Friday, 27 December 2019

Rounding up 2019

My biggest lesson in 2019 has been that it is not and should not be all about you!
It's not like I have not always known this but it has hit home so much harder through the year.

I lived in Central African Republic all of 2019 where the country has been totally run down by selfishness. I cannot and may not have accurate analysis so I'm stating very clearly that this opinion is personal.
The sun setting over Bangui

When people speak of the good old days...(I wrote a little about that here), I always ask what changed. When you dig deep, it boils down to selfishness; the need for power and control, people thinking only of themselves and what benefit they can get. I'm sticking to the everyday little things that have led to me draw this conclusion.

How has this applied to me you may ask?
I have a love/hate relationship for this country which is supposedly 'home'. I am out on the field so much that I feel like a guest in my own bed so it sure isn't home to me. I've seen quite a bit from different communities but also on a very personal note even with the people I work with.

On different occasions, I've noticed the blasé attitude to work, the lethargy to tasks, but also how people seem to be on the edge and can flip at any moment. The sad part about this is it can lead to deadly fights, it almost seems like life is not precious and they have little or nothing to lose. The violence here is scary! One little thing and it can get out of hand.

Finally, I've noticed how it seems to be all about what you can get and how it should be about 'ME'. There is a lack of initiative and people tend to want to do the minimum of what is required, nothing more. It drains you constantly as you have to do your part then that of others. People here are in a constant state of dependence.

For a country that has suffered so much devastation and loss, you would expect the people to be willing to put in a little extra effort to make things work again. Unfortunately many sit back and expect things to be done for them. They wait on organisations to get things done and would clearly say it is this organisations' role, even donors are fatigued. 

I was eating with some colleagues and they ate and drank non stop even after they had had their fill. I asked why this was the case and the response I got was rather interesting. They said 'you do not know when next something could happen so eat and drink all you can while you can'. That analysis might seem reasonable but on the other hand is not the best. This is the general attitude to things. 
Like I wrote earlier, you would think they would want things to work, instead they can't be bothered to think past what they see. This sort if mentality comes across as deeply ingrained and shifts their reasoning to now.

Out on the field, when a person helps himself/herself to food, the person does so generously, not caring that the other colleagues with him/her are yet to eat. Sometimes not much is left for those who come after. It's usually a game of 'get there first'. This is the general attitude so those who come after get upset and could revolt/react to nothing being left for them.
I was raised differently, I grew up with 5 siblings so I learnt to share even if I didn't want to. My mother always said 'think about the next person' while my dad made us put it into practice, so by default, that has stuck with me. When I serve myself, I think of whether the next person would have enough so I'm mindful, but it seems like it's no use here.

Ethics and principles are really the core of one's character and this is indeed the foundation for everything. We cry non stop of how things might not be working but if you do not play your part, it will never ever work. We as individuals have a role, putting that together, collectively it will make all the difference.

None of what I'm writing here is new and if you have been reading my blog for sometime, you have probably seen this somewhere before. It may have been said differently but I do hope in your little way, you can make the world better by thinking of the next person.

Happy New Year in advance, hoping 2020 brings you nothing but goodness all year round.

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