PRACTICING PATIENCE, PART 2: FILIPINO TIME
Filipino Time: a relaxed approach to the constraints of 'real' time. So if you arrange to meet up at 8am (in real time) that will translate to 9 or even 10 am in Filipino Time. There are more minutes in an hour and more hours in a day in this stress-free dimension of time.
However, I'm from London (well slightly North of London) and there is never enough time in this 24/7 culture. London is stuck in a state of non-stop inertia because time is money and money makes the city go round. We are rushing through our lives on a day-to-day basis because- instinctively- this is what we feel we have to do in order to remain in the game, in order to survive. But we are missing the 'show'. Filipino time gives you the space to sit-back and enjoy the ride. To notice the little details. And to talk to the people who really count.
There are days when I find Filipino Time counterproductive, inefficient and frustrating to work with. I am impatient for progress. When I am thinking with this 'corporate' mind-set I literally (and metaphorically) power-walk through the day:
-I just want a coffee, I don't want to explain to you why I am here.
-Why is this random man telling me his life history?
-I am too busy to have a photo with those kids.
-Who walks this slowly?
-How comes they are always half an hour late to our meetings?
-Whenever did "coffee break" mean "go home and have lunch" ?!?
-I don't care if some of the swords from Lord of the Rings were made in Cabiao, I asked you about previous flood prevention strategies!!
I end up regretting these days because I end up stressed, unhappy and if anything, this attitude only functions to slow progress: this is the small community of Cabiao- not the corporate world- and it will not change its character just because you tell it to. So instead of swimming against the tide I have to flow with it, working at the pace of the people. When I do this, the people want to cooperate and collaborate with me and I end up having a much more enjoyable and productive day. Instead of looking at the big picture, I am starting to notice the little- but beautiful- details of day-to-day life. Like the smiley lady who makes my coffee. The kid at the end of the street who always asks for a high-five. And the fruit seller who knows my name. These characters make up the heart of the community and are who we are here to help. But they are also helping me, by putting a smile on my face each and every morning :)
'CHEESEY BUT TRUE' QUOTE OF THE DAY:
When you work, you are selling your time- so just make sure that it is worth it: work to live rather then living to work. What is the point of having millions of pounds in the bank if you're too busy working to spend it!
N.B. The photos are from an 18th birthday party...which started 3 hours late!! #filipinotime