I have safely made it back to the United States; as Liberians would say, “Tank Ga’!” Which translates to mean, “Thank God!”
Something I missed on the flight back into the United States was the rejoicing of the passengers as we landed safely. Going over to Liberia, the majority of the occupants were jubilant, clapping, and praising God’s name.
On the flight back into New York, no one did anything…except for the few Liberians that were traveling to the United States.
This may seem like a minor detail, but it did have a profound effect on me.
I thought about how in the United States we just assume things will work. When we flip the light switch, it goes on. When we ask to use the restroom, we’re presented with clean, accommodating facilities. If it’s raining outside, we have a warm, safe roof over our heads that doesn’t leak.
This is not the case in Liberian. In Liberian they don’t have light switches. When electricity is available (only to the very affluent members of society) it’s hit-and-miss. The electricity for everything in Liberia (no matter how BIG or small) is provided solely by generators that are prone to malfunction.
In this way, instead of assuming everything will go as planned, and work out…many people have the mentality of dealing with the “hand they were dealt.”
Meaning, when I flip the light switch it may or may not go on, either way, I still need to get on with my day.
My experience in Liberia taught me how resilient Liberians are. How after years and years of war and destruction in their country they have picked themselves up and continue to do the best they can each and every single day.
The act of being grateful for what you do have, and reverent of God’s mercy and blessings in our lives is something that we all need to focus on. It’s easy to forget about God when everything is going as planned.