Tourists don’t change. Tourists observe. Tourist may have an experience. Tourists gather stories. Tourists study their surroundings. Tourist may even come to appreciate the places they visit. However, despite all of their observation, experience, and appreciation, a tourist is one who makes no significant change.
Seth Godin describes the posture of a tourist: “The tourist isn’t seeking to change herself. She’s seeking a checklist item, an experience, sure, but not too much.” You can come back with your photos and souvenirs, but “if you went as a tourist, you will come back as you went.” The same.
I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with the UPCI missionary team and national Church in Ghana, West Africa! I am closing in on the half-way point of this trip and as I begin to think about what lies ahead it would be easy to fall into the role of a tourist; waiting to check another visit off of my list of life experiences. I would rather experience change.
“The toll of making change is that you will be changed.” – Seth Godin
Tourist don’t change, neither do they make a change. The greatest difference they make, as anyone who lives in a major tourist destination will tell you, is to get in the way of the locals. When a tourist determines to make a change, they roll up their sleeves and get down to business. The moment they open themselves up to change, they cease to be tourist and become an active participant.
When was the last time that you got so involved that you were changed? I have no desire to be a casual observer. Regardless of where I am, I want to be an active participant. I want to change and be changed.