Utopia does not exist!
Kudos to Barry Schwartz and Leo Plumley for their letters that appeared in today’s (Aug. 4) edition. They help to put things in perfect perspective. As Sir Isaac Newton theorized, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every American happily living in Costa Rica, the is one who is unhappy. But, this is not unusual or biased. For every person who favors vanilla ice cream, there is one who favors chocolate. It is all about what we as individuals prefer, and, what we deem and accept as the norm. Some people will simply not be happy wherever they are.
Yes, there is crime and violence in Costa Rica. That is a fact that cannot be denied. But, there is also crime and violence in the United States. Many years ago, I was robbed at gunpoint in a hallway of a big and prominent hotel in New York City, and, I was not alone. I was with three other men, and all of us we fairly big guys. But, a gun is a excellent neutralizer.
One must exhibit and practice common sense. If you walk around flashing expensive jewelry and money, you raise the red flag. My home in New Jersey is about 25 kms. from New York City. At times I go into the city quite often. There is no way I am wearing expensive jewelry and making a target out of myself. When I am walking around in Costa Rica, if I wear a watch, it is a very cheap and plain looking watch.
If you want to move to Costa Rica, you must know there are changes you are going to have to make. It is a simple matter of fact. If you don’t, then you become a target. Your wanting to move to Costa Rica must be based on reasons that put materialistic values secondary. If you cannot do this, then you need to re-evaluate your thought process.
On the other side of the coin, it cannot be denied that it appears that criminals in Costa Rica are not dealt with as seriously or severely as they should be. The Costa Rican government must establish a stronger stance on how criminals are dealt with. Those who commit crimes against other people need to face stronger and longer sentences. There should be intensive community service projects. Let those convicted of crimes be put to work. Let them (under armed supervision) repair roads, rebuild public facilities such as schools. Let them work to pay for the expenses of keeping them imprisoned. Let them know, if you break the law, you are going to pay dearly.
Next month, I return to Costa Rica. Many of my friends and family question my rationale, based on what they hear and see on the news. There are many of the baby boomer generation who relished at the thought of moving to Costa Rica who are now having second thoughts. An influx of Americans to Costa Rica brings with it the opportunity for huge financial gain for the country. The government needs to seriously address this.
To me, a 65- year-old widower with grown children, what Costa Rica offers far outweighs what reasonable precaution can prevent. Possession of materialistic value takes a serious second place to more realistic and simplistic values: harmony, tranquility, contentment, serenity and the beauty of nature that God put on this earth.
Utopia does not exist, Costa Rica is not perfect, but, when you compare the attributes versus the detriments, there are not many places that offer more, especially for the cost factors.