Monday, August 6, 2012

Three Hundred Miles South

Just a week ago, I was more than 300 miles south of where I am sitting now.  San Quintín, Mexico is only 300 miles from my house, but it could have been a world away.

I am an American, living in the most privileged percentage of people on the planet.  I live in a two story house that has multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, living room, family room, and backyard.  I have running water with amazing water pressure.  I can stick my toilet paper down the toilet instead of in the trashcan.  We have paved roads.  I don't need to worry about if I'm going to eat.

All that I've listed above and more are some of the major differences between Mexico and the United States.  And one of the major things that it proves to me is that I am so privileged.  Almost to privileged.  And if you are reading this on your own computer in your own house using WiFi, you probably are to.

But one thing I've noticed is that in the United States at least, we aren't happy with life how it is.  I know I am often not, always wanting the latest thing or to be somewhere else.  Because of my privileged life, I keep on grasping for more, never being satisfied.  

What struck me during my Mexico trip though, was not the fact that life was so different there.  It was how they treated that fact. 

From the kids that I played with and the people that I met while on work projects, I never heard complaints about their life.  They were content with where they were, something that I need to learn.

When I returned to the States on Saturday, my first thought was that it was sad that I had to buckle my seat belt again.   However, my next thoughts were about how different life was on each side of the border wall.  

Even while waiting in line at the Tecate border crossing, a stark contrast appeared between the walls that divided the two countries.  One was rich, the other poor.   One was discontent; the other was content.  

Just two sides of a wall.  Just two different mind sets.  Just 300 miles south of my house.