Monday, October 17, 2011

Do You Dance Like No One's Watching?

One of the things I love about life down here is how seemingly unconcerned everyone is with the opinion's of others... 

People dance alone in the street to their headphones, ladies in the market pick out their hair while chatting with their friend... and the singing!  People are ALWAYS singing.  In the grocery store, on the bus, walking down the street...literally marching to the beat of their own drummer.  You'd think we were living in a Caribbean musical down here.  I love it. And the best part?  Not a single bystander will look at any of these random acts of happiness as inappropriate.  No eye rolls, no whispers, no judgement.

Coming from the US, which by European standards must be considered one of the most uptight nations of them all, this is incredibly refreshing.  So many of us Northerners live in fear of what other's will think of us; we send a sidelong glance to the woman singing out loud on a bus and whisper to our children that she is 'crazy', we refrain from really saying what's on our minds at town hall meetings for fear of being 'different', we engage in silent, unspoken competitions with our peers - always judging, forever making comparisons using some sort of measuring stick.  Obviously, I am generalizing - but still, a "status quo" exists and, lets face it, most people aren't the types to rock the boat.   This pervading attitude can most likely be traced back to our rigidly Puritan roots; ethics and morals translated literally from the bible that revolved around abstaining from pleasure.  Can you imagine?  Being taught that pleasure was a bad thing?  Actually believing the dogma that "...blessed are ye who weep now, for ye shall laugh later"?!  Good grief.  Spare me.  I have no doubt I would have been burned at the stake as a heathen.  

I think we, generally speaking, are a nation that does not know our true selves.  We have been taught over and over and over again, to conform, to stay between the lines.  We don't know our gifts, we don't know our passions, we have completely lost touch with the fire within.  Here, it just seems different.  Of course there are Caribbean Islanders who "conform" and of course there are people in the US and elsewhere who don't give a hoot what others think and swim against the current.  But down here, I think there are disproportionately more people singing out loud than I ever heard walking down the street in Chicago, and that tells me something.  Caribbean people just don't seem to care as much.  They talk with animation and passion, they sing from the heart, and they dance from the soul - meanwhile, the whole world outside is watching, and it simply doesn't matter.  It's not a competition, it's life, and down here, they live it up!

I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know.  Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.  ~Buckminster Fuller

Love,
Brittany & Scott

4 comments:

Debs said...

I will tell you for sure and certain - I ABSOULUTELY dance. Whether or not dancing is appropriate is typically of no concern whatsoever. And pleasure a bad thing? Oh no. Unacceptable! As a matter of fact, we just started our own blog. The title? Hedonistic Values :) :)

Windtraveler said...

@Debs - haha! That is fantastic...one of the best compliments I ever got was from my old boss in Tanzania who looked at me when we were in a bar one night, smiled and said, "You are a total hedonist aren't you?" and I was like: "Yep". And I am. Ultimate pleasure-seeker!! Glad to know there are others :)

Debs said...

Oh! You are definitely NOT alone! From the moment we started following your blog we knew we had found some kindred spirits. There are more of us out there than we think, and it's a full on BLAST when we come across other like minded individuals. And have you ever noticed how we tend to flock together? Get a big mixed group setting (ie: wedding, graduation party, etc) and everyone is nice and mingling and slowly the crowd separates into distinct groups like oil and vinegar! Just my own personal observation, and I am a serious people watcher :)

Liz Chesney said...

Thanks for this, Brittany. I love your blog. You two are an inspiration! My husband and I are just shoving off for our first cruising experience in 2 weeks. YIKES! Here is my blog if you want to follow along: www.sailespiritu.blogspot.com. Most sincerely, Liz Chesney RN

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