We live at a time in history – which is everybody’s life – when events are accelerating unstoppably, and often give us the impression that they are completely beyond our powers.
We know that the duration of time varies in accordance with the inner state with which we measure it. For this reason, neither in the life of human beings nor in their historical life as a whole, can we avoid this sensation of uncontrollable speed. Partly because everything happens without intervals that allow us to breathe; and partly because the number of events that are happening all over the world exceeds our capacity for assimilation; when we think we have understood something, or at least have endured it, ten or twenty other things jump out and paralyze us with their quantity, dimensions and rapidity.
It is not necessary to be a scholar to understand what I am referring to, nor do I need to give many examples. Fortunately or unfortunately, the efficiency of the media makes it possible for anyone to experience what is happening in every corner of the world without leaving home; to feel the impact of pain, misery, confrontations, wars, death, violence, insecurity, helplessness… For every global situation that occurs -those that fill the media, those that go down in history- there are other very similar personal situations that repeat in small scale what is happening in the large scale. The small things may not make big headlines, but they affect those who suffer through them. Also in small human groups, in the family, among friends, in daily relationships, there is aggression, pain, confrontations, helplessness and, unfortunately, crimes and murders.
The aforementioned speed with which we live and the quality of what we live, sometimes makes us give in to pessimism. And even if we try to be objective and analyze the quantity and quality of the things we experience, the end result is overwhelming.
I believe, however, that it is not pessimism or the negative feeling of life that dominates us. Although it may seem that helplessness sometimes paralyzes us, in truth we are not defeated.
Look at the enormous efforts that both nations and individuals make to reach agreements, to breathe easy, to stop the maelstrom, to stop the destructive and sterile struggles. The results are not encouraging in many cases, it is true, but the important thing is the perseverance to start again until the desired results are achieved. There are endless dialogues, it is true, and one even wonders whether states or men want to reach an agreement, whether there is an authentic dialogue or simple monologues in which no one listens to no one. However, it is repeated, and this is a good sign, that we are becoming aware of our deafness.
In the inner heart of everything that happens to us, there is a spark of light, of optimism, of hope for the future, of recovering a harmonious rhythm of life. We speak of pain, but we do it thinking of the happiness that awaits us… if we want to achieve it, of course. We speak of war, but we do so dreaming of peace. We condemn violence because we love coexistence, we resent intolerance because we want to understand each other in earnest.
Those who do not live the present – even if it is a little confused and dark – with that spark of hope, are the ones who make the present – and also the future – dangerously negative. Those who feel that spark of recovery, of renewal, of broad and safe paths, are building a more dignified future in the midst of the difficulties of the present. Needless to say that, as philosophers, and in the name of that love of Wisdom that encourages us, it is important to take care of the spark, however small it may be, because we see in it the seed of a definite clarity for tomorrow.
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