Eagerness and Anxiety. Better call them: Stress

The last week of the month of May, my family and I were facing serious problems, emotional, physical, material, economic and of course, spiritual.

My younger sister fainted in the bathroom during Sunday School. One of the receptionists found her and then other brothers and sisters joined in the task of helping her. Interestingly, this is not the situation that startled us at home, because this physical problem we have faced it since she was 13 years old and somehow (not a very good one I must say) we are already used to.attacked by a moderate to intense headache that did not stop (despite being taking a daily iron supplement to fight anemia). Her response every time we asked her about how she was or how she felt was: "I'm fine."

In the course of the following days, we noticed her emaciated, tired and weak,
Certainly, she was not. Those days her blood pressure was at 90/60 and it even dropped further to settle at 80/50. But she kept going to work at 6:30 a.m. and returning at 9 p.m.

The alarms went on Friday at 6 am when while I was praying and she prepared herself, as usual, to go to work, she notified us with a trembling voice and a frightened face that she felt half of her face numb.

We immediately got up from our place and went with her to the nearest health center. She had to receive her payment that day or the next but without receiving a notification, we launched ourselves into the hands of God with the few coins we had in our pockets.

In that first assistance center, they could not do anything for her. They limited themselves to sending her to the General Hospital of the city because it was the one that had the equipment to attend her in her particular case.

Thank God, the brothers who helped her during her fainting were the same ones who took her to the hospital and stayed with her throughout the process.

After being treated, evaluated and examined, the medical diagnosis was: Stress.

Stress is one of the deadliest diseases of the 21st century. It begins as an emotional condition that unbalances the nerves, increases anxiety and translates to the rest of the body in different types of reactions, some more adverse than others, and in some cases may cause the death of the person.

As a result of this situation, I sought consolation in the Word of God and found this biblical passage in the book of Luke chapter 10 verses 38 - 42. In this passage we find the Lord Jesus visiting the house of 2 sisters: Marta and Maria.

Upon entering, he began to speak but the Scripture says that one of them (Martha) "was concerned with many chores, and approaching, said: Lord, do not you care that my sister let me serve alone?" In other words, she bothered that Jesus not to call the attention of Mary, who says the text sat at his feet to hear his word instead of continuing with the work.

Jesus' response to this case was interesting. He said: "Marta, Marta, busy and upset you are with many things. But only one thing is necessary; and Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her. "

Let's see this in a more modern context. Marta represents people like my sister and like other millions of stressed beings in this world. Busy people with many occupations and troubled by many worries.

While it is true, the term stress was not used in the time of Jesus, the disease as such already existed and Marta was a faithful reflection of it.

Maria, on the other hand, represents the person who still has duties to fulfill, tasks to accomplish, goals to achieve, but took the time to stop the anxiety and eagerness and provide nutrients to her mind and soul, which like Martha's they must be saturated, but when they come to the feet of Christ, they chose to discharge those worries and anxieties to recharge batteries with something 100% positive.

No person is immune to the effects of stress. From losing hair and eating nails to suffer heart attacks or strokes, stress is the order of the day to inflict all kinds of damage to human beings.

Jesus taught in the book of Matthew chapter 6 verse 34: "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its eagerness. Sufficient for each day its own evil"

Certainly, eagerness and anxiety are two evils that unequivocally assail us on a daily basis. Now imagine for a moment that without coming to the feet of Christ to download them, let's say a week, then you will have accumulated the tension of these evils for 7 days, but you think to yourself that you do not need to stop, that you cannot stop and that as my sister you say: "I'm fine", you can still continue, then get ready because the size of your stress will be the blow that your body will receive.

Choose to stop to release the pressure, feed your spirit, clear your mind, heal your wounds and only then you can move forward.

It is not about abandoning your responsibilities, leaves the job thrown away or become yourself in a full-time loafer. No way.

What it is about is that like Maria, you choose the good part. The part where you put a brake on that incessant train of life that you carry on and begin to give more importance to what is going to leave you with something more than a material prize. What it will leave you with mental and spiritual peace.

It may seem simple and even ridiculous but being able to go to sleep every night without worries and waking up in the same way, is a blessing that will benefit you and everyone around you.

Traveling the world: May it change a person?

Let's start at the beginning. I am a Venezuelan immigrant just turned 39. The current situation took us (me and my sister) out of the country 18 months ago.

Don't worry I am not going to write about it here. But I mention this because until then I had never set foot outside national borders (Oh my God!).

So when I left Venezuela and said "Good Bye" painfully from my parents (my lifelong companions) we embarked on an adventure that filled us with both emotion and nerves.

Before traveling, I researched as much as I could about my destination country (Peru). Its food, its climate, its bank of jobs, the receptivity of its people towards Venezuelans (because it is one thing to be a foreigner and another very different thing, is to be a foreign Venezuelan).

Exploring the new path

I wanted to inform myself of everything that would be useful for me to live there, in fact, I subscribed to several groups on Facebook where other compatriots related their travel experiences and reported the prices of the rent, the food and some local customs that I should know if I planned to fit on my arrival.

Since at that time I had been working as a Freelance Writer for more than 2 years (and still do), I understood that the best way to make myself understood in this new scenario would be to speak using neutral terms and words, in the same way, as a I did in my paid assignments, because this would guarantee a better level of understanding with the local inhabitants. (I was right)

However, before commenting in detail on this experience of living in Peru, I want to share what was the trip to there, because we did not travel by plane, which would have been great but it did not fit into our narrow budget; instead, we travel by road, changing bus regularly, crossing borders, going up and down luggage.

Traveling on bus
Traveling the world on bus

The trip by plane would have taken 4 hours by direct flight from Caracas to Lima, but when traveling by road, we delayed a week (we were lucky, other people lasted 15 days!). Our trip started in our hometown Valencia.

From there we traveled 12 hours on the way to the border state of Tachira. In that town, we had to spend the night in a 1-star hotel because the tickets for the bus terminal in Cucuta (Colombia) to the city of Lima were sold out.

So, we wait until the next day at the terminal. Surrounded by hundreds of other families who, like us, would leave the country, they would part with tears in the eyes of their loved ones and embark on different destinations in the name of God.

The trip is summarized as follows:

  • Five buses. Each one of a worse category than the previous one except for the first and the last.
  • 3 countries traveled.
  • Food lost by assault in Rumichaca (border between Colombia and Ecuador).
  • Endless desert passing Tumbes (Peru).
  • Vomiting, insomnia and swollen feet.

Here's what that 7-day trip plus 3 suitcases and 2 bags taught me:

  • No matter how adventurous your spirit is, it is always better to travel accompanied than to travel alone, because on the way you will need someone to watch your back (especially when it's your turn to bathe at the inn for renting in a restaurant next to the road in half of the night), and also because it will be less easy to break down emotionally if you have someone to lend your shoulder to rest.
  • Good and bad people also exist outside of your country. Even if you are led to a paradise in other lands, keep in mind that you must be cautious, prudent and with a bit of malice (avoid unpleasant moments).
  • Make sure that one of your traveling companions is God. He does not occupy space, he does not generate expenses, he does not need to sleep and he will take care of you when you need it (I know why I tell you).

I need many more countries to travel to. Many other cultures to know. Many more stamps on my brand new passport but I want to share what this trip has taught me so far:

Learned Lessons from the trip

• Although the country you visit speaks your own language, you will have to learn its phrases, its accent and include in your personal dictionary the synonym of words that in your country meant one thing, but in this other mean others.

• If you come from a tropical country (like me), you will discover by yourself what the seasonal diseases are and the care you should give to your health if you want your travel experience not to be spent in a hospital or tied to a bed.

• Your palate will be expanded by new flavors.

• You will recognize humility as a valuable virtue and gratitude as a necessary good especially when you must start from scratch.

• If you have university degrees, credit cards, and a 5-star profile, you will not be superior to those who you know to, just different.

• You will become Tech-addicted if you want to keep in touch with your family or locate yourself on the map with GPS.

• Tiny House and Minimalist concept will be your new housing ideal.

• You will feel in your flesh that there is no good more precious than the love of your family and the memories of a life well-lived.

Traveling around the world may change a person. It may change you because it will fill you with experiences and learnings that you will not get through books or movies, and the more you travel, the more knowledge you will acquire, the more values you will collect and the less luggage you will carry, because if you want to continue traveling you will discover that there are other things that are not necessary, from which you will have to detach in order to travel light.

Cyberbullying, another way of social discrimination

Some time ago in the school world, Bullying attacks were mostly aimed at making a mockery and destructive criticism of the physical or external characteristics of a person (student or teacher), but I must say that in my personal experience and being in the Immigrant's civil status, I understood that Bullying It goes beyond a joke or an immature boys harassment, Cyberbullying is a way of social discrimination.

Bullying pre-internet

Until now my understanding of the term bullying was associated with child or adolescent victims because the reports on the internet and the media echoed this increasingly notorious evil in society. Without looking up a dictionary or exploring on Google, I understood that the meaning of the word was directly related to the harassment, mockery, and humiliation inflicted on a person.

It's not that Bullying is new. It is also not the latest fashion of school bullocks to torment those who provoke them. Simply, today and because of the almost omniscient and inescapable presence of Social Networks, Cyberbullying has become more visible because now it has found in the internet new ways to be spread.

Without the cybernetic "help" of the methods of Acceptance and Repost of comments in the Social Networks, when the bully wanted to upset someone, they had to wait for their victim in flesh in the educational institution where they coexisted to carry out their misdeeds; or failing that, if this did not satisfy them, then they persecuted the victim to their home or place of work, to continue with the ritual of physical and psychological torture.

But nowadays, bullying has, in fact, become quite simple and with as little force as possible. If there is something to be acknowledged from the old school of bullying, it is that the bullies had a face and distinguishable voices among the crowd. Not that this is a positive aspect (not at all it is), however, with the arrival and insertion of Social Networks in the daily life of human beings, anyone can be a Bully and we can all be victims of Cyberbullying without exception.

Actuality and Scope of Cyberbullying

In 2016, the Mutua Madrileña and ANAR (Aids to Children and Adolescents) Foundations in Spain published the results of a study on the scope of Bullying from the point of view of those affected. This study, the first of its kind, yielded revealing results regarding this form of cyberbullying:

• 92% of the victims end up suffering some type of psychological sequel.
• 1 of 4 reported cases of Bullying originated in mobile or cell phones and social networks.
• 86% of the victims of Bullying were attacked through WhatsApp groups.
• 36.2% of the victims were harassed through Social Networks.

The same year but in Argentina, the NGO Argentina Cibersegura offered the results of a survey conducted to about 600 schools throughout the country, from which it was known that 64% of them had suffered specifically from Cyberbullying.

Although these figures are only the tip of the iceberg, it is even more scandalous and terrifying to learn about the disastrous consequences on the victims:

• Loss of self-esteem,
• Demoralization,
• Anxiety,
• Panic attacks,
• Stress,
• Isolation,
• Depression and the worst of all,
• Suicide.

The outrageous of this Cyberbullying is how it operates:

1) Individuals with bad intentions and lacking social values and human principles create a poisonous note (verbal aggression, threats, and publication of compromising images)

2) Individuals with lack of personality and twisted minds approve, share and republish the poisoned note, (they viralize the content)

3) Result: Many victims. Responsible: Zero.

When Cyber Bullying points to a nationality

Between 2017 and 2018 in Mexico, a study was carried out by the NGO International Bullying Without Borders for Latin America and Spain, in which it was reported that the rate of Bullying cases was increasing, specifically 7 of each 10 children were victims of harassment in the Aztec country. Interesting in this study was also the following:

• 82% of children with physical disability are bullied at school.
• 9 out of 10 homosexual students are harassed because of their sexual orientation.

Will there be any study in the future that will determine how many are being harassed by their nationality?

What is clear in the foreground is that people who show a visible difference in their social environment, such as clothing, physicality, sexuality, faith, nationality, to name a few, are the favorite targets of cyberbullies.

The definition that the World Health Organization makes of Bullying highlights among its lines that this aggressive phenomenon is suffered by children and adolescents of school age, however, is it possible that adults are also victims of this scourge?

Sadly, I read daily on Social Networks as my nationality is attacked without any type of restraint. We went from being the fashionable subject and the curiosity of the moment, to become the plague that must be eliminated, the epidemic that must be contained.

Expressions like "Inglorious Venezuelans ...", "why are not returned to their country of shit?" ".... Did they rob you? Sure they were Venezuelans ... "," In their country, things happen because they deserve it ... "," All Venezuelans are criminals ... "," they have to be deported or killed "," ... they should not allow them to enter ... "," they are stealing the opportunities to the locals ... "," ... that's why I hate all those Venezuelans ... ", they abound and abound in Social Networks and there are hundreds who give their approval with a LIKE.

Currently, the Cyberbullying is the favorite channel to discriminate against immigrants because of their nationality. To attack their country, to make fun of their culture, to trample their patriotic pain and humiliate their idiosyncrasies.

Many enter the forums to comment because they read that others wrote something about it and fascinated by being part of the majority, add to the collective hysteria of shooting virtually against people they do not know. They criticize them, accuse them and in the process condemn them, simply because they come from a different country.

I read the phrase of someone who unfortunately shares my nationality, affirming in Social Networks that all those who have immigrated to Europe are worthwhile citizens, while those of us who migrate to South American countries are the scum of society. How can you come to think this way and out loud?, Citizens of the First World or Citizens of Elite?, Seriously?

Final reflection

1) The country where we are born does not define our human quality. The good or the evil of the human being are born in their own heart. We choose who we want to be. We are the result of our own decisions.

2) Most of those who attack immigrants in Social Networks censor and condemn the acts of help they receive, alleging that they take away that help from the local needy, but those who criticize and condemn have already done something to help their neighbor? Have they already held out their hand to the one they saw in need in the street?

3) It is easy to hide behind a computer or a phone to vomit all kinds of criticism about people we do not know and who can not even see us. It's so easy to do that that's why cowards feel comfortable in that environment. Why, instead of criticizing the social assistance given to an immigrant minority within a country, do not join the wills to propose a solution to local social problems and that existed before the arrival of immigrants?

4) There are foreign citizens who have committed crimes? Of course. Do not all foreign citizens have good manners? Totally true. There are Foreign citizens have broken their word and disappointed those who trusted them? It is also true. But what is equally true, is that not because a foreign citizen has committed a crime, all people who bear the same nationality have the same delinquent nature. Nor can you put all the immigrants in the same dish of dishonor due to the fact that only one has been missing.

5) Did not exist in the countries of origin crimes, deceptions, swindles, hunger and corruption before the arrival of immigrants? Or did the immigrants cause the country's moral debacle and lead it to bankruptcy?

6) If death does not discriminate when it takes with it people of value, innocent children, strong young people, promising athletes, genuine dreamers, exemplary parents, and adorable grandparents. Why do we humans find the space to build walls that separate us from each other?