“When I’m finished with school-”
“After work today-”
“When we get old, we’ll retire and be able to do the things we always wanted to do.”
Sound familiar? Those words could be snatched from the mouths of most western culture citizens.
That’s when I look at North Africans and realize that they understand the brevity of life better than we do. For many of them, it’s not about the next thing; it’s about today.
I thought about it while shopping one day. It would have been much simpler to taxi to the supermarket and buy all of my groceries in one place (and sometimes I do this). Instead, I went from little shop to shop, little vendor to vendor to find what I was looking for. I was not just another face in the checkout line; I was “my sister” to some of the shopkeepers. There was conversation and relationship.
It wasn’t about being efficient; it was about having interaction. It wasn’t about finishing the task; it was about enjoying the moment that you have while you have it.
This method of thinking has its drawbacks, but it is a rich way to live life. Maybe someday I will learn how to implement it in my western mindset.