There are two types of pride—the pride that pushes people away and the pride that draws people in. The latter of the two, the one that draws people in, is captivating, warming, palpable, and rare. The pride possessed by schools and families and countries. For me, however, it is the pride of the Ghanaian people that has me wishing for more.
This past Saturday at 1 AM in Ghana, I embarked on yet another journey; a journey that would reunite me with my family. Little did I know that on this journey I would realize how much I had fallen in love. I was all for being home as I got off the plane in Atlanta, but it was after I had bought the Starbucks coffee and was making my way to Gate B36 for Delta Flight 1195 to Louisville, KY that I realized I had left a large part of myself and the spirit I had recently discovered in Ghana and the only means of retrieving it would require my feet to be reunited with the red dirt that made its way onto and into everything. Soon after getting home, I scrubbed away the last remaining physical mark Ghana had left on me—that very red dirt—which had been caked around the backs of my ankles for weeks in a thick layer.
This dirt however was reminiscent of something more that I wish to share with you… With a glow the color of fire it seemed vaguely familiar and eventually I realized it that that same glow is in each and every person that I met. The fire that burned in their souls and warmed my heart each time my hand was shaken, my shoulder was grabbed, my leg hairs were pulled, and my toe nails were touched.
A fire like that doesn’t come around often and when it does it is yours for the taking, to kindle inside yourself.
It is yours to take to share with someone else.
To make someone else feel alive.
Maybe it was just because I was an Obruni that I was made to feel so welcome or maybe it was something apart from Obruni/Obibini.
Something that saw no race. Something truly Ghanaian.
–drew me in.
It’s as simple as happiness, as satisfaction. It’s about accepting what you have and recognizing how much more important love is than anything money could buy.
After being in Ghana it is obvious that money cannot buy happiness and that by having more than is needed only clouds your mind and in turn makes you less happy. How many times have you heard this? Not consider your own life. Are you truly happy? Yeah you may have a good time every once in a while, but that isn’t all. the. time. Perhaps we should all consider reducing the clutter of our lives and look towards one another for the satisfaction that things previously brought us.
There is no doubt that we live in a commercial society; our economy NEEDS us to buy and buy and buy. However, maybe it’s time for us to begin making the shift towards something else. We work and we work and claim to enjoy our jobs, but there is more to life than work. Family is important, but if you aren’t truly happy in your relationships, both personal and work, then it is time to reevaluate.
Let’s get behind one another, our communities, our country. I’m not saying we have to support everything that our government does or that our neighbor does, but we need to learn to love and PAY ATTENTION. If you look to the ground when passing someone on the sidewalk or in the hallway then get over yourself and ask the person how they’re doing–it won’t kill you, I promise.
Being patriotric doesn’t mean you’re all about the military, it simply means you’re all about America; it means that you want America to be the best it can be and even if we fail at the being the best sometimes we know we tried and we tried alongside our fellow countrymen who have often times suffered similar situations.
Ghana–you will always have a place in my heart. A place that cannot be filled. It is my hope to be reunited with you in the near future so that I can continue to grow into a lover of people as well.