Be more like Carlitos.
On a recent cruise throughout the Caribbean, my wife and I spent a full, glorious day in the tiny country of Belize. We crossed the entire country on a tour bus to visit some amazing Mayan ruins, followed by a traditional Belizean lunch. Just as remarkable as the ruins was the time spent learning all about the tiny nation from our Belizean tour guide, Carlitos. With four hours to spend on the bus ride, Carlitos had plenty of time to share everything he knows about the country he loves. And love it he does. His passion for his country was on full display as he joyfully detailed all the things he cherishes about Belize, from his enjoyment of their simple foods to his pride in his country’s Mayan history.
From an American’s eyes, Belize looks like a very poor country with limited and expensive resources (e.g. gasoline at $8 a gallon), high poverty, extreme heat, “brand new” used cars, and crappy internet service.
But Carlitos saw none of that. He only saw the hope and progress that his country is making, as well as joy in the little things of life. For example, he gushed over his country’s national soccer team when I asked about the popular sports of Belize. He gushed over the team not because of their greatness, but because in recent years, instead of losing games to neighboring Guatemala 10-0 or 8-0, now they only lose 2-0 or 1-0, and sometimes they even reach a tie game.
I honestly haven’t met a person as happy as Carlitos in a long, long time. At the end of the day, as we left the bus for the last time, I had to thank Carlitos for giving me one of the very best days of my entire life.
Then, as all vacationers do, I had to eventually return to the U.S. of A., to my normal surroundings of unhappy, stressed-out people who complain about every little thing.
Carlitos finds joy in the little things of his poor country, while we find fault in the little things in our richest country in the world.
It really makes you wonder, who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong?