In a world that tends to simplify the understanding of human beings, and make us appear predictable and manipulable, the role of purposeful action tends to be minimised. Great thinkers of our times, by contrast, have stressed the importance of hope and utopia.
Hope constitutes an active force that supports our own initiative. However, for many, the path of life goes from hope to experience alone.
One of the speakers in my BA graduation ceremony in Mexico, warned us of the dangers of losing hope. The idea of the reduction of hope through the process of gaining experience suggests that for some people hope is a youngsters’ thing.
It implies that that once that we have tried hard to produce a particular change (in our personal or professional lives, or in the world), we humans abandon forever the idea of change, and find our little niche to cope with what is.
Interestingly, the brutal acceptance of things as they are (or have been) makes the actual past the only possible past, rather than one among a number of possibilities.
I am not implying that acceptance is not also important: at certain points in life we need to accept that we have limited options, or that we need to satisfy a specific need, such as sleeping when we are tired, recovering from an illness, earning money to support ourselves, our families, accompanying a loved one for a period or finishing a task. Actually, some of these ‘just be there’ actions involve a lot of hope.
Hope is necessary to keep on moving. Eduardo Galeano compares utopia with the horizon. When we move towards it, it moves away. We will never reach it, but he concludes that it is thanks to utopia, that we move forward at all.
This does not mean that we walk towards the impossible, on the contrary, walking towards utopia, we find satisfaction in multiple achievements, in sharing with others, in the very act of doing, and doing together.
When the possibility of writing for The Prisma fell on my lap (through Monica’s invitation) in a meeting of the Latin American Recognition Campaign in the UK, I felt thrilled. I love writing, though I had too much on my plate and I had not written for the public.
Back then, I thought about a name for my column. It would be ‘Tubito’, a tube that channels and reaches, and that can also be used for defence. Defence of the voiceless. I did not use the name, but I started writing regularly, and it was challenging to keep up the pace!
The Prisma is a project full of hope, a la Freire: critical thinking, dialogues and the search for a world based on social justice. A work of love made with a purpose.
Now, I need to stop writing in this space for the time being.
Why would I have to leave something that makes me happy, with people with whom I share values and hopes? There has come a time to satisfy a need. I need to embrace a project with a lot of hope in another area of my life.
Even the most longed for changes entail melancholy. As we say in Spanish, The Prisma, this is not a good bye. We stay in touch.