Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Celebration for Reflection

Each year, by decree of Congress, we celebrate NATIONAL HISPANIC HERTIAGE MONTH in the United States, from September 15 to October 15. During this time, the entire North American society recognizes the Hispanic presence in our society and the contributions of the Hispanic community in building this nation. For our part, as Hispanics, this is a unique opportunity each year for us to return to the fundamental questions regarding our existence and role as the Hispanic community in this nation, and our legacy in the progress of this nation.

Questions such as:
• Where and who are the leaders of the Hispanic Community in the United States?
• What training do they have in carrying out this leadership?
• Where is the US Hispanic Community going and advancing, and what type of leaders are overseeing this progress, if they exist?
• We celebrate NATIONAL HISPANIC HERTIAGE MONTH, but what is it that we are celebrating?
• What is our best inheritance and values ​​as Hispanics?
• What is the future of our past?
• Is our Hispanic presence in this nation occurring as a social phenomenon of "integration" - without forgetting our Hispanic identity and preserving the best of our culture - or as a social phenomenon of "assimilation" by and in the dominant culture, with the loss of our identity and the best of our past, our origins, our values ​​and our history?

We live today at a worldwide level and like never before in the history of humanity: the worldwide drama of the displaced, the exiles, the migrants, the deported, those seeking asylum, the refugees, etc.

Here and now, where and when everything is quantified and systematized technologically, we are measuring statistics and getting into all kinds of losses, diseases, human dramas and pains; however, there is a pain, a human drama of which few speak and nothing is measured: the suffering of the millions of men and women - around the entire world – who leave or are forced to leave their loved ones, and all that is theirs, their first loves and beloved places, to pursue the dream of a better life. 

The leaders of developed countries – destinations of the largest waves of immigrants – do not stop – however – defining government policies, on a large scale, that succeed in achieving solutions for this issue and the human problem it represents.

In times of election campaigns in this country, the topic of immigration always appears and the Hispanics in this nation must always be alert to election promises so that they do not change us into a community that can be manipulated, a puppet and easy prey for politicians in power and - in this specific topic of immigration reform – continue as a community that is passed over and disappointed.

The act of voting by which we elect leaders is a definitive democratic exercise for the present and future of every nation and, therefore, in the one in which we live. But, it cannot be an exercise tied to the colors or interests of political parties that today are failing and leaving behind a trail of despair because they do not correspond with the interests of the common good. 

This era in which we find ourselves living is more a change of era than an era of changes. We are witnessing a change in the ways humans exist and behave; there is a change in mentality and human inclinations across the world that requires of this nation’s Hispanic community: preparation, education, training and awareness of this very important moment, so definitive and so defining in the present and in the future of this nation.

Our Hispanic past comes with a huge burden of ancestral values: rooted and impressed into our cultural ethos, such as the value of family, of friends, of the Transcendent, of work, of ideals to attain, of entertainment and of social gatherings.  But this way of being and behaving "Hispanic" has to be integrated as much with the changing socio-cultural environment of this nation, as with that of the larger world: that all human beings journey with the hope for a better world than we have.

For the construction of that better American society and for the better world that we crave, the Hispanics in the United States of North America have much to contribute, much to offer provided that we do not abandon the best of "what is properly Hispanic" for the sake of mirages imposed by the materialistic, consumerist and hedonistic culture that surrounds us and that we remain attentive to the best of our past and, therefore, to the better future that we anticipate.

In 2016, let’s make HISPANIC HERITAGE month an occasion for celebration for everyone, but - above all - an important opportunity for serious reflection.

No comments: