Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ice cream makes you happy

Sometimes (only sometimes though) I take myself a bit too seriously.......Okay, I take myself way too seriously. Take, for example, when my basketball team tied our game a few weeks ago. I was not impressed with my own play or my teammates. And I was letting everyone know it too. I needed to take a chill pill. Maybe two. It was not a pretty sight.

Then I went to Fiji. I wasn't meant to learn anything in Fiji, I was the coordinator, the leader, I was meant to be doing the teaching. But being among the Fijian people was a transforming experience for me. They're so chilled out man! Often us Westerners interpret this as laziness or being slow, we call it "being on island time"; but I saw a deep trust in the Fijians: trust in each other and in God. There was an acceptance of their circumstances and their smiling, joyful manner indicated to me that they made the most of every moment. The Fijians see things how they are. I think it's best summed up by this:

"Ice cream makes u happy"

It made me realise that I get so caught up in being caught up. I mean, every time someone asks me "How are you going?" my answer is almost always "Busy!". Yes, life get's busy. Work and study and social life and family and girlfriend and all the rest of it is time consuming. But the way I approach it all is what makes the difference.

See, I've been experimenting since I've been back. I've tried to be more "Fijian" in my approach to life. Take for example my basketball game last night. We were beaten by the other team, but I chose to just play as hard as I could and enjoy being out on the court with my mates. It made the biggest difference! Now you might say to me, "well Adam, that's all well and good that you can choose how you feel!" And that's exactly my point, we do choose. I choose how I respond no matter what the situation, whether I'm happy, angry, sad, or tired and exhausted - I choose how I will act.

There's a bigger picture and sometimes we need to take a step back from our situation and look at that bigger picture. So, at times last night we were getting thrashed by the other team, but I didn't join the team to win, I joined because I wanted to stay in shape, hang out with mates and play the game that I love - and I can accomplish all those things whether we win or lose. And yes, sometimes work can be involving, it can be draining, it can be time consuming when all I want to be is somewhere else, but I wanted this job because I wanted the opportunity to help other people discover their vocation, so maybe a few more hours in front of this computer isn't the most despicable thing in the world.

What struck me about the Fijian people is that they were bigger picture people. They had a sense of their place in the world. I realised I'm so busy trying to make my place in the world that I neglect to see that I already do have a place in it. So I'm going to slow down, take a deep breath and see things for what they are. It seems so basic, but it's life changing: see things for what they are. Ice cream really does make you happy.

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