Wednesday, 20 April 2016

From the Other's Point of View

As tends to happen at the gym, a bunch of ladies from my favourite classes were chatting while waiting for our class to start.  The classes that this bunch of women faithfully attend are intense classes.  My personal favourite is Tono Muscular (muscle toning) and the other Danzika, aerobics mixed with dance. The funny thing is that neither class has a Mexican as the teacher, but rather Columbians.  

The discussion was begun by my friends, and I was listening, as they were discussing Mexicans.  It was said, by someone who will remain nameless, that Mexicans like thing 'easy', they don't want to think.  I would not give such an opinion, even if I had thought it - not that I have.  The interesting thing is that the ladies agreed! They went on to say that that was the reason it took so long for Danzika to take off in Mexico - it's hard.  One of the women, who just happens to be very much like me 😩😄, said that that is why she refused to give up.

I don't want to actually talk about whether Mexicans like things to be easy or not, but rather the idea of evaluating a criticism of your own culture, of being able to recognize the truth in a comment that paints them in a negative light.  

Now we probably have stereotypes for many cultures, Mexicans are often thought of as lazy, Columbians are all drug lords, Nicaraguans are communists, Americans are arrogant, Russians are communists, ready to bomb the world, Canadians are....? etc. etc.

That is what I am wondering about.  What do people think of me, as a Canadian?  I see lots of meme's on Facebook about us always saying sorry, of being overly nice, etc.  I shockingly heard here that Canadians are thought of as stupid.  Why? Well, the McKenzie Brothers sure didn't help our image, and a few other T.V. shows also portray us as stupid.  

Well, just like Trump has now portrayed ALL Mexicans as terrible people, I don't think any culture is all bad.  I certainly don't think ALL Canadians are nice and polite, nor do I think we are stupid, nor are any of the other above mentioned cultures all like their stereotype.  However, can I listen to what people say about my culture and be open minded?  Can I recognize my own culture's weaknesses, and identify whether I personally possess that trait, and whether I should look at changing it?  

What I do know is that I am not perfect, not are my Mexican friends, so we make a good team! Together we try to make each other better people.  One must always be willing to evaluate oneself and one's culture.  Growth and change are good. 

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