One of the keys to effective communication is to exude a positive attitude as you deal with people. That is not always easy. You burn your tongue drinking too hot McDonald’s coffee. You sit for 30 minutes on the interstate because of roadwork. Not conducive to a positive attitude!
Think about daily life in other countries. In Brazil where we are two weeks into a mission project, I have already learned to appreciate the blessings of living in the United States. When discussing the meaning of “robbed” with a 20-year-old student, I wanted to see if he understood the meaning in context. I asked him, “Have you ever been robbed?”
His answer was, “Yes, seven times. It is common where I live.”
The same young man came to our reading session on a motorcycle and made the statement, “This is the only kind of transportation besides a bus that I can afford. It is very dangerous. People do not obey the laws of driving and pay little attention to people on motorcycles.”
In the USA, drinking water is available at any water fountain, but in Brazil you drink only bottled water. Water from faucets and showers is not safe: don’t drink it.
At home, we sometimes get frustrated when we have to wait in line at a grocery store. At our visit to a local grocery store last week, we waited in line 50 minutes.
The people of Brazil are very friendly and helpful and they don’t complain at all about the inconveniences I mentioned above. I see how spoiled I am, living in the United States all of my life. When I get back to the States, I trust I can check my attitude with this reminder of what life is all about for many people in other parts of the world.