Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Values?

Granada Vendor
A streetside vendor in Granada with his very own set of values.

Values change.

From culture to culture, religion to religion and person to person, values change.

From now to later, beginning to end and start to finish values change.

Before I left the US for Nicaragua, I knew values would be different here.

I knew my tendency to plan ahead for maximum efficiency would not be appreciated (it isn't always appreciated in the US either, type A is the nice way of putting it).

I knew my desire to receive information or see work accomplished the day agreed upon would not always be respected (the most common phrase used in daily repetition is 'maƱana', tomorrow).

I knew that the children of NPH would not be raised as the middle class child I was with time outs as discipline in place of field labor (in a largely agrarian society, it's really the equivalent of my parents making me mow the lawn).

And I knew some of the differences of values would rub off on me, change me. But I've been surprised by how many are stubbornly the same.

Here are some that I can't seem to let go of:

1. It's OK to question authority.

2. Late? Alright. Three hours late with a cell phone? Not alright.

3. If you agree to do a job, you do it to the best of your ability.

4. Flip side of #3, whoever asked you to do that job has to let you do it (unless you're doing it all wrong in which case they need to let you know).

5. When dealing with who did what, truth is not relative.

This is not to say I don't celebrate the differences between us all, I do! You know, as long as you let me know in advance if you're going to be three hours late to the celebration!