Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Renounce Guilt, Find Divinity


Mexicans have cultivated a guilt free and blameless approach to life. Even the Spanish language supports this philosophy. For example, if I was looking through my purse or around the house for my keys but couldn’t find them anywhere, I would probably call a friend and complain, “I lost my @#$%^ keys. I feel so stupid!” That’s the gringa rationale in me, I suppose. In Spanish however, one would say “Se perdian las llaves,” ˗˗ my keys have lost themselves. They – the keys – are the stupid ones. In this scenario, I am the hapless victim of my keys inability to find their way home. Now that is divine grace at its finest.

Let’s say the quarter panel of my car is smashed in. The conversation with the insurance adjuster might go something like this…“That’s right. I got into my car this morning and turned on the ignition. Before I could even take a sip of my coffee, it hurled itself into that fire hydrant over there. Bam! No it’s not a Prius. My Jeep did seem a little depressed when I parked her in the garage last night. I guess I just didn’t recognize the signs.” How liberating would that be? Anti-anxiety medication and self-help book sales would plummet.

Our south of the border neighbors have an innate understanding that grudges and finger pointing, especially towards them, are counter productive – at least where day-to-day annoyances are concerned. Maybe that is why their dance, music and celebrations are so joyful.


— Beth Berube


(Beth Berube — our very own Erma Bombeck — writes short, humorous stories about a big city gringa who relocates to a small town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. You can check out Barra Beth's stories at www.barrabethsblog.com. Her writing has also been featured in El Ojo del Mar.)