"The Brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring the fullest Light to all the world."
by Ann Voskamp
I work for a German company and I have many German colleagues who are here on a 3-5 year assignment (expatriates or expats). They all acclimate to American living very well. Most if not all are not interested in going back home to Germany and I have wondered why.
Those I have asked why they don't want to go home have answered in various ways.
"I like that I can go to the supermarket any time of the day."
In Germany, the stores close around 6 pm and are open for limited hours on Saturday.
Only churches and restaurants are open on Sunday.
"I like the freedom of being able to wear what I want."
Americans are less judgmental than Germans.
"I like the excitement of living so close to New York city and that there is always something planned for the weekend because I only have a short amount of time here. I know it will end one day and I want to do as much as I can while I am here. You know, when I am in Munich, well, I am just another German and I have lived there forever. There is no excitement and I don't feel special."
When I am in Munich I feel like this colleague feels, excited! Everything is new and interesting. I am an American in Germany. I am special. I like the challenge of not knowing the German language, yet I can find my way around and enjoy my time there. Did I mention the beer? Oh my, it is so pure and delicious. It is like drinking water.
The idea of a limited amount of time and excitement in my experience got me to thinking.
What if I applied this attitude to my daily life.
I have a limited amount of time.
There is so much to experience.
I have the freedom to choose the what and the how of my life.
I can be an expatriate of my own life, seeing it new eyes and using a different attitude.
And as Ann says, become a change agent for the world.