Be Prepared?

Today is the first day of a week-long national strike, a protest against the coming sham elections. It has been planned for a long time, and many of us are worried that it will also bring violence.

We Westerners who are living here in Nepal have been talking about the strike and the elections for weeks. We all have our own opinions about what will happen, and what will come of all this. We all stocked up on rice, eggs, water and peanut butter, since the stores will be closed for a week. (Most people shop for these things every day.)

My Tibetan family got up this morning, and went to buy eggs for breakfast, and seemed surprised that all the stores were closed. I said, "Of course, the strike!" They said "Hunh?"

We are sooooooo different. We Westerners are such good Boy Scouts, as if "Be Prepared" were a moral absolute. We plan for every contingency and prepare for the worst. The Nepalis and Tibetans seem to just go through each day and let whatever happens happen. We are always analyzing and trying to change things, they mostly accept what comes their way and get on with their life.

Whose way is best? Hard to say. My Western friends all had breakfast this morning, but they paid for it by worrying for a month ahead of time.

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