Stephanie posted this video in her reflective post The State of Western Missions, Talking Donkeys, and a Video and it was so good it warranted its very own post. This is a video produced by the organization MamaHope for their Stop the Pity: Unlock the Potential project. I love how their videos challenge the portrayal perceptions of Africans.
Seriously. You’ve gotta watch every single one.
They’ll capture your imagination and challenge your stereotypes. You’ll walk away a little more thoughtful.
When I spent a summer in Burkina Faso, I lived with a Burkinabe family and saw this very strength. Their home was full of such warmth, hospitality, generosity and relationship. Walking alongside their lives made me feel that if anyone should be pitied, it is the Westerners who live such disconnected, self-centered and fragmented lives. There, in one of the poorest countries in the world, I learned not how to barely survive, but how to really live.
Make time for each other.
Help out a neighbor.
Respect the elderly.
Don’t live life too quickly.
Dance your offering down the aisle.
Dance your head off to Michael Jackson.
(There was a lot of dancing, and even my frozen-chosen-little-former-baptist self couldn’t help but shake a hip every so often.)
But then again, no one is perfect.
Sometimes, there was too much chasing the wind, and the deep levels of poverty, colonization, and tribalism also created complex and difficult realities. It certainly wasn’t all pretty.
Maybe we all just have a lot to learn from each other.