Life doesn’t stop since the day we are born, and even though life can change in different ways, it doesn’t stop us from loving, feeling, touching, tasting, thinking or simply wondering about things. Every new year is the continuation of the old year, our children grow and go, our family grows in number and age, our parents get old, sometimes our wealth multiplies, which is happening less often these days. The seconds become minutes, the minutes become hours, the hours become days, the days becomes weeks, the week and the months pass and we get old. We can either stay in the past which we cannot fix, or live in a future that is not ours yet or focus all our energy in the present which is the only real time we have. Many people spend their precious time worrying about their past and they live a miserable life. Today is the only time that matters, let’s worry about tomorrow mañana. Every day is a new beginning, it is a new opportunity to do well in school, to improve our writing skills, to perfect our painting skills, or maybe the day to become famous, it is today and not tomorrow that will make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.
As you all know I grew up in the jungles of Mexico, a place void of electronics, television, internet, real money, a place almost free of stress. It sounds like a perfect place to be, but it is not. A place where most children run half naked and without shoes, a place where going to school is just a dream and having food to eat each day is a great blessing, a place where women walk long distances with big buckets on their head in order to have drinking water for their families. Christmas come and christmas go and children don’t get any gifts, and they don’t expect one either. I now realize why I never got a christmas gift, it wasn’t because I was a bad kid or because I had not done my chores, which I did very faithfully. Do you want to know, why? Santa had to exercise for a year or two in order to enter the jungle and avoid a heart attack. It is possible that he tried? You bet, but as we all know, new year resolutions usually last one week and two at most, he never made it to the jungle. How many of us have tried to get rid of some old habit or some kilos of weight but we don’t seem to make progress, and year after year we fail miserably. Improvement doesn’t come easy, the man who wants to quit smoking, the woman who would like to start exercising to improve her body figure, the couple who plans to save every penny for a special purpose, all these things are worthy cause, worth our effort, hard work and sacrifice. The question is, are we willing to sacrifice time, money and a lots of effort to achieve it? This is the questions we should ask before we begin pursuing our dreams, not only every year but every day as we begin our day. If your answer is “yes”, go ahead, do it because your dream is in your hands, it is yours; but if your answer is “no” don’t worry about a thing, just continue eating all the chocolate you want, or smoking all the cigarettes you like, don’t waste your time trying, because you will surely fail to yourself, and it will make you miserable. It is like learning a new language, either you invest precious time in memorizing, repeating, learning new vocabulary every day till you become fluent or you quit because you didn’t find the time to do it. I really hope this year will be a year of success for you, that everything that you put your heart on to do will be done, but remember we will fail and we will be disappointed from time to time, failure is a sign of trying and trying is the way to gain experience, as we gain experience we learn to deal with our failures. A painting was not done perfect the first time the painter wet his brush in paint, the gourmet food wasn’t perfect the first time the chef tried the new recipe, everything takes time and practice.
Some one said “to make mistakes is human, not to learn from them is stupid” I don’t make resolutions at the beginning of a new year, simply because I like to live a stress free life. I like to live 365 days of my life, one at a time, a smile every morning when I get to work, a positive word to a coworker, an act of kindness to someone who is being a pain in the neck, A word of encouragement to someone who is going through tough times.
Thinking about others will help you find the purpose of your life, you might never become a famous writer, or a famous artist, or a famous Bill Gates, but you can become a special person in the life of someone, maybe a child who is counting his days because of cancer, maybe an elderly man who didn’t see his children on christmas day, you can make a great difference in a life, you will become special one to others for the things you do for them in love.
Be free this year like a bird ready to fly, free to give, free to love.
Let your wings feel the air, let yourself feel alive.
I used to think that rich people, were the most happy people because they didnt seem to need anything. I also used to think that people with a lot of food were so happy because they could eat anything they wanted. I thought I was so poor because I didnt have what others had.
In my world most people had shoes but I didnt have one, most people had at least two shirts but I only had one that I had to wash in the river with me inside. My pants look more like a worn out skirt, with so many patches and holes. One day I said to myself I want to be happy, I want to have a pair of new shining shoes, many years went by and my new shining didnt come. The sole of my feet became like leather shoes, and I almost forgot about it but one day after a few years of work and saving my money, I left the village to go to the city to get my new shoes. It was the most wonderful thing to have my new shoes on my own feet. I felt the instant happiness that having a new thing brings to the soul but it lasted only a few minutes. I wanted to run back to the village to get my friends to see my new shoes but the boat to go across the river had already left so I had to contain myself for a night. Nevertheless I put my new shoes in and went out to the park, it was all different to me, I felt the most important person in the whole world. Suddenly after walking a few blocks around the city, admiring my own acomplishment, I started to feel some pain on my feet, it started on one foot, to be followed by the second foot. I thought, this is not right happiness cannot be this paiful but it was… My motel was a few blocks away but I coudnt take the pain anymore. Guess what happen to the shoes? I had blisters on the back of both feet, it was time to come down to mother earth. Having things dont equal to happiness. In our short life here we can chase things around but I am not sure these things are going to make us happy. People say I need a new car when the old one works perfectly fine, others “need” a new smart phone, and they buy it but they are just chasing things, they are happy for a day while your smart phone is still new and u can show off, but when this thrill is gone, there it goes mrs happiness. Do you know who becomes happier when you buy a new gadget? So where can we find real lasting happiness? Wait till next week. Have a wonderful weekend and have peace, find happiness it is closer to you than you might think. Good night
The Mayan Guy is back
Most people are scared of learning or trying to learn another language and i don’t blame them.
I have lived in three different countries each with a language that are not related in any way to each other.
I was successful in learning one and a half of the the two new languages i tried to learn.
It took about two years of my life to learn the most complicated language on earth, English and It wasn’t easy in any way or form.
How to learn your first second language is in itself a learning experience, first because the brain is not use to using a new form of communication and doesn’t recognize words or sounds.
Here are a few tips that will help you in your desire of learning a new language.
1- Find an excellent teacher, that not only teaches grammar but also motivates, encourage, preferably this would be a person you can trust. (this one help me immensely, my teacher was the most understanding and helpful person)
2- Immerse yourself in the language you are trying to learn. learning in school or a tutor, watching movies, listening to music, reading the news, make a friend that speak the new language, chat online, find a club, a church with people that speak your second language.
Even better if you find a husband or wife that speaks your new found language( This last one, be careful don’t marry anyone just to learn the new language, it could cost you more money than you have
in the bank, hahahaha) and this advice is only for singles, if you are married already don’t even think about it…
3-plan a trip to a country where you can speak with the local people and practice your new language.
For me to learn Pasaa-Thai i had to go to Prateet Thai and mingle with the people, this is very important, because nowadays you can visit a country without even speaking a single word in the local
language thanks to the English language, which has become an international tool of communication.
Now you will learn how to say —Hello, How are you-( in Spanish)= Hola como estas?
People will answer you: — Bien y tu? (which means) = i am well and you?
Then you can say:- – bien= i am fine (or )-mas o menos=so, so.
Learning a new language requires time and hard work, nothing is easy. One thing i learned while trying to learn the Thai language is that, the faster you learn the faster you forget, the slower you
learn the slower you will forget.
Last night i was dreaming in Thai, and surprisingly enough i was able to recall complete sentences that i thought i had forgotten in real life…the brain is so amazing i love it.
That means that even after 4 years of not Puut pasaa-Thai not even nit-noy my brain is capable of recalling what i learned during those two years at the feet of my Thai teacher.
Sawat-dii Kap…means hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening…i a general greeting which goes together with a wai.( a wai is when you bring your hands up together and slightly bend
forward, also known as the asian greetings)
Well, my intention here wasn’t to get you bored with me teaching you a new language, since i am not a teacher and don’t claim to be one.
Learning a language is most of the time a lot of fun, and meeting new people, and knowing a different culture is always exciting.
Every person is different in many ways, and food is one of them…Eating all kinds of food is never boring…there are Indian food, Mexican food,
Chinese food, Thai food, and Don’t forget the vegetarians they are not weird they are just trying to better their life like most of us.
I love to try every kind of food…and i can also prepare some of them if given the occasion and tengo ganas.
I hope you all had a wonderful day, full of fun stuff, and good food. NO you don’t have to learn another language but if you do, you may scare away Alzheimer in your older age.
don’t take my word for it, i just read it in some medical article. Of something i am sure, you will meet new people, taste other kinds of foods, and be able to communicate with more people in the world,
plus you will appreciate people from other lands even better and you will never be afraid to taste their food even if it looks like fried Crickets.
For now is time for me to go to bed. And i will not say Adios, just, Sawat-dii- kap.
Tu amigo Mayan, Jk Martinez
Is exciting to get up and breath pure air from the jungle, it is exciting to walk with your bare feet in the bushes full of venomous snakes, it is exciting to catch a big fish in the river and make a good lunch out of it right there by the river.
The music you listen everyday can be just like a background music which you don’t really pay attention but is there;
The river flowing, the birds with a thousand tunes, the chicken noise, the barking dogs from the neighbors, usually is not yours the noisy one haahahahaha.
Work becomes a routine, a habit that something you can do auto pilot, and it tends to become monotonous for a while. Until you find out that you need to finish clearing the land before is too late.
For me the most exciting thing was preparing your harpoon for fishing, it depends how good you make your tool is how many fishes you would catch…
Fishing in the river at night is the most exciting activity of all, you make sure you lantern or torch is ready, check the clouds for rain… better if night is very dark because fish don’t like to see any
human form or shade around them, and the moon and stars can actually help the fish get away from you.
You learn where your meals come from, and how much it cost very quick in life. You don’t kill more than you can eat, and you share with your unlucky neighbor.
By observing your catch you learn how fast they are, where do they sleep, and how to get them…surviving in the mayan community is a refined art that only can be learned in a mayan community.
When life gets so difficult or you get lost in the jungle, you learn how to catch game with your bare hands, food is not for the strongest but for the smartest and clever.
One time when starvation was rampant in our community, the crops had failed, and maize had not given more than a week worth of food, we were forced to go into the jungle and catch giant ants,
wild rice, wild beans, wild mushrooms and wild bananas that grows in tall giant trees.
Every time my friend and i went to search for firewood, we came back with big juicy larvas 4 inches long and 3 inches round, all ready to be roasted for lunch.
A Mayan life is never a bed of roses, surely you cannot lay idle at home expecting the government to feed you or the neighbor to bring food for you from the deep forest.
Every man, every woman, every child is able to feed himself, and support your community, whenever they request your assistance.
When the horn sounded every able man run to the plaza or the commissary house… either to help a man who has fallen sick and need to be transported through the forest to the nearest city, where
they can find help. Or a woman is dead from child birth or someone died from an unexpected accident.
Life is precious to the mayan people, but very unpredictable…today you were playing the guitar outside your shack, singing with the kids and tomorrow a snake gave you a death sentence, i saw a
couple friends disappear in to eternity this way.
Sometimes i forget how much suffering there is in this world but then i remember my
experience in the jungle that saw me for the first time, the sound that put me to sleep at night, the animals that shared their habitat with a humble boy…i have nothing to say but appreciate life.
If you live in a country where you can develop, grow and live a comfortable life, you are blessed among all humans and have no reason to complain…that doesn’t mean you can’t complain hahahahaha.
Don’t let small things discourage you, when you don’t have money to buy new shoes just remember the Mayan children and you will sympathize with them, when you don’t have a meal symphatize
with the millions who have not had a piece of bread for a week. Don’t complain, that there is another soul less fortunate than you, probably living under a tree, or with mended clothes.
And remember to always give of the blessings providence has blessed you with.
From the jungle lover.
Today as I was working on my job in a hospital I saw a friend getting out of his Lexus car.
I thought, how unfair life can be.
My friend’s kids never have to go hungry, they have a pool a few steps outside their home, all the video games they can have a big TV and a nice house, the question came to my mind, what did they do to deserve such a privilege to be born in a country that has no wants, a country where you can become whatever you want, a place where you can own and get anything you want a place with oportunities for all. To be part of a well educated family with enough money to buy anything they want?
My answer was nothing, they did absolutely nothing to earn this privilege, they were blessed by the heart of heaven as the popol Vuh the mayan sacred book call him.
As I was still waiting for my work to start, my mind was suddenly transported to the deep jungle of southern Mexico where I had the privilege to be born. The kids in the jungle, being born in abject poverty, sometimes in the woods, while the mom is working in the cornfield or bringing a load of firewood home.
For a mayan child, Birthdays come and Christmas go and they never see Santa claus bringing a gift for them, Even when they behaved like good kids do…all year around.
The good thing is that the mayan kids don’t know that two thousand miles away in another country, there is plenty of food, plenty of toys, plenty of everything you want and your heart desires.
What poverty brings to them on a daily basis, is fun, fun fun fun….Yes, it is fun to take the dog with you to the farm and run behind him, go to the river take your clothes off and jump in to the water,
( this is called taking a shower here hahahaha) There are no rules in how deep you can go in to the water, as long as your lungs don’t burst and the pressure on your ear don’t injure your ear drum.
If you are a mayan child, you can chase the snakes, or get chased, climb the tallest tree and jump to the river, go fishing on a Rambo style, after you designed your own fishing tools of course.
When conventional food is scarce or the crops failed, you go in to the deep forest to collect food of all kinds, berries, mushrooms, Guayas, worms, giant ants which are so good and juicy, specially after being roasted.
I have noticed something on the mayan kids, even though they are exposed to the elements day and night, they don’t develop any kind of allergies, even though the ants and mosquitos eat them all the
The kids laugh, they still poke fun at each other, they still have dreams and sometimes nightmares…
Hunting for little animals are a preferred pass time for a child, we built traps for fish, rabbits, birds, and other rodents that harm the crop…
Going to el platanar to eat ripe bananas is a fun activity, that i used to do, animals also like bananas so you have to be clever not to feed the animals, In order to keep some ripe bananas for us, we use
to burry them in the ground with a mark on it, so we could find it days later when we calculated it was ripe.
Kids on Developed countries don’t have an idea how it is to live or just survive in the jungle…it is not an adventure it is a way of life.
And the cycle of poverty is passed from parents to children, until a child decides to brake it, which is rare but it happens and more now in the 20 centuries.
A mayan child has to learn survival skills early in their lives, and they feel blessed with such knowledge, and the privilege to have been born in a mayan family.
Discipline is applied on the early age, so the mayan child learns to respect the adults,the elder in the village, and their teachers.
A child doesn’t talk unless is asked to talk, you don’t talk back to your parents, or any adult…when adults are talking you only listen and keep quite, if you open your mouth you are in big troubles.
Life is simple and full of respect to people, nature, and special respect to the heart of heaven who provides the rain, the sun, the rivers, the fish, the greens ready to be eaten, the animals, the air to
breath, the stars at night to contemplate the maker, and the joy of life.
I have found that happiness is not based in having too much, or having nothing in life, it is based on your attitude …
How simple life can be when you are not the focus of your own attention, it becomes simple when you try to help others less fortunate than you, it becomes simple when you share of the blessings you
have. A great teacher said..there is more joy in giving than receiving…Because you can only give when you have, and you can only receive when you don’t have.
Be generous and life will be more generous to you,
Feel blessed to live in a country with so much blessings.
Feel the nature around you, smell it, enjoy it and live it.
Blessings form the mayan Guy.