“My wallet is gone!”
“What do you mean it is gone,”, I replied. “You probably just left it back at the apartment.
Don’t worry, I”ll get lunch.”
“No, I took it with me, I am telling you it is gone!”
“Let’s just wait to get back to the apartment, it probably dropped out of your bag before we left.”
She didn’t say a word all the way back, biting her nails, she was trying to hide her insecurity.
It was our second day since our arrival in Buenos Aires. This would have been the second consecutive time my niece was robbed. She had $10 taken from the front zipper of her backpack in the subway the day before.
She figured, by putting her wallet inside the deeper zipper of her backpack it would be harder for a pocket picker to reach, it should be fine.
When we got back to the apartment, we both searched for the wallet..it was nowhere to be found. Her wallet had been taken from inside her backpack again in the subway. This time, they hit the jackpot, she had brought along all her cash money, $300.
She went to her room, said she wanted to be alone for awhile. I let her be, I was worried, she is 17 years old, this is a huge change for her. She will probably want to go back home, where everything is familiar to her. After a half hour, I decided to go see her. She sat up on the bed, I took her in my arms. Tears started to roll down her face as she repeated that it was her fault. I told her it was not true. She was not to blame for some else’s actions. She stopped me and said, “I know that the action that took place was not my fault, but, this happened to me yesterday, I should have taken more precautions, you even warned me not to take all my money with me.” “I guess I really needed this experience to learn my lesson and know that I have to adapt to these changes. So, I have come up with a solution.” She was ready to go to the McDonalds in our neighbourhood and ask for a part time job to make up the money. She was willing to work in the back washing dishes since she did not speak spanish.
She faced the situation and came up with an alternative to move forward. Most importantly, she said, “ I am not going to let someone else’s wrong doing ruin my trip, I worked hard to come here, I deserve to enjoy myself.”
She strengthen her self confidence, “ If I continue to feel sorry for myself, I will build up anger. If I go back home, I will let the person who took my wallet also steal the adventures we planned on this trip from me.” “ The only thing I will remember and talk about is that I got robbed. I guess it cost me $300 to learn a big lesson, I can make back the money, but, I will probably never get to relive the adventures and the exciting memories to come.” I was so proud of her!
When you are faced with a bad situation, it is normal to feel angry, hurt, scared or betrayed at first. If you take control of the situation and your emotions to work on getting past it, you will be educated from it. There is a lesson in everything you go through, it is not being foolish to forgive. It does not mean that you are excusing the act or trying to justify the wrong, it just means that you are strong enough to find understanding and accept the humanity in the person who brought you pain. In letting go, you realize that it was their freedom of choice (although you do not agree with their choice), that hurt you. This will allow you to remain the kind of person you really are and be in peace and harmony with yourself. Staying angry, victimizing yourself or even seeking revenge will eventually cause you even more pain and you will only end up hurting yourself more.
After my niece’s incident, her response towards the situation, allowed that we enjoyed the rest of the trip. We had many adventures, when we look back, we were able to laugh at the whole thing. Despite this act, she considers Buenos Aires as one of the best places to visit in the world. Pocket pickers are all over the world. Buenos Aires has 13 million people, cash is the biggest mode of payment, in taking certain common sense precautions, it could be avoided.
Do you find yourself retelling over and over the same stories of bad things that happened to you? Do you feel resentment towards someone for something that they did that hurt you? Ask yourself, how is keeping these stories alive by retelling them helping me? Is your resentment bringing you peace and happiness? Take the time to think about both these things, now imagine how your state of mind would be if those stories no longer existed, if you no longer felt that resentment… You will feel like a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders!
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