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Saturday, 21 March 2020 13:55

Building New Pathways of Hope - Marcela Gereda (Guatemala Chapter)

Written by Macela Gereda (translation - Bob Short)
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“Que este virus, sea el virus de la transformación y de la consciencia humana."

All of us are looking for signs of light and words of hope in these very different times.  Marcela's thoughtful and beautifully written article below helps us see more deeply so that light and hope can enter in through the cracks.  Rosa Beatriz,  Affiliate Board member from the Guatemala Chapter wrote of Marcela, "It's a privilege to have her with us as an Affiliate.  She loves the Maryknoll spirituality that is alive within her."

Marcela is an anthropologist and graduated in Literature in Guatemala with a specialization in Europe. Lately she has dedicated herself to ecology, moving into the very being of Mother Earth and all of us who inhabit it. Click Read More below to see the whole article.  It's truly worth it...and we've all got time these days. 

Building New Pathways of Hope

Marcela Gereda, Affiliate, Guatemala Chapter

Just a few days ago, a collective “trip” suddenly began in diverse parts of the world. An inner journey to the center of each of us. Perhaps a descent to Xibalbá (Maya underworld), to go through our own hells and emerge from there victorious, knowing that the answers we have been looking for are within us.

Various sociologists, philosophers and anthropologists who have studied today's society have named it, "the society of the Ego". As a society we cross ourselves and we swear to love our neighbor as ourselves, but in practice we let individual interest prevail over collective interest. We take this “save yourself whoever can” to its ultimate consequences.

Advertising and the media encourage not only the individual experience, but they place as a value the fact of putting the individual interest before the collective; then it becomes socially acceptable...i.e., the culture of the "I" in first, second and third place.

Criminologist Anthony Platt has observed that crimes in the streets of Latin America are not only the result of extreme poverty. They are also the fruit of an individualistic ethic.

Faced with the virus that rules the world today, things seem to be different. We need contact, hugging (Note: social distancing was not a thing in Guatemala when Marcela wrote this – Bob) meeting the infinity (presence) of the Other. That Other that we are also.

We were going down the wrong road, constructing an individualistic runaway. Today in many different voices we are pronouncing ourselves ready to retake the communal sense of life, because without the collective we do not exist. The coronavirus reminded us of the benefits of putting collective well-being above the immediate pleasure of this culture of the Myself First.

On the ecological level, the reduction of greenhouse gases has been forthcoming – a  forced low carbon economy. For the first time in many years and in the face of imminent danger from the spread of the virus, governments are valuing science more than economics. Life over production. 

What is the meaning of the city without the soul of the people? What is the meaning of the water from the fountain if there is no one to listen to its pouring out? What is the meaning of the world if we do not fill it with love? The coronavirus reminds us that the meaning of our existence is collective and that the meaning of our existence is not separate from the rest of the species.

“The word and the ear that hears it - with the heart they have many paths, many modalities, many schedules and many geographies to meet. And the fight for life can be one of them.” Zapatista Chiapas Indigenous Committee. (Translation illusive for this quote)

May this inner journey remind us that although social life is on hiatus, spring continues. Let us build a path of fireflies (Poetic language - fireflies illumine, give hope, animate and orient us on the path). In this collective internal journey wherein we all sow light, let us return to the sense of community, to remember that we need each other. May the most beautiful part of this collective inner journey be revealed.

Let this virus be the virus of transformation of human consciousness. May it be the love that moves us so that we may recognize God in me, in you, in all / all, on earth and in all that is alive.

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Read 67 times Last modified on Sunday, 22 March 2020 15:10
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