Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bahamas Part Two

Being in the Bahamas has enabled my wife and I to see some things from a different perspective. One of those things we have clearly received a new perspective on is pace of life.

When it comes to pace of life, the contrast between the American way and the Bahamian way couldn’t be clearer. One values productivity and material goods and the other enjoys the moment for what it is – a moment they didn’t have a moment ago. It’s been interesting watching these two cultures interact. The second day we were here, we decided to take the shuttle into Port Lucaya (the market area). It was suppose to leave 11:20 am, but at 11:23 am the driver (a native) had not arrived. I looked around at the rest of the group, about 20 and mostly American, and I could see people begin to lose patience. As the minutes went by some body posed the question everyone was thinking, “Where is the driver? Don’t they know we’re on vacation and have places to go?” The irony I thought. When the driver showed up at 11:30 am, one lady started yelling at the driver. The driver responded to the lady (to my amusement), “You’re head is to hot mon! You need to get into the shade.” Later that day, I asked one native, “The Bahamians don’t liked to be rushed do you?” He responded with, “You guys (Americans) are like machines!” Don’t you ever take a break? You have nothing left at the end of the day?” Even though it was clear this man had very little material possessions, I got the sense he didn’t envy the American life. In fact, I could tell that he pitied us.

I think working hard is admirable, but I am learning it’s important to have margin in life. Everything has margin. Roads have margin (there’s more space on the road than your car actually needs), your note pad has margin, even your Bible has margin! How about your life? Does your life have margin? Are you leaving enough space in your schedule so that your head doesn’t get too hot mon? If not, you should go find some shade.