Abe Observes

abe villarrealAbe Villarreal is the Assistant Dean of Student Support and Civic Engagement at Western New Mexico University. When not on campus, he enjoys writing about his observations on marketing, life, people and American traditions.

By Abe Villarreal

I heard a saying the other day. It went something like: See the world through the eyes of the person you are talking to.

It made me pause for a moment. I felt a little conflicted thinking of how often I speak to someone thinking of what I want them to hear while ignoring what they are telling me and why it matters to them.

By Abe Villarreal
A few months ago, I was watching cable news late at night. I saw an alert appear on the screen. The blonde lady speaking to me looked really tense. She shared that there were reports of an impending invasion. I thought to myself, “An invasion, how could this be?”

Those kinds of things don’t happen in the United States. She said it was a caravan of hundreds, maybe thousands of people from tiny countries thousands of miles away. They were coming, and no one was stopping them. It was late at night. I fell asleep listening to this alarming news.

By Abe Villarreal

In the busy streets of a metropolitan downtown, people are coming and going quickly. No one has time to stop and take a moment for a hello or a goodbye. The only things that seem to be without motion are buildings. There’s a need to get somewhere quickly. No time to waste.

It’s at least what I experienced seeing recently on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia. The humidity of the South, mixed with the diversity of a community rich in lively music and savory food, all made it for a memorable few days in the Peach State.

By Abe Villarreal

Every time we run into a friend that we haven’t seen in a long time, we like to say things like “what a small world.”

It is a small world for most of us. We don’t make it an effort to see most of it. Our personal worlds are even smaller. And in those tiny worlds we live in, we find comfort in knowing that those around us are just like us. They think like us, dress like us, and want the same things we want in life.

By Abe Villarreal

On a visit to Ellis Island a little over a year ago, I took a moment to stand and stare over the New York Bay. From a distance, a tall and proud Lady Liberty stands with a definite and welcoming demeanor. In one hand she holds a torch above her head. On the other, a tablet with July 4, 1776 inscribed in Roman numerals. At her feet lie broken chains.

At every turn, I could see the enormity and splendor that is America. The skyline of the greatest city in the world and the working people of the coast. Things big and small all moving together to keep this grand experiment of democracy alive.

By Abe Villarreal

In an era where traditions, practices, and everyday items seem to change as soon as we get used to them, I wonder why somethings can’t just stay the same.

Things like the song you hear when your beautiful bride is walking down the aisle, or the pomp and circumstance march as graduates arrive to receive their degrees. Those things shouldn’t change.

By Abe Villarreal

Every time I check the mail, I am reminded about how great it is to be in America. Seems funny, but getting your mail, usually on time, in that little box at the end of your driveway seems like a very American thing.

I was watching a news story on television some time ago, and an immigrant from a third-world country expressed how special she felt as a new American because she received her mail without even thinking about it. We take these things for granted.

How about dialing 911? Not everyone in the world can do it. In about two seconds, we can dial this universal number and get emergency assistance. We don’t have to worry about paying for it or even giving the operator a good reason. Help is on the way. That too feels American.

By Abe Villarreal

All my life I've heard that I was lucky to live in the greatest country in the world. Hearing something like this makes a kid feel special. What did I do to be blessed in this way? I live in a place that is better than all the rest in the entire world. That’s something.

Hearing this is great for me, but what about the kids that live in those other not-as-great-as-America-places? When we speak like this, we trick ourselves into believing that we are better than others. And once we believe this, we begin to act like we are better than others.

Live from Silver City

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