Monday, April 25, 2016

Ruth - From the Eyes of an Expat; 2:10


The humility of Ruth bewilders me.  Not because it doesn't make sense, considering her position and that she knows little of this foreign country, but because it's not the attitude I see displayed in expats today.  It's something I try to evaluate from time to time and I think all expats need to take some time to think about how they treat nationals from their host country.  

Plenty of times I've been shocked and embarrassed as attitudes of entitlement seep into interactions when I'm in a group of people.  "Why do they do it that way?" or "Our way of doing this is so much better." are common phrases I hear repeated over and over. 

Sure, it's easy to fall into that trap.  Something as simple as queueing in line at the grocery store can be absolutely infuriating, but in the end, it all works out.  When all we know and is familiar is stripped away, our patience wears thin and it's easy to want things done in a way that is comfortable.  

Ruth certainly was in an uncomfortable and awkward place.  People were talking about her, she may have been stared at as she walked down the street.  But she didn't let these things change her.  I see people change after they have lived overseas for awhile.  Often they become rough around the edges. They loose the concept of politeness and become the obnoxious American we all dread.  Even when around others from their own country, they obsess about the latest situation in which they felt uncomfortable.

If you are living in a country that is not your own, take some time to do some deep soul examining.  How are you treating the people in your host country that you come in contact with?  What sort of reputation do you have amongst the nationals in your country? Has your time overseas hardened you with anger, entitlement and bitterness?




2 comments:

  1. I have realized that we live in a country not our own as visitors, therefore it is not our "right" to criticize their ways...so many expats become bitter and hardened. A trap that we all fall into at some stage.Thank you for making me think again about how I portray my host nation to others.

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    1. I agree. It's a battle that we constantly face. I often need to remind myself not to have a critical spirit and choose to focus on the positive and why I am ultimately here!

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