt floor, concrete tough, water harden floor in Mexico, and I have been an advocate of dirt floors. They are cooler, more comfortable than concrete, not cleaner, but feel more like home, than a cold, hard barren room of that was not molded to fit a person. Concrete homes are made, mud or clay homes, bamboo, thatch, grass or stick home are molded around a family or person. They are very personable; you are living as a nuclear family.
SWEEPING The universal sign of no poverty, sweeping is maybe to me the sign where people are pushing away poverty. When a person stops sweeping or does not use a tree branch, a leaf, something to clear their home of clutter, they probably are poor.
POVERTY IS UNCOMFORTABLE
There is always this bragging of common folk, - We never had much money, but we was happy, and comfortable, my family never wanted for much. -
FREEDOM FROM WANT I think I have heard this noise from them sound bite on CNN, CNN is and expert of the sound bite, I wish they were the expert at accurate follow up stories.
Freedom from want, now that is impossible, like telling a person to stop wanting to have a cell phone, or a motorcycle, or maybe, stop dreaming of being a famous singer, try not to be beautiful, popular, etc, want is the foundation of why people work.
FREEDOM FROM UNCOMFORTABLE I strive to be a gentlemen, I fail terribly, however to me a gentlemen will allow the person next to them to feel safe and comfortable. I have trouble here in West Africa doing this, because an familiarity and they start asking for something, money, help to the go to the USA, they are so ingrained with the idea of taking from the white man, I have about a five minute window before the asking and trying to take starts, then I make them uncomfortable by saying, - No -
Not even a glimmer of hope, a resounding no, I am an expert negotiator, I know how to make it clear. I have been trained in India where maybe uncomfortable poverty reins supreme. I am good, if not great at saying no; this in turn leads them to become angry.
Responsible people do not give false hope; try to alleviate their own person pain, emotional guilt, their bad childhood experience, or any other excuse they have for why they lie.
False Hope, a great way to get laid in Africa… Hehehe, tell some girl will take here to America, or Europe, or some dream they have.
Spreading the word, maybe this is what NGOs or Governments do for a living. They spread the gospel of hope; we will come and take care of you. To dream, the impossible dream, to sell the impossible dream, nobody is coming and nobody is capable of taking care of anybody, but themselves, and most of the NGOs spend are just exemplary beggars from rich people, living off of free money, with no give back in return to the rich person, except a tax write off, not a good reason to give, but helps. Maybe a tax write off, guilt alleviation, failure to believe they deserve the money they have, what a great extortion scheme.
Do not tell me what to do, just give me money, or help me get what I want to take from you.
What a silly, difficult and great way to lose friends and not influence people. I suppose a great way to enable this to grow and thrive, a world where everyone demand, not ask, but demands, you help me, you take care of me…
Europe has often 20-30 percent of a country getting free money, this is why people move to Europe, some for job, but the idea of I cannot work and survive. Welfare, Dole, free money the slavery of the new millennium. I am not sure, this may be a great way to keep the person, rabble or people that need to not be heard quiet.
DYNAMIC: 1. vigorous and purposeful: full of energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of purpose and able both to get things going and to get things done 2. active and changing: characterized by vigorous activity and producing or undergoing change and development a dynamic economy. 3. relating to energy: involving or relating to energy and forces that produce motion
driving force: a driving or energizing force, especially one involved in a process of social or psychological change