Kansas FFA Blog

African Time

Quick review of the day: I woke up a little late, discovered the nearly-Antarctic temperature as I ventured forth to Ag Econ 315, drove out to the Stout Center to feed Noodles the Rope Horse, came back to my dorm to work on Macroeconomics homework, finished an assignment for the speech class that had been canceled, went to the Derb to eat, and capped it all off by visiting the place a friend was boarding her horse at so I could help her when she left for Spring Break. Spring Break. I’ve done a decent amount of things today, but I’ve also spent the whole day thinking about Spring Break. It’s only a week away! But it’s also a whole. Week. Away.
As I got back from my evening feeding of Noodles, I realized just how much time I’d spent thinking about Spring Break. I wasn’t as engaged as I could be class, doing my homework, or even interacting with people, because Spring Break and my plans stayed in the back of my mind. The worst part is that not one second of thinking about Spring Break is going to help it come any faster. I tend to think about the future pretty frequently, and that’s not always a bad thing. But when I stress and obsess about the future I lose focus of what’s in front of me.
Another thing that’s been on my mind recently is the past. I’ve been talking to a lot of friends who worry that because they made questionable decisions in the past, they can’t really move past that point in their lives. I think we all have our own baggage that we struggle to move past. When we spend time thinking about all the things we’ve done wrong in the past it becomes pretty easy to miss what we’re doing in the moment.
My teammate Katelyn likes the quote “wherever you are, be all there”. For me, our time in South Africa really showed me what it meant to live in the moment. One South African professor who visited with us started a little late, and took the opportunity to say he was on “African Time”. After we asked what that meant, he explained that in African philosophy, the idea of living in the moment was highly valued. “African Time” referred to the tendency of people with this train of thought to be a little early, or a little late, but mostly to never make time a huge deal. This was because they placed such a huge value on the moment they were experiencing at the time.
I think we all need to be a little more comfortable living on “African Time”. We should each value the experiences that happen around us rather than worrying about what’s ahead of us and letting our pasts weigh us down. Whether it means trying not to be so focused on what’s coming or not letting our past experiences hold us back, we should seek to maximize our potential to experience a moment.

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