Weeks ago, while talking to a friend, she came up with a wonderful concept that I have embraced ever since: kindly indifference
My conversation with Cynthia was about cultural differences, or perhaps more specifically, how Cynthia and I have certain expectations when we offer our friendship and love to people. I was explaining her how people were not really mean to me, neither they acted rude or impolite, they were just…kindly indifferent, she said, completing my sentence.
That’s a perfectly accurate statement of how a lot of people treat me here. They sort of listen to me, they sort of pretend interest in me, yet, they don’t really care at all. Are they mean? Of course not, Canadians by nature cannot be mean (I don’t think they have that gene in their DNA structure, and if they do, most of the times it is dormant).
I don’t think I knew any kindly indifferent people in Mexico. A lot of people didn’t like me, others loved me, and many more didn’t care. Of those who loved me, they all expressed their love in a variety of ways; they ones who didn’t like me, probably spoke behind my back; the indifferent ones didn’t bother to think about me. In none of these groups people pretended to care about me, but really didn’t care.
Sadly, for many years I refused to accept this idea. I thought some people really loved me and cared about me. It was until recent months, when I realized I was lying to myself in order to have a sense of belonging. Maybe some of these kindly indifferent people love me in a way I don’t understand or share, but maybe they don’t really care at all.