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Thursday, April 2, 2009

The People of Mexico

I have arrived back home from Mexico, safe and sound. First let me say that the media had installed some fear into us regarding the violence going on there, but we had found nothing but friendly, happy people. Yes, the policia were visible, but that only made me feel safer.

I now have a new appreciation for the people of Mexico. They are extremely hard working. They are always smiling and seem happy as they work long hours, which is usually consisting of hard labor. They work everyday…no days off. As I look around me here in New Jersey, I don’t see many people who are happy going to work. How about where you live?

Along one of the highways we traveled on, if you look past the concrete yards, you will see poverty. At first, you think you are looking at abandoned shacks…no windows or doors, surrounded by garbage. We were told people live there. That gave me a heavy feeling. But, these people who live like this, are also “happy”. Is it because they do not know any other way?

In the short time we were there, we spoke to many residents and we were told that the people appreciate what they do have and are grateful. Their families and friends mean the world to them. Man, does that say a lot about the people here. It immediately made us think how greedy we can be…how people here want more and more and we are hardly ever satisfied. Trying to outdo their friends and neighbors. We just don’t seem to appreciate and know how to be grateful. Things in your life can be much worse and I saw first hand how living situations can be hard for some.

When we went into town, we saw much of the same thing. Some of these shacks looked like they were going to fall over any second. Made of scraps of wood, garbage and anything else they can find to put together. And yet, as I said…these people were still happy and enjoying life. Some of the lucky ones had jobs where the tourists were. At the resorts, the restaurants, the stores etc…One spot we visited, showcased the talents of the many who are excellent crafters. Throughout the time we were there, we observed the landscapers and masons. We were so impressed with their knowledge and quality of work. It made me think about the Mexicans who are here working with landscapers and are being paid peanuts for their long hours and hard work. I can not help but feel that we are terrible people to take advantage like that. Is it our greed? Our need to pay out a small amount, so we have more money in our pockets?

I had such a great time on this trip and I also feel blessed to have learned a few lessons. Seeing things from a different perspective. Happiness is not brought about by how much you have or how much you want…it is about being happy, appreciative and grateful with what you DO have. We make our own happiness. I have always felt money does not bring you happiness and this trip confirmed it as I saw it through the residents of Mexico.

More about our trip in my next post...

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