During the winter months and specially because light has a shorter span, we never think about what happens underneath the surface. Yet as spring approaches, we are reminded that life is strong and lasting. Life comes back to tell us that that the story continues and maybe many springs later we will not be around to see the marvelous show of new colors and splendor.

Generations sometimes appear like winters and springs. During the 60’s, there was a time of questioning and rebelling against all that youth thought was against their freedom and their right to be themselves. Other later generations were more accommodating to the existing rules and the ones who once were against the system are now part of the social and economic construction that feels oppressive to the new generations.

The future is showing signs of hope and action towards solidarity and fairness. Lately I have had the opportunity to listen to different groups of young people from places as different as Goshen Indiana and Santo Domingo and both groups are reaching out to learn from others and creating a new identity.

The older generations may feel threatened by the presence and criticism from the younger ones, mostly because they are afraid to lose what has been achieved and accumulated throughout the years. The question remains: What was lost while acquiring the material things that they now possess.

Most individuals in the Western Hemisphere have accepted the philosophy of consumerism that makes us invest all our time and energy into ‘having more’ in order to feel that we ‘are more’. That same philosophy has been exported as ‘development’ to the Third World countries, and suddenly the notion of wealth and poverty became inverted everywhere.

Even though the raw materials and fossil energy are from the Third World, it is the ‘first world’ that is setting the prices, the exchange and the manner in which business is done.

In order to be part of such development, the young people must attend school for 12 years. They then go to college for four more, probably to master English and Arts. They will get ready to sell dreams and provide ‘services;’ in other words, they will become part of a society detached from the products they sell. People become disposable, and after 20 years the person is not quite sure what his/her role in society has been.

The young people, on the other hand, are claiming their right to think and express their thoughts through art and deed. The first step in that direction is that they establish groups and relate to each other as family/friends/checkpoints/mentors. The youth are looking for new ways to learn without repeating the same thing year after year. They have the energy and enthusiasm to work harder and not be afraid to make mistakes.

I encourage everyone to work in an intergenerational environment where each one has something to learn from others.

As I said before, spring is arriving. Viva la vida!!