Believe it or not, sometimes I forget that.
I’ve gotten wrapped up in a lot of different things here in the last few weeks, and I found myself losing sight of why I was in Congo. I started fantasizing about the ship being run into by a barge and having to leave the country, thereby making way immediately for Tenerife for repairs. As if this would solve more problems than it would create. But I could do with some nice beaches and cheap food (Pointe Noire is as expensive as Paris for most things).
Maybe I’d have to go home for some reason, just rush me off and fly me to the nearest Mexican restaurant.
These weren’t terribly serious thoughts (about 98% of the time). But I recognized there was something not right with my attitude, and the thing that fixed it was our patients.
I’ve met some amazing people here. Cute kids, resilient adults, and all of them in need of serious help. The focus here is them. My pride has nothing to do with this.
Whatever situations I may face over the coming months, whatever problems come my way, I need to swallow my pride and deal with them for the sake of the people we came here to help. If we left, the only losers would be the poor. If we gave up, moved on, changed jobs, we wouldn’t lose. It’s hard to lose when your starting point is paying to work.
The people who I truly hurt with my pride, my bad attitude, or my foolishness are the very people we came here to help, and no others.
I need to remember this when I’m slipping, when I’m letting a lack of sleep or a series of annoyances get the better of me. I came here to serve the poor, and I want to serve them well.
Not to say I’ll do it perfectly, but I need to focus on the here and now and get to work.