I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

One Hundred Years of Solitude


Her long black skirt gave her away when I walked in the room. "I had a great workout, I love this gym,” she said with a smile. Returning her outgoingness I asked if she was vacationing for the summer, she replied affirmatively. As if taking a survey she added, "I’m orthodox. Some people love it when we come here in the summer because we help the economy, others hate it”. I hesitated before answering trying to evaluate if I wanted to get into that sort of conversation with her.

“I do like it”. I said without lying. Her smile broadened even more; “you are very kind” she replied.

I was not being kind, I understood her feelings. She too had been assessed based on her ethnic background and categorized in a general way based on the wrongdoing of a few in her group.

Just as I have been.

Having been stereotyped as the Colombians who make headlines, I understood that feeling. I had fought a lost battle trying to make people remember scientists like Patarroyo, painters like Botero or novel prizes like Garcia Marquez and his Hundred Years of Solitude. Those news did not make big headlines.
The negative ones did.
I conversed with her for a few more minutes sharing the positive experiences I have had with the summer population. I could remember many friendly people…but I could also remember more.
Like the one guy who almost pushed me off the road one summer…one summer out of the 15 summers I’ve lived here. Why would I remember one bad incident over so many good ones I have had?

Because that is human nature.

That is a lame excuse.

Sadly, we, the people zoom in on the negative rather than appreciate so much positive. We choose to hold on to the negative memories rather than the good in all aspects of our lives.

Well, that is our loss and sometimes that is a major loss.

“The only time we should look back to yesterday is to look at the positive things that were accomplished to encourage us to do better things today and tomorrow.” – Steve Wonder