There is a lot in the news about illegal immigrants coming from Mexico into the United States. Because of this, Mexicans tend to get a pretty bad reputation in the States. I will admit to having fed into these stereotypes at times as well. It’s usually easier to perpetuate what everybody else is saying than it is to go against the grain.
The way of life for most of these immigrants and for people that live in Mexico can be vastly different than the way of life for most Americans. This point is easy to bring to the surface. It’s obvious and most people look no further.
However, once you stop looking for ways in which Mexicans and Americans are dissimilar, a lot of similarities start to pop up! All of a sudden, those people that you despise seem really familiar!
We have had the privilege to meet some great people in Mexico. And no, I am not talking about other expats. I am talking about business owners, laborers, and neighbors. They have all been extremely nice and personable, and not in the “I want a really big tip from this gringo!” kind of way.
A few days a week I go to Familias de la Esperanza to volunteer. Although the kids that I work with grow up in shanties and don’t have many of the conveniences and luxuries that you and I had growing up -such as shoes- they aren’t any different than kids I have interacted with in the States.
They want to play games. They want to laugh. They want love, attention, and pizza!
Yes, their lives are vastly different than mine and yours. To not acknowledge this point would be ignorant. However, they are still just little kids that want to run, play, and be happy!
The taxi drivers are just trying to make a living for their families the same way your dad is. Are some of them not so pleasant people? Absolutely. I bet you work with some pretty unpleasant gringos at your work too though, right?
My barber in Puerto Vallarta, Chuy, isn’t any different from any barber I have ever been to in the United States. Does he have several TV’s playing ESPN? No. However, he is extremely personable, takes interests in you, and wants to give quality service just as any barber in the States would.
I don’t know if people are inherently good or bad. We can leave that for another debate. What I do believe, is that people aren’t that different from one another across the globe.
People aren’t coming to America, legally or otherwise, to take your job. They are doing so to make a better lives for themselves. The same way the Pilgrims and many others after them did.
We spend too much time finding differences among ourselves.
What does this accomplish? I can’t think of anything positive…
An alternative approach is to find similarities between yourself and others. I find this approach to be way more fun and liberating for all parties involved. Give it a shot!
Maybe I am naive, but I am happier for it!
What do you think?
Keep it Kinetic,