When I was returning from my country Ecuador two weeks ago, I saw something that made my heart shrink, although all the passengers went away from it as if there was nothing to contemplate. There was a man, just right in front of me, at one of the windows of the plane. After traveling for more than 12 hours, it’s a privilege to be in one of those, since seeing the night from there is absolutely astounding: you can almost see stars naked. But as I walked towards him, I noticed that he was blind. I was completely shocked, since you have the opportunity to choose your seats. A series of questions started to arise in my mind: why did he choose to be there? What was he thinking? How must he be feeling?

I was suddenly sure of something: he didn’t really have to see to look at the night. You choose to see with your mind, with your imagination, what sometimes your eyes don’t. We are the ones who choose to look, despite having eyes or not. We are the ones who choose to fall asleep when all the stars are awake. But be sure, that somewhere, at some time, there will be a blind man seeing with his heart what you weren’t able to see with your eyes. And it is with that sight, that true sight, with which we will be able to question everything that surrounds us, why everything works the way it does, and if they should continue doing so: our economic, political, social, and hierarchy system that, yes, even nowadays exists.

We are in a critical point of humanity, a point of no return, in which we have to start truly seeing our crude reality and questioning it; after this, change starts. Symphonies, skyscrapers, bridges, planes, everything has been created by our wonderful minds, our enormous imagination. Let’s just remember when we went to the moon! We have more processing capacity in our calculator than they did back then for sending a spaceship to our satellite. 300 years ago it was something that only the insane would have even thought of, and yet, we went. Now I can only just imagine what would happen if the seven billion of us would start seeing things again, if we could simply start reimagining ourselves, because if we don’t do so, we are doomed to fail. The reality here is not that we will fail carrying with us all life on earth, that’s not correct; life will continue to exist, nature will continue to be just as divine and powerful, but we will have stolen from ourselves our right from co-existing with it. We will have stolen the right of our children and our descendants their right of enjoying the earth that should have given them life.

I won’t really invite you to anything; I won’t call on action now. But I will tell you one thing: it just costs a little bit of imagination to get where we want to be. History has proven itself to be like that: if we want it, we can get it. It just takes a bit of courage.

Here is a poem written by Mario Benedetti, a beloved Uruguayan poet, whose ink in this time was aimed towards the young, to those who have this hidden power that is big enough for changing everything, as we now know it. Us, everybody really, no matter what ages we have, because we all have dreams, although they might be asleep, because we all have this intrinsic fire in our souls that makes us thirsty for challenging the existent, for challenging the status quo, for changing what goes against our nature.

What is left for the youth to try
in this world of patience and disgust?
Only graffiti? ¿Rock? ¿Skepticism?
It is also left for them not to say amen
Not letting them kill you love
restore speech and utopia
be young without haste and with memory
placed in a story that is yours
not to become prematurely old

 

What is left for the youth to try
in this world of routine and ruin?
¿Cocaine? Beer? ¿Hooligans?
It is left for them to breathe, to open our eyes
discover the roots of horror
invent peace even if it’s the hard way
understanding ourselves with nature
and with rain and lightings
and with the feeling and with death
that crazy one of binding and loosing

 

What is left for the youth to try
in this world of consumption and smoke?
Vertigo? Assaults? Nightclubs?
It is also left for them to argue with God
whether it exists as if not
extend hands that help,
open doors between the heart of our own and the neighbor’s
above all they have left to do is to make future
despite the ruins of past
and the wise charlatans of the present

(Poem by Mario Benedetti, ¿Qué les queda a los jóvenes?)

Finally, maybe adding a bit on this man’s wise words, never forget what shook your heart to the ground, what made your eyes fill with tears. After all, humans do this only in front of injustice, of pain, in front of the realization that the way in which things work now has only one result: the satisfaction of a relentless system that enslaves us and the planet. Don’t live in silence. Shout for change. And if in the process death has to be faced, die shouting; die fighting, because you were born that way. We all were.

Written by: Jose Paulo Morales

Edited by: Hannah Cook

Copy edited by: Emily Perotti

Advertisements