Personal boundaries are the guidelines that we develop for ourselves that contain the rules and limits that we will allow when interacting with others. They outline what we find permittable and that which is not acceptable, as well as how we will respond when our boundaries are breached. Boundaries come about through our experiences, social learning, beliefs, and opinions.
As I have been traveling around Bali, I have been getting the impression that this culture may have soft boundaries. Traffic is chaos, and frequently cars and scooters are going in all different directions in the same place. The drivers are giving friendly toots of the horn, but no one is upset or concerned. I have also noticed that it is not uncommon for a Balinese to be working outside of their family compound on a table and if the table is a bit large, that is ok, they will place it in the road. I want to state here that the streets in Bali tend to be narrow, and often congested with foot, animal, and vehicular traffic. I have found myself to be quite uncomfortable with this blatant breaking of boundaries.
In contemplating this phenomenon, I found that my beliefs were being called into question. Was I wrong in my views and were the Balinese right? Had I made mistakes in forming my boundaries
? I also started to wonder if the reason that there is so much tension between people of different cultures is due to the differences in personal and cultural boundaries. I am reminding myself that I need to be mindful and respectful of these cultural differences, as well as to my personal boundaries. I need to refrain from judgment and observe what is going on around me. Our life experiences form who we are, but we retain the privilege of making the final choice of what is edited into our beliefs. We have the responsibility to use our travels to help us to grow as a person, and therefore our personal boundaries may change, and isn't that a good thing?