Normally you use the phrase “a drop in the bucket” to indicate something insignificant. But to some, that one drop is all it takes to begin something meaningful.
In May 2015, I went on my first discipleship trip to Haiti. Much of their culture are people so beaten down by ‘the man’ there’s no longer any hope. Desiring a change in that piece of the culture, one organization started an early-education curriculum called “Mwen Kapab” which is Haitian Creole for “I Can”. For so long, they’ve held the view that they can’t, or “Mwen pa kapab”. Other well-intended organizations have, unfortunately, reinforced that “you can’t, so we’re here to do it for you” attitude. Don’t get me wrong, there are, of course, several reasons why outside help is needed and can do good. I was there to do just that. But, as I’ve learned, it’s that subconscious attitude that we have to be aware of and help defeat.
The blue and white building pictured here is a church, and we were there that day to help work on an outdoor bathroom. Our day’s goal was basically to move a giant pile of sand and gravel from one side of a fence over to the other side of it. We did so using several 5-gallon buckets like the one pictured. We had a few Haitian translators and about 10 of us from the mission trip who made up an assembly line to move the buckets.
Several of the villagers were watching us; mothers with small children, along with grown, capable-looking men, and one small boy (pictured in white shorts). The boy started by watching us intently from about 20 yards away. A little while later, I look over, and he’s sitting on top of this small, empty, 1-gallon white bucket you might normally see used for ice cream sherbet. I had to take a moment to cool off and slow down, and then I came back to see villagers watching this small boy standing over the pile of dirt, filling up his 1-gallon bucket and handing it to the next person in line to send over the fence. He was encouraged by our can-do attitude and took it on as his own.
Can-do attitudes are contagious. What’s your pile of sand? Grab your bucket!
Categories: Thought Leadership