This story was submitted anonymously to the How We Show Up collection as part of the July SEEQ sessions.
Ghana Back in 2015 I went to Ghana, and the culture shock sank in. When I really sat back to understand how they truly handle emotions and show they care is much different. Growing up in the US, I have noticed we are a words of affirmation culture. We love to hear “I love you, thank you, how are you, etc.” but, at the end of the day how do these words really impact us? In Ghana they do not say I love you or show vulnerability much at all, but they are there for one another. My husband’s parents never say, “I love you”, but they are willing to go take out a loan from a friend to pay for his semester of tuition which was $10k back in the day. This meant more than words to me because they live by acts of love and respect. If someone disrespects their teacher, the teacher is allowed to beat the children, or the parents will come to the school and beat them in front of others. This is an extreme example; however, it shows the child who disrespected the teacher and the other children, that behavior will not be tolerated. I appreciate this, especially in today’s world where our children are feeling entitled. This is also very genuine behavior. When I was over there the people were so happy and enjoying their lives. Even though they didn’t have running water, electricity, and things. They appreciate everything and here in the US, we take it all for granted. I have heard the expression “First World Problems” so many times, it makes me sick, because people don’t really understand what that truly means. I have also had other people tell me, well I wasn’t born there, I don’t care what they do or don’t have. This is a sign of entitlement. A book I was reading called Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman said, “The world owes us nothing”. This got me thinking, in a world where everyone feels entitled to better pay, clothes, house, etc. Why do think this way? What is really the purpose of all of this? We as humans …..