Atata island, where the grass is obviously very green. Photo taken by my dad during his visit to Tonga.
One refreshing aspect of Tongan culture is their ability to not really worry about tomorrow. Tongan people focus on the now, what’s happening that day, what needs to get done.
They eat a lot at feasts because the food is there and the food might not be there tomorrow. They share what they have and don’t worry about needing to always hoard or stock up. Tomorrow, they will find what they need or someone will share with them. My friend will come over to cook on my stove when her gas runs out. And when my gas runs out in the middle of preparing dinner, I’ll do the same. (True story.)
Granted, it’s easy to see a few flaws with this way of thinking. (Tongan people are generally not great at budgeting and this leads to problems running sustainable businesses.) In the western world, we get taught to save up for a rainy day or for emergencies. To plan ahead. To write down our goals. To have our to-do lists. To be action and solution focused. I’m all of these things too.
But how wonderfully freeing it is to not worry about tomorrow. To not need to plan ahead. To not worry if others are doing something better or have more than us or have something newer or more shiny. To have the ability to appreciate what you have right now, not when you get that job or that partner or that house.
To not worry if the grass is greener over there because you are just happy to have some green grass in the first place.
Today in Tonga, my bank account is pretty low. My house continues to have “issues.” My dog is being badly behaved. My co-workers have all disappeared without notice and left me to ponder their absence in an empty office.
But… the sun is shining so my washing will get dry. I’m meeting a friend soon for lunch. My internet is working well for the first time in a week so I can update this blog. I’ve got plenty of green grass.