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toxic chemicals

Funny you should use that example. The owner of the house I rented in Cocles, outside of Puerto Viejo - his name is Macario - he is in his sixties. He sprays everywhere! The first time I saw this my jaw dropped! This was my paradise - polluted? (I have since sadly learned much more about that.) I asked him not to spray near my house and he obliged. Later he asked me why white people don't like chemicals -"they come from your country." I tried to talk to him. I explained about DDT and how chemicals that were outlawed by the US govt. were sold to other countries. And I emphasized that at least if he insists on spraying, please wear a mask. Well, do you think a thing I said meant anything to him? He told me about how his father smoked (as he does) and drank and everything else and lived a happy life well into his eighties. Macario still sprays and smokes and every day I hear him cough.

There were lots of things I used to see there, about which I could not comment. I loved my landlords - Macario's family. They were always good to me. But they threw their trash, inclucing cans of paint, construction waste and whatever into a hole in the ground. I didn't tell them a thing. This was their land, their property and they did things their way.

I have learned that you really can't tell anybody anything. Not unless they ask. Even your kids - when they are young you try to tell them and sometimes you have to make them listen. When they grow up you know you had some degree of success if they come and ask you for advice and then even more if they take it. (Hopefully you knew what you were talking about.)

It is much more difficult when the people you would like to infulence are affecting your life. Maybe you can tell the gardner not to get within 50 feet of your house. Maybe not. Maybe you have to move in order to take care of yourself. Always we are having lessons. Sometimes lessons in setting boundaries, like the above example. Sometimes in tolerance. Sometimes in just letting it go - letting the people around you make mistakes and hopefully it doesn't cost you too much money (someday you may have a teenager with a car).

So how can you contribute? Just love them. That's all and that is a challenge in itself. You may not agree, they may drive you nuts, you may fear for their safety, but there are some things you just can't control. You can control your heart. No matter what they do you just gotta love them.

I hope I gave you good advice. You asked for it!


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