Last night as I was struggling with my editorial, I received a phone call from Argentina that brightened my thoughts. As I watched the news there were the same issues and not many solutions. With war and armed violence going on in many places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia and other sites where people often have a violent life and death, due to the greed of others it seemed that it was the same story repeating itself.
And then, my friend, started to tell me a very exciting story. He told me about a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, where people were creatively protesting against the situation that was affecting them. They had been without electricity for two days. It seems that there has been an imposed blackout to the neighborhoods and it is supposed to rotate. In this case the black out remained for two days.
The people reacted. They organized according to their tradition and using their power to create dissidence without destroying property or being offensive to others. They decided to make fires in the streets, and they gathered around them while making a lot of noise banging empty pots and sharing a mate.
To the eyes of a foreigner, this was a peculiar situation. People were laughing, sharing and even having some fun with the situation.
Their strength comes from the massive response in an orderly action. This was not a submissive answer to the conflict on the contrary it was a creative one. At a time when the authorities were probably hoping for a smooth, unaffected routine, the people were exercising their right to protest and they were gaining momentum.
Since Argentina began to have huge economic problems, their citizens have not been quiet about the situation. They have organized around neighborhoods in order to face scarcity solving problems as a community, for example with the creation of community soup kitchens.
The message was a refreshing one. As I looked out of my window, I could see the white scenery. It looked so beautiful and yet so quiet.
I could choose to believe that everything was dead. There were no green trees, noise or people. Then, I started to think in the spring and how underneath that white cover there is so much life!
I remembered about the work of many individuals who have volunteered their time and effort to bring forth a proposal of a Human Relations Official to this area. I also recalled the past and current anti-war demonstrations here and all over the globe. Those protests were not enough to stop the war. The power so far has been in the hands of others, yet I see a new interest in the current debate for the candidates to the US presidency. The protests were not in vain. Individuals are awakening and joining hands in a common effort. Once more people are attending town meetings, and political gatherings and they want to participate.
Also in small towns there is an ongoing discussion about sustainability and people friendly neighborhoods. When people attend this type of meetings they are doing more for an anti-globalization policy than any political mandate. The people are re-gaining their power by changing matters at the local and personal level. When individuals begin to find their place in a collective answer, a very creative and powerful energy begins to act.
I feel thankful for the strong and continuous life that exists, even if many times we do not see it. Life is full of hope, are you being part of it?