I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I lived in Honduras, both in Tegucigalpa, the capital, as well as San Pedro Sula, the industrial capital, for ten years before my family immigrated to Canada. My father studied economy and received his Master’s Degree. He is a very intellectually driven man who takes pride in his understanding of the world, of business and of money. He left a job with the United Nations, working on humanitarian projects throughout my birth country of Honduras, and moved to Canada where he struggled to find work. With help from a job agency he was able to get odd jobs here and there, finally settling at a fireplace factory. Apart from having to wake up in the early cold which we wasn’t used to for a job which he was ridiculously overqualified for, my dad was also not used to carrying heavy machinery and equipment at work. A year or so after he began working there he found out he had a hernia and had to have surgery for it. Thankfully he was fine, and nowadays he has a much better job at a bank, which suits him a bit better for sure. Despite his temper, my father is really someone I greatly admire due to his determination to make ethical decisions in life. My father believes in doing everything right, in the way it needs to be done. Growing up I always wondered why I was so different from my father, but lately I’ve been having epiphanies which clearly show me just how similar we both are. We both have crazy ideas of unique projects. We both enjoy speaking to people and can talk non-stop when it comes to a topic we are passionate about. My dad is sort of extreme in a way, something I never wanted to admit for myself but which I need to come to terms with now. He tells me not to wear a beard when I fly so I don’t get seen as a threat, yet he wore a long beard when he was younger too. He tells me to play it safe and to study hard to have a promising career, to dedicate myself to it in order to get a head start while I’m still young, yet he left his home country in order to find his own way when he was young as well. That’s what led him up to his meeting with my mother, in the country of Honduras where my two brothers and I were all born. My mother’s family moved here from Nicaragua due to the Sandinista revolution which took place decades ago. My mother is a saint. She is a devoted follower of Christ and the Bible and she sacrificed much time apart from her work to make sure that we learn Biblical morals as well as practiced what we needed to know for school and did our homework. She always told me (and still does) that I have great potential which I waste by deciding to do things in a mediocre way. I never argued because I couldn’t deny it. I was never a big fan of school. As I started hanging out with my friends I started ignoring all the great times I had with my parents growing up and all they sacrificed for my brothers and I. My father always spoke to me in his native Portuguese so I was able to gain a fairly fluent understanding of it growing up. When I traveled to Brazil on my own for the larger part of a year I finally got some street practice, and I really felt free speaking Portuguese, I was feeling the Brazilian vibes. While in Rio, I was amazed at how hot it was, even hotter than San Pedro Sula in Honduras. While in Brazil, I first stayed in Sao Paulo at the home of a good family friend who I had never met, an old friend of my father who is a Baptist church pastor. He’s a sympathetic guy and he gave me some good life advice and treated me as his son while I was there. I’ve noticed that throughout life I’ve received such respectful treatment from many individuals as a result of their deep admiration for my father. For this reason I sometimes feel ashamed with my own performance in life thus far. I feel the pressure of great expectations which my parents have for me. If they were careless or irresponsible parents I never would have felt so guilty for going astray from their teachings. One of the saddest feelings of my life has been that of not being able to properly connect with my parents. Their religious beliefs make them very close minded when it comes to anything spiritual. It was only in recent years, once my dad started attending a Kabbalah class at the synagogue he is attending, that he began investigating deeper into mysticism and the idea that maybe things are a lot deeper than he had thought they were. For many years now he has considered himself a Jew, and has wanted to influence my brothers and I into undergoing complete conversion to Judaism, which he believes to be the true path to God. My mother is quite convinced with Jesus Christ’s promise of salvation for those who believe and pray in His name. She doesn’t feel the need for us to further investigate into the nature of God or the universe, and her closed mindset to these sorts of concepts bother my father and lead to great discord. But if their belief in God leads to discord whenever expressed between the two, then is it really serving its purpose at all? Spirituality is not something exclusive which can be taken up and dropped as a habit or custom can. Spirituality is everything, it is the essence of who we are. It is not a philosophical label or a religious sect, it is the realization that we are spiritual beings and that there is a spiritual purpose and significance to everything that happens, to every physical phenomenon. Spirituality means having a deeper connection to the true causes of things, to the nature of the effects and which causes they come from. Spirituality means balancing what needs to be done on this Earth with the time we need to spend contemplating heavenly concepts. Spirituality is balance in all aspects of life. A spiritual life is one which is well balanced and allowed to flourish, a life which is not lived for the sake of fulfilling vain worldly desires, but one which is lived for the purpose of doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. At least I find satisfaction in knowing that both my parents are people who are committed to living righteously; hopefully this can overcome any unreasonable habits that might come along with absolute belief in a single religion.
To be continued tomorrow, on Day 14.
~ Rebel Spirit