"They will not break our hope"
("No nos romperán la esperanza")
|Copyright © 1975 Anonymous Chilean artist, "No nos romperán la esperanza," Arpillera (wool sown on burlap), 24" x 18".|
We humans are not meant to be isolated from each other. We simply need each other. Our ancestral emotional needs lead us to stay connected. Our tribal existence has grown and extended into a rich, complex and splendorous ivy, covering all the stones and fields on our beautiful planet.
We enjoy making love to each other, embracing, laughing together, communicating and comforting each other. This atavic need to stay connected is intrinsic to our mysterious DNA.
|Copyright © 2010, Anne Mourat "Like two strangers", sculpture in clay, from:http://www.penseesbycaro.fr/2010/09/anne-mourat-une-sculptrice-hors-gabarit/|
We first experience all these emotions of closeness at the nuclear family level. If these essential experiences are not available for a child, their level of humanity and connectivity becomes greatly damaged during their adult life.
|Copyright ©2014 Nancy Barra, "La Pachamama", acrylic on canvas, 16" x 12" from: Nancy BarraContemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.|
When we experience and enjoy this connectivity at the family level, we can also project it to our community and then to our broader networks and to the whole world.
|Copyright, 1986, National Geographic calendar, "Mother and Child," photograph|
Notwithstanding, the power elites have historically tried to divide us in different ways including: economic level, race, religion, politics, geography, gender, sexual preference, culture and /or ideology. Since the birth of civilization, to divide people has been an effective power tool of these elites to keep people separated and ultimately, fighting with each other, while they become more powerful and richer.
|Courtesy Wikipedia, © 2017 The National Herald Indian. Article: "The mutiny which helped the British create the Hindu-Muslim divide." Illustration, unknown artist.|
There is evidence to show that as a group becomes larger, the face-to-face and participatory tribal interaction and decision making become difficult and ultimately impossible. Sometimes smaller groups elect representatives to participate in functional decision-making of the larger group.
|Copyright © No Date, Leap into Life Foundation, "Daagomba Tribe meeting". Photograp|
Then, as the number of group representatives grows, it becomes necessary to elect higher level representatives from the larger group of representatives, creating bureaucracies and centralized and pyramidal governments. Division and separation from the people they are supposed to represent becomes the norm.
|Copyright ©1984 Aries in www.writerscafe.org/writing/Aries1984/1552597 "The pyramid of needs: a poem". Photograph.|
The representatives -who reach the high levels of government- immerse themselves in climbing the political structure. They feel disconnected from the cusp of political power as much as from their original communities. The memories of the communities they are supposed to represent fade.
|Copyright © 2020 Pierre Guichard, "Gabrielle and Zip going down the Chañar Ravine" in Vicuña, Elqui, Chile, oil on canvas, 11.50" x 7.50"|
Those with good intentions become disillusioned with the functioning of political networks and alliances. Others are usually absorbed and coopted by the government bureaucracy and the ideological environment of the political establishment, which plays an essential acculturation mechanism for the newcomers of these “modern democracies.” The real interests of the communities are rarely represented.
|Copyright © 2015 Tamara Pearson in resistance words.com/2015/08/17/Steadman, "The powerful political art by Ralph Steadman," illustration.|
This is a real constitutional challenge for modern societies. This is the conundrum between political representation and true democracy. What would be the answer? What can we do about it?
|Copyright © 2000 Nancy Barra, "Gancho Coto asking questions", Pastel on Paper, 9" x 12", from Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.|
The economist E. F. Shumacher in 1973, in his essay"Small is beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered," alludes to that type of small manageable social organization where the participants are face-to-face and they can dialog, plan, create, solve problems and enjoy time together, while fully participating in the tasks needed by their local community.
|Copyright © 2019 Greens.org.au "Community participating in Australia", photograph.|
There is no need to decrease the world population by using wars or other type of genocide, but just to use -at an organizational community level- the people's energy for human connectivity and to capitalize on their skills, good will, creativity, social commitment and transparency to create, design and implement projects that are needed where they live.
|Copyright © 2012 Natalie Ross from: compost now.org/blog,"Working on a community garden", photograph,|
This would mean a radical de-centralization of the decision making process of a democratic system, where communities are at the core of the decision making, planning and implementation process.
|Copyright © 2017 Birsa Munda from cebuphilippines.net "Ägta Tribe from Philippines." Photograph.|
E. F. Shumacher said, for example, that schools should not need to be huge and impressive buildings, where teachers do not know the names of their hundred plus students, who enter and leave their classrooms at the sound of a loud and jarring electronic bell.
|Copyright © 2021 Facebook: Richmond High School, photograph|
Let's dream small with E. F. Schumacher!
He envisioned to divide schools into small houses or buildings where students and teachers can know each other and feel participating in the process of learning, not only in an enclosed classroom but in the natural community surroundings.
|Copyright © 2016 from: blogs.ibo.org, "The 15 habits of |
highly effective teachers,"
This could be implemented in many organizations at the community level. In fact, many school districts in the US are implementing this approach through the community charter schools.
However, a successful implementation would require that entire communities in different fields: education, health, economic, financial, social, environmental, art, mass media, etc. would have the organizational freedom and willingness to take leadership to govern their local communities according to their specific needs and in a participatory and transparent manner.
|Copyright © 2018 NYC office suites, "Best practices for working with different cultures in the workplace," photograph.|
No more government representatives sitting down in congresses and parliaments for 40 or more years!
At the community level, the representation would be on an effectiveness performance basis, ethical behavior standards and commitment to the goals of the community, which would facilitate the removal and replacement of those leaders who are simply not responding to the needs and ethics of the community.
|Copyright © 2010 Jake Lyell from: Alamy.com, "Meeting Nkomo village, Uganda" photograph|
There could be a coordination between communities at the local and regional level to exchange successes and resources.
|Copyright © 2019 The Star newspaper( Ontario), "Shaking Hands," photograph.|
Those communities that have achieved success in their implementation plans can share their experience with other less successful communities as well as to share their surplus resources with less endowed communities, helping them to succeed. If we do this in a spirit of solidarity with others, we might begin to break the divisions that are keeping us divided.
|Copyright © No date from: Weallstandtall.com "Volunteering," photograph|
Many would think that this is too idealistic and, therefore it would not work. Probably, it is.
|Copyright ©2010 Paul Bond in: fineartamerica.com, |
"We hoisted our dreams into the light of another sun,"
oil on canvas, 14.1" x 18".
However, what really is not working at all on our planet right now is the increased created division among us, which is hurting us, making us suspicious, indifferent, belligerent and fiercely competitive with our fellow beings.
|Copyright © 2016 Nancy Barra "Indifference", Oil on Canvas 10" x 8", from:|
Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.
We are increasingly isolated and divided, while at the same time, we crave for human contact, dialog, embraces, validation and simply to have the freedom to be together with other people.
|Copyright © 2019 Nancy Barra, "Contemplating," oil on canvas, 27.6" x 19.7" , from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.|
We are dreaming now with simple situations like dancing in a party, laughing and singing with friends, gathering with our family, cheering our sport teams and enjoying fresh air and the beauty of nature with our loved ones.
|Copyright © 2013 Huu Hung Truong, "Smile," Photograph from: Vietnam Open Entry, Sony world Photography awards.|
You can feel the pressure of those human needs all over the world in the air right now. It is our essential atavic calling for us to eradicate these divisions and reclaim which is inherent part of all of us: our humanity.
|Copyright ©2009 dailymailco.uk, "Free hugs in the train station in London," photograph|
Can we break this artificial isolation and social division? Can we do it one-step-at-a-time in a small scale, without fear and animosity? I hope we can.
|Copyright © 2019 Swift.kick.com, "The group hug," photograph.|
Could we extend our hand to others beyond our constricted cages so we can free each other? It would be so incredible if we do it! After all, we are the majority and united we are incredibly powerful, invincible, miraculous and beautiful.
|Copyright © no date, Ana Shvets, "People reaching each other," photograph from: www.pexels.com|
I hope we find the strength to do it, with our hearts full of love and resolve, one day at a time, for the years to come! In the meantime, let's say:
"No matter what,
they will not break our hope!"