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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mexican Dude and the Burrito

So I posted about this on Facebook.  The Mexican Dude in a poncho, sitting on a lawn care trailer, eating a burrito while his (presumably) white dude employers sat in the cab, while they all ate foodz before taking on the busy, busy day taking care of people's yards.  I actually did a double take because the whole thing was so cliche.  I had a mixed bag of emotions and feelings.  You know how that goes.

We could talk about immigration and illegal aliens, or how unhealthy fast food burritos are and how the tin foil wrapping he was holding is going to ruin the planet, or even social injustice.  But that's not what struck me as amazing about the whole thing.  What I felt looking (briefly) at this dude, was how content he was with so little compared to what most Americans are.

None of think we are materialistic, but we are.  Just by being an American we really do hone in on the material objects we have, even if we don't obsess about them or worship them, we really DO enjoy them.  I tend to get along better with people who do seem to have a slight detachment to material objects and what status they may or may not paint about the person, but even those more humble individuals....they are also attracted to and are enjoying material objects day in and day out.  (Okay, I shouldn't hone in on AMERICA...this is probably true of any developed country where it's citizens enjoy this standard of living, but I've only been here so that's the only country I can speak intelligently about.)

And I just wondered WHY.

So I thought about this Mexican dude, probably living in a house with a lot of other people, with much less "stuff" than I have, but more people....and it seems to be most simpler societies (think Amish...) have more people and less stuff and then it hit me...."stuff" IS our community.  It's how we relate to one another.  It's how we know we fit in somewhere, somehow.  We may not know our neighbor, but we can see they have a house similar to ours, drive a car kind of like ours and dress kind of like we do, and we realize, we belong.  We have something in common.

When we get together with people we don't see often, we share about our lives and we enjoy talking about our commonalities.  At my last mom's night out...we laughed, and giggled and shared stories and I found out the lady next to me also liked yarn, and we had something to talk about.  It was something that connected us.  We'd leave at the end of the night not really knowing the ins and outs of each other's lives, but for a moment, we belonged to the same community and it felt nice.

Our things connect us.  They just do.  And I realized it doesn't make us surface, snobbish, materialistic evil people at all.  We just want to belong to something...bigger than ourselves, that we can tangibly touch and share.  Rather than allowing our "things" to replace people, we are building bridges with them, however simple that might be and at the root of it all, we really just want to connect.  With people.  Not things...people.

What an interesting concept.

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