“Peace is not something you wish for, it’s something you make, something you do, something you are and something you give away” -Robert Fulghum
A few days back I couldn’t find the words or the approach to talk about peace. I wondered how would I be able to describe such an abstract concept that seems to belong more to the unintelligible than to the material world; I realized it wasn’t an impossible task, since if I were to explain the idea of peace to someone, I would only be able to do so through moments in my life in which something deep inside me indicated I was experiencing peace.
I come from a region in México that has been through really complicated times related to drug trafficking in which you could go to school or to work not knowing whether you’d be back at the end of the day or not. Years went by like that. Thousands of people living scared of the future and accepting whatever the present could bring to us. Somehow we managed to resist the darkness, we wouldn’t give away our public spaces, our weekend nights, the holidays, the family, the friends. Our only chance was to make the bonds stronger, to be aware and take care of the others near us, to embrace them with a look, with a huge, with relief words. Reminding ourselves that our feet were still on the ground and that we still could walk our town if we worked together to make others realize that the ones with an infinite love for life are were majority.
We started to go out again to parks, to walk downtown in family, to be a little bit fearless, even to get better night lights in the streets so we could hang until later. Society organized so well that today we can say the night is ours again and so the streets. We survived because we weren’t just talking or complaining, but because day was full of actions that made our compromise evident, the construction of a better future as something possible.
This week I’m again amazed by humanity in so many ways. I live so far away now, living as an au pair in NY I look from afar all the efforts Mexican people are doing to rescue ourselves from the earthquake. I can only say that if the conflict is man versus nature or man versus man, we offer everything we got to come up with a plan, to do something. Our words help to communicate our intentions and our actions are the expression of those intentions in the world. We are not dependent on the government or the institutions. At the end of the day the real heroes are everyday people. Even when we think we are not, our daily routine can make an impact: to build or to destroy; we Mexican people always look forward to give ourselves away so we can build a better society, a better tomorrow. Until the last one can be saved we will be there, always looking for life in the rubbles. Because at the end of the day what is peace without hope?