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While I dream I hope
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-01-01 09:10:11
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So this is it, 2008 goodbye welcome 2009! A year full of disasters, wars, tears and blood till the very last moment of one hope. Amazing writing that while I don’t even live in USA but the election of Barack Obama brought hope to the entire world which proves how disastrous George W. Bush was for all of us.

Looking back in the last few years I have to admit that there was a dark cloud in the beginning of every year and still I don’t see in the face of Obama a messiah but hope is so valuable in human life. You see there is nothing more valuable than hope for the future and the right to dream. Jean Paul Sartre has said that hope and dreaming has been one of the best motivations even during the darkest times of the Nazi occupation and I don’t compare this minute the situation with those dark times but the sense that the only thing awaits for you is unemployment – as it is for a lot of people – financial disaster, loans and credit problems in a world that getting everyday more difficult to afford for the majority, it is hard to keep hoping especially when all the analysts’ predictions become darker and darker.

Actually in that sense I think I was one of these lucky one who grew up in a generation full of hope. Of course we had the middle east problem and a the south Asian problem and the cold war and Mr. Nikita Khrushchev hitting his show in the assembly of the UN and yes we had earthquakes and floods and cholera killing thousands in Asia and Africa, we had apartheid and nuclear shelters but we had Woodstock and man on the moon, and John Lennon in bed with Yoko singing “give peace a chance!”

And we were dreaming, we were dreaming explorations, discoveries and peace everywhere, equality and love and we were marching in the streets of Europe and America believing that we will change the world or better to remember James Douglas Morrison, “We want the world and we want it now!” Asimov was building empires; Heinrich Böll and Pablo Neruda were getting the literature Nobel Prize. And the message was we fight and we will win in the end or at least we put a small, a tiny small brick in this victory for a better world.

Today things are a bit different, every morning one of the first things I do is check the news agencies and I have to admit that most of the time I'm scared of what I am going to read, I'm scared of all these child’s faces that look at me from my screen accusing me for the world I gave them and in their eyes I can see my  daughter’s eyes and ...I have no answers, I cannot say don't worry darling I'm here because there are so many things in this world ready to spoil every single hope and dream.

Then again it might be just me, I need so much to hope and dream again that I am too keen to grab the hope one man gives me in the other side of the ocean. And I have my senses, I don't expect this one man to change things in the whole world but I hope, I hope that the aura that follows him will motivate more leaders to change to help the people to stand up; they’ve been for too long on their knees. The ancient Romans used to say,”Dum spiro spero”, while I breathe I hope; twenty centuries after it has become urgent to find hope because without hope we are losing our breath.

I’ve been watching and listening what happens lately in Athens, not only because it is my birth city and of course a place I love and understand but because I can understand why these kids are rebelling, why these kids are destroying everything in an over-consuming life in credit. Because I know people who live in credit and the moment they will lose their jobs they are going to lose everything, because I know people who have a good collection of bachelors and masters and work in a market that reminds slavery for pennies and job that cannot excuse their years in colleges and universities.

I’m not expecting Barack Obama to do anything about the kids in Athens but when he will look after – as he suppose to be oblige to do every good leader – the simple man, his needs and insecurities, I’m expecting the leaders of Greece, Finland and every other nation to follow his example and most of all to understand and do something about it. I’m expecting people to say while I breathe I hope and mean it.

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Emanuel Paparella2009-01-01 15:12:33
Indeed Thanos, the ancient Romans also had another saying: “corruptio optima pessima,” which sounds cynical enough but paradoxically it has a silver lining of hope. The hope is in the first place in the awareness that only the best when lost can engender so much despair and cynicism, and secondly,on the aspiration or hope for an eventual restoration and recovery. I am afraid that our secular idols will not do the trick here, but the journey in the desert continues nevertheless and there lies the hope.

Emanuel Paparella2009-01-01 15:13:39

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