Tuesday, March 29, 2011


For many years now I have fought an undeclared battle against things that I see in my Mexico that I dislike immensely. All these things can be summed up into two words: ignorance and indifference.

It seems far too common place that so many people don't stop to think about what throwing a piece of paper, a can of Tecate or a disposable coffee cup from Starbuck will do to the city they live in. I go about my day and I see garbage strewn about and I grind my teeth telling myself "Mexicans are not dirty, we are just ignorant". I include myself in this collective "we" because I too am ignorant about so many things so I am no one to judge but I am someone to speak up and say "PUT THE GARBAGE IN IT'S PLACE!"

Public Transportation and Traffic in General
As a pedestrian: it has been too many times to count the following scenario: I am walking on the street and the light turns to red, allowing me, the pedestrian, the allotted time to cross said street.  Just as I am stepping off the curb (at times with a stroller in tow) and a car screeches around the corner, either braking to let me walk or speeding up as I freeze to see what the driver will do.
As a driver
The public transportation operators, in this case combi and bus drivers, cut me off, stop abruptly at an intersection without pulling over to the curb to pick someone up or drop someone off, or cut traffic off completely.

I am not going to be naïve and say these are just examples of ignorance because there is a large indifference factor; the thought “why should I care what someone else does or says, I am going to do what I want” or like my friend Alex says “que se haga la voluntad de dios pero en las mulas de mi comadre” which loosely translated into “whatever happens as long as it happens to someone else”.  I have accepted these daily happenstances as a part of my life but also as something that I can actively become a part of changing.  For example, I pick up garbage in public spaces, this is my home and I want it to look nice and it is the right thing to do. 

After all we all live in the same home and this indifference I seem to be experiencing so very often stems from the ignorance of this fact: we all are in this together, same planet, same garbage, same solution. We are the solution as much as we are the problem.  This I can accept with grace and contentedness to become a part of the solution. Or like the infamous Televisa campaign asks Mexican society collectively: ¿Y tu? ¿Tienes el valor o te vale?

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