Early in my freshman year, my dad asked me if there were lots of Latinos at school. I wanted to say, “Pa, I’m one of the only Latinos in most of my classes. The other brown faces I see mostly are the landscapers’. I think of you when I see them sweating in the morning sun. I remember you were a landscaper when you first came to Illinois in the 1950s. And look, Pa! Now I’m in college!”
But I didn’t.
I just said, “No, Pa. There’s a few Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, few Mexicans. But all the landscapers are Mexican.”
My dad responded, “¡Salúdelos, m’ijo!”
So when I walked by the Mexican men landscaping each morning, I said, “Buenos días.”
Recently, I realized what my dad really meant. I remembered learning the Mexican, or Latin American, tradition of greeting people when one enters a room. In my Mexican family, my parents taught me to be “bien educado” by greeting people who were in a room already when I entered. The tradition puts the responsibility of the person who arrives to greet those already there. If I didn’t follow the rule as a kid, my parents admonished me with a back handed slap on my back and the not-so-subtle hint: “¡Saluda!”
I caught myself tapping my 8-year-old son’s back the other day when he didn’t greet one of our friends: “Adrian! ¡Saluda!”
However, many of my white colleagues over the years followed a different tradition of ignorance. “Maleducados,” ol’ school Mexican grandmothers would call them.
But this Mexican tradition is not about the greeting—it’s about the acknowledgment. Greeting people when you enter a room is about acknowledging other people’s presence and showing them that you don’t consider yourself superior to them.
When I thought back to the conversation between my dad and me in 1990, I realized that my dad was not ordering me to greet the Mexican landscapers with a “Good morning.”
Instead, my father wanted me to acknowledge them, to always acknowledge people who work with their hands like he had done as a farm worker, a landscaper, a mechanic. My father with a 3rd grade education wanted me to work with my mind but never wanted me to think myself superior because I earned a college degree and others didn’t.
I can’t promise that the pain will stop tomorrow or the day after that, but I do promise that you have people who need you to live a lot more than you feel the need to die. Living is a choice, but life is a privilege – a privilege gets taken away against however many thousands of people’s wills every single day. Please choose to live.
No matter how much it hurts…sometimes it’s better to be alone than fake it.
If you suffer it is because of you, if you feel blissful it is because of you. Nobody else is responsible - only you and you alone. You are your hell and your heaven too.
Be good to people. Even the shitty ones. Let the assholes be assholes. You’ll sleep better.
who’s arms would I run and fall into
if I were drunk
in a room with everyone
I have ever loved
Top 3 phrases that’ll create sexual tension
- "Make me",
- "oh really",
- "is that so"
"What’s in it for me?"
"The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1348–50 CE."
When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.
This is the chemical formula for love:
dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin.
It can be easily manufactured in a lab, but overdosing on any of them can cause schizophrenia, extreme paranoia, and insanity.
Let that sink in.