On Being Productive

One of our goals in the next 6 months is to concentrate on learning language, culture and meeting and making friends in our local village.  Yesterday I spent all morning sitting with a new friend on the step of his house.  I tried my best to follow the language and the crazy stories (they’re hard to understand anyway as they are so far out of my context… e.g.: war, sorcery…), but generally had a good time getting to know a little bit about this family as I sat for 4 hours.

Even so, with our stated goals and the good time had, I still came away at the end of the day wondering “have I been productive”, or, “did I achieve much today?”This attitude is one of the driving forces in our culture and one of the reasons Australia is the great country it is.  But I cant help wondering if our pursuit of productivity (and economic growth) blinds us to the intangibles of each day.

I’m not saying the Yawo have life all figured out, they are as broken as we are, but they certainly know how to slow down and value relationships. I think this is going be one of the big challenges here – learning how to slow down… to lower the expectations of what can be achieved in a day so that relationships are elevated above what I “need” to get done.

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