|“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” ~Oscar Wilde
As 2011 draws to a close, I shudder at the depth & magnitude of what has happened/is happening to our society/world & what may await us in the year(s) to come. On a personal level, I am thankful for being here right now – breathing, thriving & forever hoping – and pray that we can all escape the vortex of turmoil, greed, manipulation for power and possession & avarice. It’s hard for me to be optimistic about what’s going on in the world right now, but I will remain a prisoner of hope. I end the year & begin the new on the wise words of the great Uruguayan writer/poet, Eduardo Galeano. In many ways, his vision of a better world in this poem prefigured the countless souls the world over who dare challenge the madness of our condition :-
The Right To Dream (slightly abridged)
Although we cannot imagine the time to come,
At the very least we have the right to imagine how we would like it to be.
In 1948 and 1976 the United Nations proclaimed extensive declarations of human rights;
But the vast majority of humanity possesses no rights other than those of
watching, listening and remaining mute.
What would it be like if we began to exercise the never proclaimed right to dream?
What if we raved without constraints for a while?
Let us fix our eyes beyond infamy and imagine a possible world.
The air would be cleansed of all pollution,
Except that which emanates from human fear and human passions.
In the streets automobiles would be run over by dogs;
People would neither be driven by cars nor programmed by computers
Nor bought by supermarkets nor stared at by TV’s.
The television would cease to be the most important member of the family;
It would be treated like the iron or the washing machine.
People would work to live instead of living to work.
The crime of stupidity would be added to the penal code, a crime committed by those
Who live to accumulate or hoard rather than simply to live.
Economists will no longer measure standards of living by levels of consumption
Nor the quality of life by how many things one owns.
Cooks will no longer imagine that lobsters enjoy being boiled alive.
Historians will no longer believe that countries appreciate being invaded.
Politicians will no longer conclude that the poor are happy eating promises.
Solemnity will no longer be considered a virtue,
& no one will take anyone seriously who cannot laugh at him or herself.
Death and money will lose their magic powers,
& neither through death nor fortune will the criminal become a sainted knight.
The world will no longer go to war against the poor but against poverty.
& the weapons industry will be forced to declare itself bankrupt.
Food will no longer be considered merchandise because food is a human right.
No one will die of hunger because no one will die of obesity.
Street children will no longer be treated as if they are garbage
Because there will no longer be children living in the streets.
Rich children will no longer be treated like gold, because there won’t be any rich children. Education won’t be the privilege of those who can buy it.
The police won’t be the curse of those who cannot buy them.
Justice and freedom, those Siamese twins condemned to separation,
Will finally be rejoined, back to back and inseparable.
The Church will also dictate another commandment, one that God forgot:
“You will love nature, of which you are a part.”
The world’s deserts will be replanted, along with the deserts of the heart.
We will be the compatriots and contemporaries of all those willing to work for justice&beauty, No matter where they were born or where they live.
The frontiers of maps and of time will become meaningless.
Perfection will continue to be the boring privilege of the gods,
But in this clumsy and messed up world,
each night will be lived as if it were the last
…& each day as if it were the first……