Camino update 6: Pilgrims are still humans

This post was originally posted on beingthebestyoucanbeblog.wordpress.com on this day last year as part of my Camino journey. 

I am now in Rua with just one more night before walking into Santiago. I’m sure that once I reach Santiago there are many more posts to be written so let’s get this one finished beforehand.

If you’re looking for more travel updates then please check out those written for travelalphabetabc.wordpress.com.

So yes pilgrims are still humans and will therefore act like it. We are no better than anyone else just because we are pilgrims along the Camino, however there are some that act as if they are.

It is easy to believe ahead of a trip that you will meet a certain type of person along the way. I’m sure we all do that as we are human and have preconceptions and form judgements. I’ve done it before on trips to Buddhist countries thinking that perhaps the other people in the group will also be Buddhist or that in the very least they will behave with respect to Buddhist beliefs and/or traditions. Sadly this is not always the case.

So why would we expect people walking a Christian pilgrimage route to behave in a certain way?

If people are naturally rude or judgemental in their normal life, would they change on a pilgrimage?

If people are demanding or can’t find the time to greet others would this change on a pilgrimage?

Some don’t describe themselves as pilgrims and are certainly quick to tell anyone who wants to hear or not that this is just a walk to them and they are definitely not doing it for religious reasons. OK then so why would we expect better behaviour from them?

Pilgrims are humans, we don’t leave that aside so for those who are competitive in their lives then they will be competitive here as there is lots of scope. Where did you start? Where will you walk to? Are you carrying your own bag? Where do you stay? How many kms do you walk a day? How many kms are you doing an hour? Of course they will want to win and as far as I’m concerned they can win any competition they want to have as I’m not in a race of any sort.

If pilgrims/ walkers don’t notice others around them in life then why would they on the Camino? Surely they would walk past without saying hola or buen Camino. They may even rush up behind you on a tight path and expect you to get out of their way or quicken their speed as come on they are important here and you need to let them pass.

If they are two-faced and like to talk about people then the Camino won’t change that in fact they’ll even talk about a person when they are just feet away. They may not even consider they’ll be heard and understood. Oh no because they are who they are.

For those who are insecure in themselves and get something from putting others down in public then this will continue on the Camino.

For pilgrims who are kind and open to others in their lives then they will continue this in abundance on the Camino and you’ll notice them as they’ll no doubt be cheering you up or helping you along the way.

So yes the pilgrim is still human. Yes, there may be changes in the pilgrim’s behaviour but you as a pilgrim can’t change that for other people. They will remain the same but what will happen on the Camino is that you will change.

As you walk, you will notice what is important to you and know how you want to behave. You will soon learn who is good to walk with and who takes your energy away with their negativity. As you walk, you will notice people’s insecurity and see why they behave in certain ways and you will make quick decisions as to who they really are. As Maya Angelou said “when people show you who they are, believe them” as they won’t change! Your understanding of yourself will develop and your response to them will change.

Pilgrims are still human!

Tomorrow I walk into Santiago where I will remind myself that we are humans too as I stand in line waiting for my compostela and to see the statue of St James.

Until the next post Buen Camino!

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