Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's too soon to say

I think about writing something on here a few times a week. Things happen all the time here in Kenya that I could write about: funny things; sad things; things that would break your heart. I just never seem to know what to make of it all. How am I to understand everything that's happening in front of me? How can I sum up an opinion about it, tie it up neat and tidy, and put it on here for you to read? That's probably why it's been 2 months since my last entry.

When asked in 1972 of the impact the French Revolution had on history, Chinese premier Zhou Enlai reportedly replied “It’s too soon to tell.” You'd think that, after 200 or so years, he'd be able to make something of it, yes?

You know, as an American (and as a shallow, prideful extrovert), I'm able to form an opinion about something from thin air. I don't even need facts to cloud my view of what's going on. Actually, hard data sometimes gets in the way of a real, heart-felt opinion and it's easier just to avoid facts altogether. The last couple of months I've been learning that this way of thinking doesn't carry you very well into a place like Kenya. Most of our opinions over there don't work over here.

The starving community looks much different from a closer proximity than it does on TV.

The lack of rain actually effects people you love.

Poverty is a way of life for most of the world.

The answers most of us Americans have in the U.S. don't seem to work or even hold water over here.

So, what do I think about the two boys that drowned in the river next to where I work? How do I wrap my mind around the loss that their families are feeling? What do I think of the drought and how people are severely suffering out in the driest areas - how they may start seeing death soon if there is no relief or rain? What is our responsibility in reaching out to them? How is the economic hardship of America going to impact the work being done in poor countries like this? How is the church responding and is it working? What do I think about all these things?

I have no clue. It's way too soon to say.


Howard Kang said...

Sometimes that's all we can say. I'm feeling you, man.

Erin said...

Well said.