It Is Confusing, but I Dream
BRICS, 20 Aug 2018
12 Aug 2018 – “It is dark, but I sing because tomorrow will come”, poet Thiago de Mello proclaimed in the somber epoch of the 1964 civil-military dictatorship in Brazil.
“It is confusing but I dream”, I say in these, no less somber, times. No one can take our dreams away. Dreams anticipate the future and announce the tomorrow.
No one can tell what will happen to this country after the 2016 parliamentary-judicial-mass media coup. It is dark and confusing, but I dream. This dream has been running around in my head for a long time, and I have decided to express it, so as to nourish our undying hope.
I dream of seeing a Brazil built from the bottom up, and from the inside out, forging a popular, participatory and socio-ecological democracy that recognizes nature and Mother Earth as new citizens with rights.
I dream of seeing the people organized in movement networks, a citizenry with the social competence to create their own opportunities and mold their own destiny, free from dependence on the powerful, regaining their self respect.
I dream of seeing the full realization of the minimum utopia: that of eating at least three times a day, of living with decency, of attending eight years of school, of receiving for one’s work a salary that can satisfy the essential needs of the whole family, of having access to basic health care and after having worked all one’s life, of receiving a dignified retirement, so as to calmly meet the challenges of old age.
I dream of seeing a celebration of the marriage of popular knowledge, born of practical experiences, with academic knowledge, the fruit of study, of building between the two a country for everyone, with neither excesses nor scarcities.
I dream of watching the people celebrating their holidays with plenty of food and joy, dancing their San Juan, their Bumba-meu-Boi, their samba, their frevo and their splendid carnaval, the expressions of a long-suffering society, but one that finds itself with fraternity and the joyful celebration of life.
I dream of seeing those who have been always condemned to lose, now feeling victorious because their suffering was not in vain, but helped them to mature and to be able to build, together, a different Brazil, both unified and diverse, hospitable and happy.
I dream of having politicians who are willing to come down to earth, to see the other eye to eye, divested of arrogance, aware that they represent the popular demands, making of politics the diligent pursuit of public affairs.
I dream of being able to walk anywhere at night without the fear of being assaulted or falling victim to stray shots, of being able to enjoy the freedom of talking and criticizing on the social networks without being immediately offended or defamed.
I dream of contemplating our green jungles, our immense rivers, regenerated, our amazing landscapes and biodiversity preserved, renewing the natural pact with Mother Earth who has given us all, recognizing her rights and consequently treating her with veneration and caring.
I dream of seeing the mystical and religious people venerating God as God wishes, feeling the companionship of good spirits, of the forces that carry the cosmic energy of the axé, giving reality a magical character, with the conviction that at the end, because of God, Father-and-Mother of infinite goodness and mercy, everything will be alright.
I dream that this dream is not just a dream, but a joyful and feasible reality, the mature fruit of so many centuries of resistance, struggle, tears, sweat and blood.
Then, and only then, we will be able to laugh and sing, to sing and dance, to dance and celebrate a new Brazil, the largest Latin country, one of the richest and most beautiful provinces of the Earth that either evolution or God has given to us.
This is what the Brazilian wants and may God help us.
Leonardo Boff is a Brazilian theologian, ecologist, writer and university professor exponent of the Liberation Theology. He is a former friar, member of the Franciscan Order, respected for his advocacy of social causes and environmental issues. Boff is a founding member of the Earthcharter Commission.
Translation from Spanish by Melina Alfaro
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