The adjective alien derives from the Latin word aliēnus, which, in turn, comes from alĭus (a term that can be translated as “other”). The alien is that which belongs to another individual or that results from different characteristics from their own.
For example: “When I was little, my mother taught me that I should never keep other people’s things”, “I think the President cannot remain oblivious to this situation: if the unemployment rate continues to grow, the country will enter into a deep crisis “, ” I’ve always tried to be oblivious to the controversy “.
The idea of someone else can be applied to material objects. A person has belongings: items and products that he bought or were given as a gift and therefore belong to him. If a guy named Juan buys a phone, that phone is his. For Martín or Pedro, to name two other people, that telephone in question is alien. So if Martín or Pedro take Juan’s phone, they will have committed a robbery.
Although many strive to highlight the differences between our species and others, the concept of alien is something we share with animals. Although in nature it is not so common that each individual has belongings, animals that live with humans do appropriate various objects, such as toys and beds.
The alien can also be something of a different condition or that is strange. An Argentine who lives in the United States may refuse to participate in the celebration of Halloween (Halloween), claiming that for him said celebration is “alien” to his feelings. In this sense, the individual does not experience any identification with the event for cultural reasons, since the date was not paid attention to in his native land. This consideration of Halloween as something alien is due to customs and traditions, in turn related to the history of the peoples.
There are several expressions that include the term alien, and one of the most common is alien to someone’s will, which serves to explain that a situation is beyond the control of that person, who can do nothing to end or well, it could not have propitiated its beginning, since it took place beyond its actions.
Let us suppose that a person has been working for a time in a company with a very good performance: he always arrives early, fulfills all his tasks in the previously established deadlines and his discipline is impeccable. Despite his impeccable performance, one day they tell him that they should end their contract at the end of the month, without being able to anticipate it. Surprised and outraged he goes to his supervisor for an explanation, and he replied “I’m sorry, your dismissal was alien to my will; the human resources department has been forced to make cuts due to a lack of budget ».
Staying oblivious to something, finally, is linked to staying away from it. The meaning of the expression is not positive or negative in itself, and it can be applied to attitudes of both types and even to situations that are halfway between both extremes. It is correct to say that a politician who wants to be oblivious to confrontations, for example, wishes not to enter into discussions or confrontations.
Not wanting to be involved in a discussion between two other people can be a sign of respect towards them, to avoid causing interference in your relationship, but it can also speak of a lack of commitment, especially if your participation could help them solve the problem.