As discussed in my previous blogs, #27 Watch a Bullfight and #54 Run with the Bulls in Spain, I copped a lot of verbal abuse for wanting to be involved in these two events. Those who were close to me said hurtful things to me and drew conclusions about my opinion on animal rights that were not at all accurate.
I was not oblivious to what happened at these two events. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. The only thing that I didn’t know was how I was going to react. I thought about changing these two items to make the naysayers happy, but, after much deliberation, I decided to leave them unchanged.
I didn’t want to become them. I didn’t want to have my opinion formed by the views of others and not at all based on firsthand experiences. As I mentioned in [#27 Lesson] You Don’t Know Until You Go, I don’t think that I am better than others because I get my feelings and beliefs from firsthand experiences. I was only searching to make myself a better person by truly discovering where I sat in this ethical dilemma.
The end result was that I did not enjoy the bullfight and I will never go to one again. However, my firsthand experience showed me the cultural significance of bullfights to the Spanish people. This event is deeply rooted in their cultural values and enjoyed by millions each year. Who am I to tell Spain that they need to change their cultural values? Who am I to even tell a friend not to go?
People have asked me about the bullfights after my experience and I always give them the same answer. I tell them that if they are even the slightest bit curious, they should go and find out for themselves. They may enjoy it, or not, but they will have their answer by the end of the first fight.
It took a lot of resolve to keep these items on the list. And it took a lot of determination to make them happen. These two items brought up more emotions than any other item has so far. This has given me such a strong attachment to them, and the images of the events have been etched into my memory forever. They made me a better person and for that, I am glad that I had the guts to keep them on my list.
When have you stood up to others challenging your views? Let me know in the comments below.
Want to be notified when new blog posts are uploaded? Subscribe below.
Dave has been on a mission, since 2010, to cross off the 100 items on his bucket list. The stories of his adventures are complimented by life lessons learned along the way and his travel tips are unique to his experiences.