My best wishes for a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Even if we do not have many reasons to believe that 2018 will be markedly better than 2017: Trump ends the year much stronger. Nationalism is now spreading everywhere, from Japan to China, from the UK to the Philippines, India, Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and so on. The Syrian conflict, after 400.000 dead and six millions displaced people, is no closer to its end. The Arab region is getting more and more into confrontation. The Palestinian question is now without a solution. There are several conflicts, from Yemen to the Rohyngia. An enormous amount is spent in armament that sooner or later will have to be used…
It is because of all this that we must make every possible effort to bring to the foresight values now out of fashion, like peace, cooperation, social justice, participation, and common good. Without common values, interest will become the basis of our world, and interests are necessarily competitive, they do not bring peace.
A Japanese sociologist has published a very interesting study, that shows that when looking at history, you cannot judge a generation by itself, as it receives values and a vision from the preceding one, and leaves also its imprint on the following one.
My generation has found out that wars are useless, something our forefathers also said. My generation wanted to improve the world. We did believe in some sort of utopia, left or righ. Then, on 1989 the world changed direction. We began being trained in individualism, success, competition, with the market as the centre of society, with financing disconnected from production and markets.
This is how more recent generations have been trained, from 1989 until 2009, when fear entered our lives, because of the financial crisis, terrorism. And then because of immigrants, which we created ourselves with the invasions in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. The prominence of corruption in Latin America, the crisis of democracy, with unprecedented personalities like Trump, the lack of opportunities for young people, and I could go on. We went from a culture of greed to one of fear. According to historians, the two provide a very dangerous mix. Meanwhile, our utopias have become utopian dreams.
This means that our generation must do more. It is important, in this intergenerational process, to continue to believe that values are the basis of society, and not markets. Our success will be to leave a legacy. And this is what keeps me busy.
As a Christmas Gift, a nice story from Sri Lanka, in the VIth Century.
In a village, a young archer was shooting every night at the stars. All the village made fun of him: Idiot, you will never reach the stars, they are too far away…
Then, one day, the King called for a contest in archery, And the boy won, because he was the one who was reaching further away…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!