There is a shocking general absence of rage behavior in Mexico. I say “general” because it is not a total absence. During political rallies and demonstrations, there can be some scary, hot-tempered flare-ups. You will want to make a note of that and avoid going anywhere near political rallies and labor union meetings.
What I am talking about is a lack of public rage in the general population. It is the rage that you see all too often in the United States. You know what I am talking about.
You cannot walk through a mall, a supermarket, an airport (especially an airport), a restaurant, or a public place of any sort without hearing Americans who are mad about something and who are cursing like sailors. My mother was proficient at turning the air blue and embarrassing even the toughest construction workers with her proclivity for profanity.
You cannot go anywhere in America without hearing,
“Well, I’ll be damned. ”
“You mother f_er”.
First, I must say that I have yet to see the rage behavior in Mexicans that would precipitate a string of profanity and second, I’ve yet to hear one word of profanity uttered in public. That isn’t to say it never happens, it is just that it is almost nonexistent!
Americans will cuss at the drop of a hat and sometimes for no apparent reason at all! We were in San Miguel de Allende taking care of some business when we decided to hit one of their fine restaurants. A group of Americans came in after us and soon the profanity was flowing. I swear, their entire vocabulary consisted of the following,
“I don’t give a sh_t about that!”
“All I told him was sh_t on you!”
Americans wonder why we have such a bad reputation in other countries.
Here is another form of rage behavior you will not see often in Mexico. Children pitching fits in public and hitting their parents. There is not a general absence of this behavior but an almost total absence.
I was once in a grocery store in Lawrence, Kansas, when I saw a little girl of about 10 asking her mother for something that the mother denied her. The girl, in a blind fury, began hitting her mother in the stomach. I am sure if she had been tall enough she would have smacked her mother in the face. Nevertheless, she repeatedly pummeled her mother in the stomach while screeching at her. The mother did nothing but take the abuse.
I have told countless Mexican friends of this incident. They said one would never see this behavior in Mexico in a million years. From what I’ve observed, I think they are correct in their evaluation.
One has to wonder why there is such a difference between Mexico and America. You did not always see this acting out in America. I can remember children (I was one of them) who would never even think of hitting their parents much less do it.
The reason: Perhaps it is that America long ago abandoned the Judeo-Christian ethic governing family and communal relationships. Mexico has not. If success is based on results then look at the result that has occurred in family and community relationships from the secularization of America.
Religion, the place from which we learn morality, is all but absent from the American public life. In Mexico, it is very much present. You think that is a clue?
One of the many attractions Guanajuato held for my wife and I was the lack of public rage. No one shooting each other the finger (or shooting anything else) over driving mishaps, no arguments in the streets, no fit-pitching children slugging their parents. Ambulance and police sirens are rarely heard.
A utopia? Nope. But it comes close, especially if you come from America!
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