On a recent trip to the Bahamas, my family and I found the locals to be delightful people. At every turn on our trip we were greeted with smiles and hellos. From construction workers and janitors to cab drivers and merchants, they all welcomed us to their home with their friendly island spirit.
Here’s what several Bahamans said when I asked them what kept them smiling:
— “A smile can change someone’s day.”
— “My mother told me, ‘always be content with what you have until you can do better.'”
— “We (Bahamans) are truly free. We don’t have the government breathing down our necks, and we take care of our own poor.”
— “We take care of each other.”
The source of their happiness seems so simple. And I think that very simplicity is the chief ingredient of their spirit. Comparatively speaking, life in the Bahamas is uncomplicated. The islanders don’t have our more common problems that result from big enterprise, big government, and big cities. My thinking is that the Bahaman smile thrives on a more primitive and natural state, that of people helping people – living together and working together, more like a family.
We Americans have everything. But in the midst of it all, many of us live on our own personal islands of isolation, trying hard at times to steer clear of relationships that are awkward and strained. My hope is to enjoy a simpler, more natural way of life and to replace my island of isolation with the spirit of Joyous Gard.
Day 14 Guide
Think today about enjoying the more simple pleasures in life. This week try to simplify your life patterns; take a walk, read a book, and include healthy portions of fruit and vegetable in your menu choices.
© 2005, Levi Hill