Working at a gym, I cross paths with some interesting people, which leaves me with lots to ponder. The latest conversation had me thinking about community. A member at my gym is from Africa and has lived and worked in the Kansas City area for more than twenty years. He was telling me that America doesn’t have a community.
At first, I agreed with him.
But the more I thought about it, the more questions I had.
He said that he loved the prosperity of America. After living here for a while, he was able to buy a house and multiple cars. He sent money back to Africa to his family and supported them financially.
But at the end of the day, money doesn’t matter.
The difference in happiness levels from Africa to America astounded him. He said that a family in Africa is happier living in a house the size of an American bathroom than an American family living in a mansion.
Prosperity doesn’t make people happy.
He cringed at what Americans thought was normal. He couldn’t believe the number of people on antidepressants and that they were proud of it. The immigrant criticized the number of young people and children popping pills. The glorification of mental health and the use of medication shocked him.
Medication isn’t the only answer.
He complained that he couldn’t let his kids play outside. When he goes back to Africa, all the community kids are running around together. He wanted his children to be free to play and do whatever they wanted.
Children need the freedom to play.
He said America doesn’t have a community.
All the points he made aren’t wrong, but there is so much more to the situation. Only getting one side of his story was my fault. While he was preaching, I tried to interrupt him but didn’t push hard enough. I wanted to ask him if he found a church here or if his family was here. That has always been my…