Friday, October 31, 2008

In search of character

“...I didn’t hear my cell phone...I didn’t have credit in my cell phone to call you...The buses were on strike...I fell asleep…blah, blah, blah”

You know, I’ve lived here for 2 years now. Not really a long time, but long enough to get to know the culture a little bit more (especially now that I can understand just about everything). And……I am shocked to say that I have been stood up 2 times since I’ve lived here. When I say stood up, I’m talking someone makes plans with me, and I don’t even get a phone call. This is something that is completely shocking to me because it has never happened to me before in my life until I moved here.

The other day, I was talking with one of my friends and I asked him if he had ever had any character education. He said he had no idea what I was talking about, but was interested.

What I’m talking about here are the core values that help develop persons into caring, respectful, responsible people who make choices based on what’s right, rather than what’s easy. I’m going to talk about two values that I think apply to the being stood up situation.

One of the basic pillars of a good character is trustworthiness.

What does that mean?
A person that is trustworthy is someone that keeps their promises and is a person of their word. They are reliable and follow through on commitments. They’re honest. They keep secrets and never betray a confidence or a trust. They have integrity and do not cave in to temptation. They are also loyal when loyalty is appropriate.

Another core value or basic pillar of good character is respect.

A person is a respectful person if they treat other people the way they want to be treated, if they are considerate of other people and treat them with civility, courtesy, and dignity. They accept personal differences and work to solve problems without violence. They also never intentionally ridicule, embarrass, or hurt other people.

I know that no one is perfect, I’m far from it, but I think everyone should have some type of character education.

For the record, I never made plans again with the two people that stood me up again.

If you’re interested, I can write about the other pillars of good character next time. Also, I would like to hear some of the excuses that other people have given you.

Te mando besos,

The sombrero of sandwiches

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Running – the great equalizer

There’s something I’ve really noticed since I’ve moved to BsAs. There’s a lot of classism here.

Coming from Austin, Texas, where just about everyone is friendly, and it’s a common occurrence to see Michael Dell, Lance Armstrong, or Matthew McConaughey running on Townlake trail with the rest of us, I find this classism particularly annoying.

People here will ask lots and lots of questions to try to get to know what class you are in: What neighborhood do you live in? What do you do for a living? Where are you planning on going for vacation?

It is often done in a rapid-fire manner, before they even ask your name. Not everyone does it, but it’s definitely common. Anyway, there are lots of other things that people do, but I won’t go into them.

What I really want to say is that one of the reasons that I have always loved running is that I think, more than any other sport, it is a great equalizer of some of the discrimination that goes along with classism. Really, all you need are a pair of running shoes, something to run in, and a place to run and you can excel in the sport. Once you have that – you can be just like the rest of us.

I’ve always noticed something in any running group or running race that I have been in. You can’t tell as much who has money and who doesn’t. What I think is most important is that I think fewer people actually care. There is something about getting together as a group, running together (at times suffering together), sweating together, etc that makes people put their guard down, whether their guard is their money or their beauty or the fact that they received their degree from So-and-so prestigious university.

And I have to say, I like that.

I hope to see you out on the trail.

Te mando besos,

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008