Sometimes we set out on a mission to change the world. Or to help others. But in the end we find that the world changes us. That those we intend to help, actually help us. Because, in fact, they have just as much to teach us as we have to teach them.
And recognizing this doesn’t mean rejecting your own culture, but rather respecting another.
While it may not be convenient to have to stop at the vegetable seller, the butcher, the bread oven, the dairy, and the man selling fruit just to stock up on food for the day, you create relationships with these people. Hear their stories. Know the person who relies on your purchase to feed his family. While knowing that yes, a one-stop shop may seem much easier, it’s not really that bad. So please, don’t feel like you need to put a big-box, one-stop shop in my neighbourhood.
A place where venti mocha frappucinos to go don’t exist. But rather the cafe filled with people enjoying their coffee with friends or a newspaper in the cafe rather than racing after the bus or to the next appointment.
Or that the latest technology may not be the best solution for every society. In fact, it may even destroy the community. And local traditions.
And children don’t have to be treated like a delicate species. That not having the latest toy or an after-school activity every night of the week is OK.
That simple sometimes is better. Less is more. And living doesn’t require a million dollars.
All that to say, I was less than impressed with the news that Wal-Mart will be opening up in South Africa.