Over my years of living here, I have experienced a fair amount of learning. I have learned things that have helped me live a happier life. I have learned that sometimes pride can get in our way of being happier, and even being smarter. One thing that I feel I have really learned is that we are not always as smart as we think we are.
One thing that I have learned is that us Americans, and probably other foreigners too, sometimes feel like the way we do things is superior to the way that Filipinos do things. I have actually written about this topic many times over the years, but I came across something the other day that clarified the way I think about this, and I wanted to share it here on LiP.
Over the years I have heard so many fellow Americans tell me how stupid the people do things here. I have heard about how superior our American ways are. Truth is, I got over that way of thinking many years ago.
A few days ago, it was quite early in the morning, about 5:30 am. I get up early on most days, sometimes as early as 3:00 am or 4:00 am. I am rarely still in bed at 5:00 am. So, I was sitting out on the porch this one morning, just enjoying the crisp cool morning breeze and thinking about different things. Our maid likes to go outside and do a bit of yard work early in the morning, before we have our family breakfast. So, as I was sitting on the porch daydreaming, she was sweeping leaves in our driveway.
I sat there watching her sweep, not really thinking about it much until something struck me. Something I had seen thousands of times over my years of living here, but two and two finally added up, and I realized that what I was seeing was equivalent to four!
In the picture below, I had our daughter pose for the picture of what I was seeing while the maid was sweeping.
Do you notice anything? There is something in this picture which I realized was far superior to what we have in the United States. Can you see what I am talking about?
Well, it was at that point that I realized that the dust pans here are superior to what we have in the States. Most household dust pans in the States just have a little short handle, and you bend down to the floor with the dustpan then sweep the dirt (or leaves in this case) into the dustpan. Imagine, bending down every time you want to pick up the dirt that you have swept up? The dustpans here have a longer handle, and there is no need to bend down in order to sweep up and dispose of your trash. Now, I do admit that there are a few applications where they have long handled dustpans, things like people working in parks and industrial type applications. But, for the average housewife working in her home, she has a dustpan with a short handle and must bend over each time she wants to collect her sweepings.
Now, I readily admit that this is a very simple thing, and a simple topic. I don’t usually write about things like dustpans here on this site. And, do you know what? I am not writing about dustpans today either. I am writing about how not everything in the USA, or elsewhere in the West is better than what is in the Philippines. I am only using a dustpan to drive home and demonstrate the point that I am making in this article.
Can you think of other things that the Philippines has engineered and that the Philippine in the Philippines use on a daily basis that is better than the way it is done in the USA or wherever you are from? I can think of other examples too, but I want to see what our readers can come up with!
It’s a good idea to get out of the thought process that the way you do things is better than the way others do things. Just consider that the way we do things is simple different, and each different way may have it’s own advantages… and disadvantages as well.