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Becoming less judgemental
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2014-04-11 18:28:12 | San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize
Keywords: Adapt, self-improvement
In my life, I was judged a lot and sadly, I developed a tendency to do it too towards others but also towards myself. It's one of the habits I'm working on to become a better person. Travelling through Mexico and Belize helped me a lot in my improvement, helping me face the local reality and put my perceptions in perspective. But I was left puzzled on a few occasions as I encountered other travellers.

With South Mexico I really entered the backpackers road where the young tourists flock. On more than one occasion while being in a bus terminal I saw young couples with their backpacks. My first reaction always been envy. I first envy them because they have the opportunity to travel in their early 20s while I really had to wait to be twice their age to travel myself. I also envy them because they have someone with whom to share the experience (and expenses).

When I see them, I also have the tendency to judge myself and look back to see if I could have travelled earlier. Every time, the answer is negative, I didn't have that possibility in my time, due to my familial and economic environment.

Another scenario I encountered that prompted me to judge were the American colonies in Mexico. This is where the place is invaded by gringos (usually just Americans) who don't even want to learn Spanish and make everything they can to recreate a patch of the USA in Mexico. Reminds too much of the anglophones who have been in Quebec for generations and don't speak French. That infuriates me and I'm far from been Zen with that but at least now when I leave the town, my frustrations stay in that town.

But I also recently encountered people who are making my head hurt trying to understand their logic (for a programmer used to deal with logic problems, that takes a lot!). I'm referring to the solo young travellers in the granola subspecies. Those who are generally vegetarian but often vegan and who would eat only organic food, etc. I noticed the women are generally more extremist in that aspect. Let me clarify that I love people with principles and I totally respect their choices, even if I don't share their views. I also suppose they have to be a bit flexible because finding certified organic food in a Third-World country can be really challenging.

They eat organic vegan and all, paying a great deal of attention to what they eat. Some will go further and dress only in natural cotton, dyed with natural pigments, etc. I get all that. My understanding however stops when they drink alcohol and smoke both tobacco and marijuana, all of which in large amounts. For those elements they ingest they don't do any investigation to see if it's organic or natural; they usually just pick the cheapest option.

I just can't understand how they can worry so much about what they're eating and not what they're drinking and smoking. I don't see how eating organic food counterbalances (in their perspective at least) the effects of the thousands of chemical (99.999% of which are NOT natural and certainly not organic!) they absorb by smoking and drinking. I let them be... even if sometimes they force me to breathe in their smoke, as it was the case in Belize City. I can now say “I didn't smoke but I inhaled”, to parody the famous marijuana-related-politically-correct statement. I guess part of my non-understanding also comes from the feeling I have they don't really appreciate where they are... since for me food is part of the travel to discover the location. They're just transporting their organic bubble with them, no matter where they are. When you don't understand something, it's harder not to judge.

I prefer not to smoke anything, drink alcohol only occasionally and still be aware of what I'm eating but without being dogmatic about it. But that's just me.

Related posts:
Mexican shock
Am I afraid?
What do I want?


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