Fear is a very often an irrational thing. It is a very powerful thing. It can so easily control you. Some things people are afraid of may seem silly to you, yet most everyone has something they are afraid of. Fear is a very personal thing. We often don't think that our fear might seem silly to others. I know people who are scared of spiders (won't mention any names), mice, flying, speaking in public, etc. There are so very many things one can fear.
Some of the things we fear are built on mistruths that we have fed in our minds for so long we believe them to be true. That being said, we often can't seem to 'un-tell' ourselves. We keep feeding our minds the lies, half-truths and mistruths so often that it becomes 'truth'. They grow in our minds with each thing we feed them. We don't listen to people who are telling us a different story; often people who have the real facts. Thus bound ... ...
Recently a friend of mine, who may or not may read this blog, told me a fear she has. I could hardly believe it! Her fear was that she was afraid to come to Mexico! She then explain how this fear developed. Knowing this person, who has travelled to several different countries, I thought her fear irrational and astonishing. Then I pondered this thought some more.
Having lived in Nicaragua, I think Mexico is pretty tame. I would say, even given the present political climate, I feel safe. I would say that by world standards it's a pretty safe place to live. I would have said I felt 'less' safe while living in Nicaragua, mostly due to the civil uprising, the whole Contras vs. Sandinistas, etc. Although I would not say I lived in fear.
But, I have had a similar fear (as my friend has about Mexico) but about Columbia. My knowledge of Columbia was mostly hearsay. I held a view that it was run by drug lords and guerrillas (people not animals) and that all the people wanted out. My husband never took his students there, due to the instability in the country - the risk factor was deemed too high. So, I continued to maintain this view of Columbia. Later several Columbians started attending our church, having claimed refugee status. Sort of had the idea confirmed in my mind that it was a scary place. My fear was confirmed. Listed on my 'don't visit' list.
Recently I have gotten to know several Columbians more closely and have begun to ask questions. They speak of their country with love and pride. They do not gloss over the bad things; what country does not have them? They speak of wonderful traditions, beautiful things to see, gorgeous beaches, exotic food, etc. They are taking me to a Columbian restaurant here in GDL soon. I am intrigued. I will add here that the time frame (between my original fears and my present day knowledge) has spanned many years, and things in Colombia have changed.
Has Columbia changed? Of course, what country doesn't. But my fear is gone by not feeding the negative stories I had in my head. It is now on my list of 'places to visit'.
This took me to what I viewed as my friend's irrational fear. Why did she have it? My knowledge of Mexico is experiential, hers is probably like mine of Columbia; I live here. I love her (Mexico) people so I love her. I know, experientially, of her great food, wonderful people, fantastic places to go and see. I also have an understanding of the culture. I say 'understanding' because I am not Mexican, regardless of how long I live here.
I have lived and witnessed things that could easily evoke fear in people. We have a friend whose brother has been in prison, wrongfully accused, for 4 months. The judge is corrupt and so they continue to fight this injustice with lawyers. I can not believe this can happen.
We and our co-workers have all been in an accident, where we would say (some more clearly than others) we were innocent. At the end, it was either 50/50 or we were to blame.
We have seen the corruption within the country from the president all the way down to the common man. If lying or cheating serves their purposes, most people would proceed in that manner of lying and cheating.
Rules are grey at best. One can not predict the outcome of events due to this little problem. Where our Western thinking (rules, right/wrong, etc.) makes something so, it is not necessarily so in Mexico.
My friend has also heard of Canadians being killed in Mexico. Does that happen? Sure it does. I won't give my opinion on that hot topic.
Is her fear unfound? Is/was mine regarding Columbia? Hard to say. But you know what they say:
I don't know if that is completely true but I know there are some great things there. What are you afraid of?