Editor’s Page – December 2022

As I write this month’s editorial, I am in the United States wishing that I were back in Mexico!

First, I’d like to wish all of our readers a wonderful and meaningful holiday season. For people of all faiths.

This issue is a little different because it contains holiday articles, along with articles about life and life’s end and ways to enhance our lives.

But my job as editor also includes pointing out the positive and the negative about life in Lakeside. Oh, the good things far outnumber the negative things. But as we are on the cusp of a new year, I would like to encourage all of us expats living at Lakeside, that we have a responsibility to show our better selves at all times. This has always been important, but is more so here in our adopted country.

In the last few months, I have been thrown into several situations where I went away feeling very disappointed. I have witnessed expats yelling at wait staff in restaurants and stores. We cannot afford to let our own bad day affect those around us like this. As an expat, I feel embarrassed for the staff, I feel embarrassed for myself, and more than anything I feel embarrassed for my fellow expat who could lower themselves to this level . . . in any culture or country. At the very basic level, behavior like this is simply unnecessary.

Sometimes at lunch I have overheard people discussing other residents of Lakeside in negative ways. Not in teasing or playful ways, but in ways that are catty and backstabbing, and ultimately painful. These are some of the reasons I left the USA. I didn’t like the negative trend I was seeing, and now I see it arriving on our beautiful shores, out in the open where anyone can overhear.  It reminds me of a 1970s era song :

Back Stabbers by The O’Jays

What they do?

They smile in your face

All the time, they want to take your place

The back stabbers (Back stabbers)

(What they do?)

(They smilin’ in your face)

All the time, they want to take your place

The back stabbers (Back stabbers)

Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes tell lies (Back stabbers)

(They smilin’ in your face)

I don’t need low-down, dirty bastards (Back stabbers)

(They smilin’ in your face)

Da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da-da (Back stabbers)

Might be your neighbor (They smilin’ in your face)

Your next door neighbor, yeah (Back stabbers)”

(Lyrics by: Gene McFadden, John Whitehead, Leon Huff)

These lyrics have become all too familiar. I have witnessed this in organizations, where we are there to do good work, but what happens? And most of you, like me, have experienced it personally at one time or another, leaving the target of someone’s vitriol with no way to prove a negative. “What they do?”

Recently a new friend was deeply hurt when something negative got back to her. (Backstabbers). She did nothing wrong, nothing to deserve such vile gossip.

Lakeside is our little piece of heaven. With the starting of a new year, could we work together, be kind to ourselves and one another? Before we speak, let’s stop and ask ourselves the age-old questions: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Applying this simple test would go a long way in helping us do our part in making Mexico and Lakeside live up to its promise as paradise and make these lovely locals glad we’re here.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Victoria Schmidt
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