Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A One-Way Ticket to Happiness I Wish I Could Share

As I was discussing my departure date and the plans for my next few weeks with one of my aunts (my favorite aunt with whom I'm most close with, shhh....don't tell my other aunts!) she had told me a deep and sad truth that I have not been able to get out of my head...

"That's great that you're leaving this chaos Maria, you need to go home, rest and take care of your health. If you have the opportunity to leave all of this, do it. You are lucky, because not all of us can just pick up and leave when we are suffering and need healing..."

And with that, I knew exactly what she was talking about. She was right. I am one of the lucky few in this world who has the opportunity to leave an environment which is making me unhealthy and take refuge in family support, quite and serenity. People all over the world, including here in Mexico and in the U.S., are suffering huge injustices, unhealthy physical, home and work conditions. People are exposed to toxins, chaos, multiple forms of violence and are trapped. They are trapped because of their family situation, their economic status, their physical conditions. Other for their blindness and fear. Some choose to stay in these conditions because they are sacrificing their well-being for the well being of their loved ones.

Who are these people living in mental, emotional, spiritual and physical sickness? Who are the people who endure violence, injustice and unsafe conditions their whole lives (because many do)? They are (examples taken from my own loved ones) ....

Undocumented immigrants that get treated as federal offenders for trying to support their family (thank you Arizona),
A housewife who needs a change in her life,
A bus driver who really wanted to be a lawyer but didn't have the money to go to school,
Women who's daily stress and concern is providing for their sick spouse,
Young mothers who live in unhealthy relationship and home environment,
Young and hardworking professionals who have developed physical problems from all the stress,
A hard working woman who should be retired but earns less the $6 during a work day and needs to keep working

I could go on and on, giving examples of those who can't leave the difficult and unhealthy realities that have been handed to them.

In a way, I feel lucky that I am going home to take care of myself and recuperate my body and mind, but deep inside, I'm burning of shame that not everyone can do the same. Why me? Why them? Why did things happen this way?

I can't even imagine how strong those individuals must be to live lives they don't want to live and have little mobility in or power over...I admire them so much and feel shame that I can buy a plane ticket home to be with my loving family who supports me. I feel shame that others can't just pick up and "buy a plane ticket" out of their difficult situation. Because in the end, that's what I'm doing right? I'm leaving early so I can leave my stresses and difficulties behind in order to heal and be strong again.

This isn't a blog about pitying others, because that's not what I'm doing. It's about trying to understand and think about how things really are in this world. How as much as you think your life is horrible and difficult....there are people living in complete violence, sickness and danger and think that is what a normal life is like.

That is one of the ideas I dislike most about religions like Catholicism, they teach people that hell is here on earth and that the "good life" is when we die.They teach people to accept these horrible conditions they live in, I get the point they are trying to make, trying to make people strong, but religion has also justified many injustices. The thing is that a violent and unhealthy life is the truth for millions of people and it shouldn't be justified by any religion or belief. It is a complete injustice.

Photograph: This is a clip taken from the documentary "Los Heraderos" about Mexican child laborers, another group in our global society that has "inherited" as the movie title suggest a cruel and violent life. It is a completely amazing and moving film. When I come home, ask me to borrow it. I'm also planning on having a mini at home film festival about important topics here in Mexico such as child labor and immigration-keep in touch for dates.

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