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patience or ?

Posted by D on February 29, 2008, 10:44 pm
Message modified by board administrator February 29, 2008, 11:20 pm

I am walking along the beach and meet a person taking photos, our paths cross for a very short period of time. I say "Hi", they say "hi" back stepping into line with my path down the beach. I say "how's it going"? They say "oh, pretty good, but people say they are going to be there at 3 and don't show up till 4 and it's frustrating". I say "here, if they say they are going to be here at 9 am and show up that day they are on time". They say well, that's something I am challenged with, patience". I say "well you have come to the college of patience. Here manyana does not mean tomorrow it means not today".

They pause a bit, then say "and look at all the rocks on the beach, where did they come from, they weren't here the other day". I look to the side and see that the sand has recently dropped about 6 inches and say "it looks like the sand is down a bit, the beach changes all the time, but the sand is just off shore, it will be back. Look at all the sand in between the rocks."

The person meets up with the other person they were with, I bid them good evening and walk on down the beach.

I thought about my first lesson in patience here in Mexico and how frustrating that was. I had moved a trailer up on my property and spent about 3 months plugging the trailer into the outlet on my truck so I had some lights at night. I built a mufa (electrical meter and post) and then did the work getting some good size wire run from the mufa 200 meters to my trailer, a lot of work.

Finally it was finished. I went to Cihuatlan and told the man at the electric office that I would like to have my mufa hooked to the power transformer (which was about 6 feet away). After he processed my request I asked when they would be out to do the work, his response was "tomorrow". I asked what time, he said "about 10 am".

The next day I was there, waiting, 10 am all the way till 3 pm, nobody showed up. I called the Electric office, they said that they had an emergency in Boca de Iguanas so they couldn't make it. I asked when they would be there again, the answer was "tomorrow". Again I waited and again no one showed up. This went on for about a week, every day they were suppose to be there and every day they had an excuse as to why they weren't and even more maddening had the same answer "tomorrow".

I got so damned angry I expressed my frustration to my friend Richard, I said "if that guy at the office lies to me one more time I was going to go down there an loosen his teeth. That it was one thing if they could not make it but it was another thing for me to spend my whole day waiting for them when they never planned to show up anyway". He said something I will never forget, he said "that is why we came here, for that lesson, to shift our priorities, to learn patience". Of course I disagreed, stating that there was no way that was the reason I came to Mexico.

I finally gave up calling and waiting. Month's (yes, month's) later 2 guys from the electrical office walked up my driveway asking me if I wanted power. I said yes and 30 minutes later it was a done deal.

I looked back on that event and of the times I used to see the rocks instead of the sand, the trash instead of all the places the trash was not (and at times still do) and many other things. I realized that time was both what we don't have enough of and the only thing we have. That by watching the people of La Manzanilla live their lives with both respect and disregard for time, it would one day lead to a realization. We may hate when others are late or don't show up at all, but it's nice when we are able to apply the same perspective to our lives. To be late or not show up at all and not feel guilty about it. It's the Mexican way, it's what we came here to learn. That and much more.



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