My husband and I recently ventured to Mexico for vacation. Playa del Carmen is beautiful and filled with white sand beaches, wonderful restaurants and fun music. We got to explore the Mayan temples, swim in the cenotes (sink holes), and with the sea turtles at Akumal Bay. As we rested from a year of so much change and work, it was wonderful to reconnect as a couple and learn about generosity.
It was amazing to see how much of America was present in Playa. On every corner there was a Starbucks and people walking up and down 5th street with their Starbucks cups. At night, kids and adults were on the street with selfie sticks. They would use them to take photos of tourists to make money. You would also see families with selfie sticks taking photos of their trip. So funny! The selfie is everywhere.
The reason I found this ironic was due to a conversation with our tour guide. He told us that the average person in Mexico makes $1,700-$1,800 a year. I had gone to Guatemala the previous year and learned the area we were in only made $1,100 a year. The people in both countries do anything to support their families. They are hard-working, live on less and have more joy than most Americans. As we chatted with our tour guide, we learned about the hardships Mexicans face such as job loss, health issues and keeping their families together. It made us realize how much we have to give to others and how to invest our time and energy.
Being generous is a lesson we’ve learned over the last few years. It hasn’t been easy, but learning how to open our hands and give to others has been rewarding. It’s the joy and love we extend to others which brings happiness or union with God. When we give more of our time, skills, knowledge, compassion, money or love, we are making Denver and the other causes and people we support better, healthier places.
The next time we’re in another country and they want us to take a selfie, we’ll oblige and smile brightly for the camera. It’s going to support a family in need.