Oct 31, 2010

The transformation of personality

It is usually thought that we are all born with a given personality, that we are some type of person from birth and that the type of person that have been assigned to us—by genetics, destiny, or god—is immutable, impossible to be changed, transformed, or evolved. So, if I just happen to be… let say for example; impatient, arrogant, too timid, clumsy, bad at math, stupid, control freak, ‘always-fall-for-the-wrong-person’, mean, too naïve, too lazy, boring, a mess, too quiet, too stubborn, etc, etc, etc… “Well, sorry, that’s the person I am, there’s nothing I can do about it, love it, hate it, I can’t change who I am.”

I think it is wrong in so many ways to think that we can’t change ourselves just because we are who we are, and we have to accept that.

I think who we are: our personality and the things we do are changeable… I think that we can become a better person, that we can improve our personality and ‘the way we are’ as much as we want. I think we can become more understanding, kinder, more patient, more open, better lovers, more interesting, more mature, more successful at anything we want to be more successful… and in consequence we will be able to take better decisions, make the right choices, and live better and more satisfying lives.

But how do we change what needs to be changed about us, how do we change those qualities that hold us back , that make us fail, that make us suffer, that make us go for the wrong choice? How do we become better persons?

The transformation of personality is a very slow process, some aspects might be easier to change, other aspects (the ones that run deep within our very selves) might be quite challenging. The transformation of personality begins automatically when we realize that there is something about us that needs to be changed because it’s fucking up our lives and it’s making our lives unhappy or getting us into too much trouble. It implies certain degree of self awareness; it implies that we should know ourselves enough to be able to realize that something must be done… that something needs to be changed; not many people reach that level of self awareness, unfortunately.

However the most important ingredient for the transformation of personality is a strong desire for change and improvement; without it, change might be impossible. This blog post is not for the people that do not want to change; this post is for those of us that know we could be better persons and that we have lots of potential… but are afraid or unsure because maybe changing ourselves, transforming ourselves into a better version of us may be impossible. It is not impossible, it is within the capacity of our brains to learn new behaviors, new habits, and to unlearn whatever bad behaviors or habits that are leading us astray.

There are many different strategies to achieve the transformations that we desire and to accelerate those changes… perhaps in another post I will talk more in detail about it. Today suffice to say that to cause change the two most important aspects are: (a) some degree of self awareness and (b) a desire to change.

If for some reason you are that kind of person that is looking for a change… I hope this post helps you out a bit.

As a last word and advice for those who are on the path to become the best you could be; one of the best things you could do to speed up the metamorphosis of the soul and get rid of all those demons that haunt us is: to travel, travel far, go to places never visited before, and go by yourself, meet new people, breath new airs, expand your horizons…

The caterpillar pic was originally posted to Flickr by Maggi_94 http://www.flickr.com/photos/27126314@N03/4947065075/ under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. The blue morpho pic was originally posted to Flickr by jcaputo4 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcaputo4/4450687232/ under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Oct 27, 2010

Lady Love by Paul Éluard, L'amoureuse

About a month ago I mentioned that two of my all-time favorite poems were coincidentally written by French authors, both of them born in Paris. The first one that I already shared here in my blog was The Forigner by Baudelaire (click in the link to check it out). However, today I would like to share with you perhaps the single most beautiful poem I have ever read, my top favorite of all times; it’s original name is L’amoureuse, translated to English as Lady Love, but you can also find it as The Beloved written by Paul Éluard (1895-1952). He was a surrealist, and the beauty and simplicity of this poem is just wonderful.


Lady Love

She is standing on my lids
And her hair is in my hair
She has the colour of my eye
She has the body of my hand
In my shade she is engulfed
As a stone against the sky

She will never close her eyes
And she does not let me sleep
And her dreams in the bright day
Make the suns evaporate
And me laugh cry and laugh
Speak when I have nothing to say

This poem remind me of Tulips

That translation to English was done by Samuel Beckett, an Irish writer. Here is the original version by Paul Éluard in French.


Elle est debour sur mes paupières
Et ses cheveux sont dans les miens,
Elle a la forme de mes mains,
Elle a la couleur de mes yeux,
Elle s'engloutit dan mon ombre
Comme une pierre sur le ciel.

Elle a toujours les yeux ouverts
Et ne me laisse pas dormir.
Ses rêves en pleine lumière
Font s'évaporer les soleils,
Me font rire, pleurer et rire,
Parler sans avoir rien à dire

The pic was originally posted to Flickr by Kıvanç Niş http://www.flickr.com/photos/kiwanc/464046403/ under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Oct 25, 2010

Tartare de bœuf and two dreams of horror

Dear reader,

I truly hope you’re having a great day, that everything is going as you planned it and that you’re feeling full of vitality and motivation. On my side, well… I’m not so certain, I have now accumulated a lot of mental fatigue and I’m almost at my limit; my soul is agitated by strong winds, stormy winds, as if I was just a dry leaf swept away in the fall. This is—of course—reflected in my dreams: last Sunday I had two intense nightmares the very same night! I’ve never had two nightmares in one night! Both of them extremely horrible, but I’ll tell you more about it later after I tell you about Tartare de bœuf…

Tartare de bœuf is a French dish, it’s made of minced meat from beef, served raw: with the yolk of an egg on top, also raw. So last Wednesday I was at a pretty cool place in Paris called Académie de la Bière: it could be one of the few places in the city with quite a big collection of beers. I was very hungry so I ordered the Tartare completely unaware that it was raw meat… it didn’t really taste bad; I actually liked it… BUT with lethal consequences for my health since it unleashed the full fury of my intestines next day in the morning. It might have been polluted with some bacteria or virus, or simply I just had never been exposed to the prokaryotic ecosystem inhabiting this raw meat… in any case, I had two days of cataclysmic toilet experiences. Once, I was woken up around four in the morning by a nuclear chain reaction in my guts, I jumped from the bed and ran to the bathroom, KABOOM! I think I created a new form of matter; I call this new element, poopinium, it’s in liquid form at body temperature.

Alright, I hope I didn’t gross you out my dear reader. Now I will tell you about my nightmares, both of them happened during the same night. In the first one, I got shot in the head, yeah that’s right: someone shot me with a gun in the head, damn it! Why do my brain has to generate such horrible dream? I was going around, agonizing in pain… waiting for the moment of my death; I could see the blood, I could feel the hole in my skull. So so so terrible. In the second nightmare, I’m in the house where I grew up, reunited with all my family; when all of a sudden there’s an earthquake, a huge earthquake magnitude 9.0 in the Richter scale. I could feel the building shaking, the devastation, and a massive flood… the panic and the horror was immense. I remember I saw in the sky a partial solar eclipse.

What do these dreams mean? Why do I have to get murdered in my own dreams?

On a more positive side, I visited perhaps one of the coolest places in town. Its name is Curio Parlor and it’s a cocktail club. The place is located in the 5th arrondissement, the Latin Quarters; in a small street. It’s a little clandestine since from the outside you can’t really notice is there… there are no sings or lights that could point at it. The place sells experimental cocktails, I had one called Mexico 55 and another one called Jamaica something Tiki; both delicious. Curio Parlor is tiny, with a pretty cool decoration of taxidermized animals… A peackock here, a fox there, some other birds in the toilet, a collection of insects downstairs. According to them, it is the only Nikka bar outside Japan… I found out there that Nikka is a Japanese Whysky: I tried it out of curiosity and it’s pretty good. I really recommend this place, I must say that the atmosphere is great and the people is very friendly.

Peace out.

Oct 20, 2010

60 or 62, strikes in Paris because of the Pension reform

It’s the seventh day of strike in France because of the new pension reform and things are starting to get scary. The huge parade of protesters passed near my place leaving a horrible trail of dirt, trashing everything around, throwing eggs to the bank walls… etc, etc. I arrived home from work at around 6.00 pm and the parade was still going, I think it started at 1.30 pm. It’s kind of scary because you never know when some crazy vandal decides to get things violent… this sort of intense protest always ends up wrong.

Who’s right here? Is it the government that wants to reform the pension law because France population is getting older and there’s not enough young people to pay pensions and benefits… is it the leaders of France that foresee an imminent economical crisis if the reform isn’t done and the people can’t understand that? Or is it that the government of France aims at oppressing the French proletariat? But perhaps it is possible to keep the retirement age at 60 and all the benefits French people enjoy by some other means? Or is it the proletariat and the opposing wing trying to sticking it to Sarkozy?

I have no idea, and truth be told: I don’t fucking care… but I dislike these manifestations where the city is trashed down. It sucks, Paris is such a beautiful clean city and having to see it all dirty makes me angry. And why there are some kids burning cars and looting? This is so stupid, it’s like a brat getting angry because mom didn’t buy him the expensive toy he wanted.

Is this democracy, is this freedom?

A very interesting protester with his automatically producing bubble cart

Oct 18, 2010

Try French Kiss

Tanai’s Amazing Blog is celebrating its first 1000 visits! Isn’t that AMAZING! Yeah baby, it is! And to celebrate this special occasion I will share with you an old secret and mysterious writing of mine… I had actually forgotten about its existence, I don’t even remember when I wrote it or why I wrote it, and now that I was reading and editing it didn’t feel as if I wrote it myself, it didn’t trigger any memories about its origins (there’s a slight chance that I wrote it drunk… probably I was coming from some party in Uppsala, late in the night, and my neurons had decided not to memorize anymore).

It has no title. It’s about a kiss, that first kiss… I wanted to write a blog post about ‘a kiss’, I had been thinking about it constantly but the right fuel for my inspiration hadn't come. I find very mysterious though that today when I was browsing my old writings: tralaaan! Suddenly there it was! I had already written it who-knows-when in the past! It has some eloquence and some randomness that I like.

Please, enjoy.

I could not believe what I had in front of my eyes, her big brown eyes staring at my lips no further than the distance that takes to write the word love in big letters. This wasn’t just once, maybe twice, three times, four times perhaps. She looked at my lips again, moving her gaze slowly from my mouth, caressing my nose, to my eyes. The words… sailing the air in a meaningless sentence. A millimetric movement forward and her face started to blush slightly, her lips turned from her natural pink to an intense red. I felt how deep inside her a hot feeling spread all over her body like a tsunami. I am amazed how subjective the meaning of a kiss can be; I have kissed women without ever saying a word to her, women that I have lost from my memory already. I have kissed women whose lips I still can feel in my mouth emerging from the deepest corners of my heart when I say to myself her name once and once again. That kiss will change it all, will change her life in a way she is not expecting at all… it always has such a transformative power; as if suddenly you become a different person, dreams will start blossoming in the middle of the winter, the nights will be covered by an infinite light, and her body will be bound to mine like stars are bound to the galaxies by gravity. It cannot happen; time and space are spiky friends. The treasure seems vaster when harder it gets to find it; I will fall, willingly… I cannot resist it any longer; I am a human being and I feel intensely. How beautiful and how pleasurable it is this subtle adventure of delicate love.

The pic was originally posted to Flickr by magerleagues http://www.flickr.com/photos/mager/3264750006/#/ under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Oct 15, 2010

Declaration of Rights of the Women and the Female Citizen

The day before yesterday I was reading about the French Revolution… last time I actually studied the French Revolution was probably in the XX century when I was a teenager at high school. I learnt that it lead to the passage of the Declaration of Rights of the Man and the Citizen (1789) in an attempt to bring equality to this world. Pretty awesome, I thought… however, I found out about someone that to my opinion was way more interesting than anybody else that played a part during the revolution: her name is Olympe de Gouges.

If you are a woman and you are proud of being a woman, this is a name you should remember and never forget.

Declaration of Rights of the WomenOlympe de Gouges, 1748-1793

Two years after the passage of the Declaration of Rights of the Man and the Citizen, she wrote the Declaration of Rights of the Women and the Female Citizen! Yeah, that’s right! Because when they passed the one from 1789… they forgot to include women on it; talking about equality! Such hypocrisy!

So what she did was to rewrite the whole version from 1789 but including women. For example in the version from 1789 says:

Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be based only on common utility.

Then she rewrote it like this:

Woman is born free and remains equal to man in rights. Social distinctions may only be based on common utility.

Another one really interesting, in the original version from 1789 says:

Each citizen has the right of noting, by himself or through his representatives, the necessity of the public contribution, of free consent, of following the employment […]

She rewrote it:

Female and male citizens have the right to verify, either by themselves of through their representatives, the necessity of the public contribution […]

Notice that in France women only got the right to vote in 1944!

In the 1789 version says:

All the citizens, being equal in its eyes, are equally admissible to all public dignities, places and employments, according to their capacity and without distinction other than that of their virtues and of their talents.

She wrote:

Male and female citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, must be equally admitted to all honors, positions, and public employment according to their capacity and without other distinctions besides those of their virtues and talents.

Alright, we all know that today women still get lower salaries and occupy less higher ranking positions in companies and bla bla bla… needless to say all the psychological oppression that comes from stereotyping. Both real serious issues of society, today!

I mean, she was a true visionary; I’m so inspired by her and so should you.

If you think that's all she got to say, you’re wrong. She was a true genius of her time, she goes beyond simply rewriting. She opens the Declaration of Rights of the Women with these so powerful and beautiful words:

Man, are you capable of being just? It is a woman who poses the question; you will not deprive her of that right at least. Tell me, what gives you sovereign empire to oppress my sex? Your strength? Your talents? Observe the Creator in his wisdom; survey in all her grandeur that nature with whom you seem to want to be in harmony, and give me, if you dare, an example of this tyrannical empire. Go back to animals, consult the elements, study plants, finally glance at all the modifications of organic matter, and surrender to the evidence when I offer you the means; search, probe, and distinguish, if you can, the sexes in the administration of nature. Everywhere you will find them mingled; everywhere they cooperate in harmonious togetherness in this immortal masterpiece. Man alone has raised his exceptional circumstances to a principle. Bizarre, blind, bloated with science and degenerated—in a century of enlightenment and wisdom—into the crassest ignorance, he wants to command as a despot a sex which is in full possession of its intellectual faculties; he pretends to enjoy the Revolution and to claim his rights to equality in order to say nothing more about it.

If you are a woman, don’t you feel inspired? Empowered?

She closes the Declaration like this:

Woman, wake up; the tocsin of reason is being heard throughout the whole universe; discover your rights. The powerful empire of nature is no longer surrounded by prejudice, fanaticism, superstition, and lies. The flame of truth has dispersed all the clouds of folly and usurpation. Enslaved man has multiplied his strength and needs recourse to yours to break his chains. Having become free, he has become unjust to his companion. Oh, women, women! When will you cease to be blind? What advantage have you received from the Revolution? A more pronounced scorn, a more marked disdain.

She wrote this in 1791, and today women are still oppressed by men in many countries, even developed countries. I wish women all over the world could learn about Olympe de Gouges and fight for their rights!

She died in 1793 by the guillotine because of her writings.

Oct 12, 2010

Upgrade your brain for $9.99 - Part V

Note: this is part V of the ‘Upgrade your brain for $9.99’ science fiction saga; click here for part I, part II, part III, or part IV if you haven’t read them yet!

So, how do you send a spaceship to another world in the far reaches of the universe? The spaceship must travel many times faster than light or in other words, it must overcome galactic distances in a very short amount of time. But how? How do you send a ship faster than light? Through hyperspace? How do you enter hyperspace in the first place?

I always dreamed with the idea of visiting a different planet in a solar system different to ours. Set foot in extraterrestrial lands, see other oceans, and breathe other airs. Today at least seventeen different planets have been identified with oxygen atmospheres, liquid waters, and tolerable gravities for people. The closest habitable planet is Flor Azul and orbits Gliese 581, a red dwarf sun at 20 light years from ours. The only mission there took almost 130 years, and it was a microcapsule, a tiny half robotic half biological spacecraft weighting about a hundred grams and traveling at 15% of the speed of light. It has been the only mission of its kind and it consumed outrageous amounts of energy and money, so the authorities of Science City did not allow anymore missions of the kind until the capsule had arrived and all the data received, processed, and analyzed; that was 50 years ago. However no progress in reaching faster speeds has happened since almost 200 years; that’s pretty much today’s limit, 15% and less than a few kilograms or so using some crazy futuristic materials with absurd properties. So, when I’m going to set foot in another planet? I don’t think it’s going to happen in my life time.

The results from the mission to Flor Azul found out that the planet has basic photosynthetic life; something at the level of multicellular algae and that’s it, nothing like animals. So the authorities of Science City has taken the decision of starting the first human colony there in less than a century, and that the technology to send a spaceship with people at speeds at least four times faster than light will have to be developed in the next two decades.

Planet Flor Azul

For doing that they are going to use the Brain Synchronization System at a scale never attempted before. Thousands of people will be connected to a grid of brains in order to find a solution to the problem of how to send people in a spaceship faster than light. The system uses the best supercomputers on Earth and couples them to the collective brain capacity of a dozen of educated people to simulate and find answers to problems with not very obvious solutions; however, in a few days they will attempt it at a huge scale synchronizing the brains of about seven thousand people all over the world. They will be connected at different levels; at the basic level are the common people, people with no specialized knowledge on physics, biology, or anything like that, but with a great interest in the subject. They will make the bulk of the brain system and they will borrow their minds and processing power to support the simulation and analysis. At the next level there are about a hundred of scientist from pretty much all disciplines, they will provide all the theoretical fundamentals in physics, mathematics, biology, engineering, psychology, and so on… which is necessary for the creative process and innovation. At the top level will be Celest, she with her infinite knowledge will guide everyone the right path; she’s the only one with the capacity to see beyond the realms of what is possible in this universe. She’ll be the explorer that will swim to the answer in the vast and dark ocean of impossibilities.

Actually, the entire Brain Synchronization System requires her to be plugged. The only reason why it works is because of Celest existence, she was designed with the purpose of extreme supercomputing. Without her the entire system wouldn’t be possible.

In any case, I just got my last brain upgrade. This one will allow me to connect to the system, synchronize with the grid of brains, and help out with finding a solution to space travel at speeds faster than light… I guess it should be some kind of consolation since I won’t get to travel to another solar system ever. I’ve heard that the experience of being connected to the system is out of this world, so incredibly surreal. I can’t wait until it happens!

Oct 8, 2010

A lucid dream

Today I want to share with you a crazy lucid dream I had last night. I wonder if you, my dear reader, have ever heard about lucid dreams… a lucid dreams is when you remain aware and conscious during the dream, so that you know that you are dreaming and sometimes you can control your dream and do whatever you want to do: like fly, or go out on a romantic date with Megan Fox! These types of dreams are kind of uncommon, but they are indeed a real type of dream that has been researched and tested.

Female Homo sapiens sapiens commonly known as Megan Fox

In my entire life I’ve had only two dreams where I become aware that I’m dreaming. The first one might have happened already like six month ago. It happened because I frequently dream about my teeth falling out… they’re such horrible nightmares! At the beginning I used to wake up when I panicked because I had the teeth on my hand. Then more recently, when I was in panic instead of just waking up so suddenly I started to think in the dream: “I must be dreaming; this is just a dream, this is just a dream!” and then wake up. In the last dream when I had the teeth in my hand I immediately knew that I was dreaming, so I forced my teeth to reappear! And then I tried to control my dream and change scenario, but I woke up. However the dream that I want to share with you is at a completely different level of craziness!

So I was in bed falling asleep peacefully, in that kind of mental state where you’re half awake and half asleep and the most random thoughts just pass by your mind. All of a sudden, I said:

“Dream now.”

And the dream starts! I remember the entire dream from beginning to end. Once I entered the dream state my body became ethereal, like a ghost. I passed through the bed, and passed through the floor, just to appear in the air free falling precipitously. It is night: a hundred meters below, the ocean; a couple of kilometers in the distance, a huge city in the cost brightly illuminated; behind the city, a mountain chain and on top of the mountain chain there was something like the Parthenon in Athens but fifty times bigger.

So I fell and fell! And I was going to hit the water, I felt that emptiness in the stomach and the anticipation of death and pain… but I didn’t hit the water, I just passed through because I was still a ghost; I didn’t get wet, I just kept on going down through the water. Then I thought “OK, if I keep on falling I will have to wait until I get out at the other side of the Earth, but the planet is so big that it might take such a long time!” So I forced the dream to reset, and suddenly I was in the air again free falling! Once again the void feeling in the stomach, going to hit the water, and I passed through the water once more! Then I reseted the dream a second time, I was in the air falling, but this time before I hit the water I flew like Superman!

I reached the city and landed in the nightlife area. There were night clubs all around and a lot of people. I entered a random club and inside there were quite a few beautiful women in their glittering party dresses and on their tall high heels. “Best dream ever!” I thought. So then I approached some girls kind of boldly with no regard for social etiquette; they (of course) reacted with surprise and I kind of chased them away.

I got a bit upset. I’m thinking: “this is MY dream, why people have to react as they would do in real life! It’s my dream, goddamn it! So they should react as I want them to react.”

And then the dream takes an even crazier unexpected turn and becomes kind of heavy and dark so I can not give you details: it’s censured. When I couldn’t stand anymore the darkness of the dream, so that I was getting too confused and things were getting out of control, I said:

“Wake up now!”

And voila! I’m awake.

The 'Megan Fox' pic was originally posted to Flickr by nicogenin http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicogenin/3620099396/ under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Oct 6, 2010

The Catacombs of Paris

STOP! THIS IS THE EMPIRE OF DEATHOne of the coolest and scariest places in Paris: The Catacombs! A one kilometer long tunnel under the streets of Paris filled with the bones of more than six million skeletons. It’s definitively the most mysterious and darkest place in the City of Light.

Beware of ghosts, demons, and zombies that can snatch away a piece of your flesh if you turn around the wrong passage.

The Catacombs are located in the 14th arrondissement; you descend a spiral stairwell twenty meters underground and walk via a long tunnel system until you reach the entrance of the ossuary. You are warmly welcomed with a message engraved in the stone that says:


Then the trail of bones begins, piled up femurs and skulls in organized patterns: sordid, morbid.

My arm! Where's my arm?!!

Oct 5, 2010

Claude Monet in Paris, Exhibition 2011

I have no words to describe how sublime Claude Monet’s paintings are. Each one of them is so vivid, so colorful, and so full of intensity. My mind was blown away when I attended the new Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais of Paris; right now, the biggest one of its kind in the world, with over two hundred paintings of Monet that spans all his entire life.

It is greatness! It is a testament to talent and hard work, to a life completely dedicated and committed to art. What devotion, what love for art! I’m so impressed and so inspired.

Last Saturday night was Nuit Blanche in Paris. It translates literally White Night but it actually means a sleepless night, it’s a cultural night beginning in the evening of the Saturday and ending with the dawn of the Sunday. All museums are open over night and free, with hundreds of activities around the entire city, theater, performances, films, concerts, etc, etc, plus all the crazy people everywhere in the streets.

Me and my friends decided to go and check out the Monet exhibition that will be open until the 24th of January, 2011. We arrived at a quarter to eight in the evening just to find a huge line with a sign saying four hours waiting time! Four hours! I guess it was to discourage people because it took us only one and a half hours to clear the line. And it was TOTALLY worth every single second we spend in that stupid line; little we knew about the feast for the eye and the soul that was just about to begin.

Killing some time in the line with friends

One of my favorite paintings was Jeane-Marguerite Lecadre in the Garden (1866, he was 26 then), the green of the garden is so beautiful contrasting with her white dress in the corner.

Claude Monet ParisJeane-Marguerite Lecadre in the Garden

Another one of the most memorable paintings for me was The Walk, Woman with a Parasol (1875); so dreamy and ethereal!

Claude Monet Paris 2011The Walk, Woman with a Parasol

The Self Portrait (1917) is also quite amazing; he transmits this feeling of wisdom and kindness.

Claude Monet Paris 2011 Self Portrait

And last but not least… it impressed me a lot when I inspected it from a very close distance. At first glance you could think is just a bunch of lines thrown there randomly, but if you look carefully it’s actually made of thousands of colors. Pretty awesome, that painting was called Weeping Willow, Giverny (1920-1922, he was then 80 years old when he started painting it).

Cloude Monet Paris 2011Weeping Willow, Giverny

All in all, it was spectacular. If you are in Paris or coming to Paris before the exhibition is over, you must see it because it brought Monet paintings from collections all over the world; most of his greatest masterpieces are there, so probably it won’t happen again in a long time. Check out the website of the exhibition which is quite cool and has all the paintings exhibited there, click here.

Oct 1, 2010

The end of FARC and the Colombian conflict

I’m sure by now pretty much anyone that watches the news, reads a newspaper, or has a Colombian friend knows about the dead in combat of Mono Jojoy, the maximum leader of FARC. The hope for a new day without conflict seems to be just one step ahead, so close… a new era for Colombia, new times of peace, progress, and development.

Could you imagine a developed Colombia? A Colombia that is part of the G8 for example? With universities that rank in the top 100 best ones in the world? A Colombia that wins many gold medals in the Olympics and fight for the first place at the World Cup? Can you imagine a country where social classes don’t have to be categorized from one to six? Where everyone can go to school and university, where everyone gets a fair salary? A country of progress, of technological advances that have global impact? A country that exploits the biodiversity potential of its lands in a profound and sustainable way? A country with no poverty? A country with leaders that inspire you rather than disgust you? A country with no corruption at all, for example?

palma de cera colombiaColombia's national tree: Ceroxylon quindiuense

Then I realize that the reason why Colombia is not at the top goes beyond the existence of the armed conflict that has plagued our country for so many decades. I realize that the reason why Colombia is not at the top perhaps lies within us all, all of us Colombians. Some people blame the conflict that causes war, violence, devastation, and hate; some people blames the politicians and leaders that are corrupt, avaricious, and selfish; some people blames America for oppressing us with their imperialist capitalism; some people even blame the Spanish conquest from which we have been free for 200 years already!

But I blame us, every single one of us Colombians. We are all the same, one unity, one country: guerrillero, politician, homeless, entrepreneur, housewife, priest… we’re all one. We Colombians don’t fight for what is right, we behave badly, we take advantage of our neighbors and fellow citizens, we don’t respect the norms, and our values are messed up: “the Indian malice” we say proud! What the heck? We are all raised under the same values, we are all Colombians.

Where is the goodness I wonder? The desire for a better change? Why is it not a burning desire to make a Colombia a better country, the best country?

How is it possible that the military would kill thousands of innocent people just to cash a money reward as in the “false positive” scandals?

How is it possible that some people using the so called “Ponzi Schemes” wouldn’t mind to leave millions of Colombians in poverty?

I remember when I last came to Colombia three years ago; I switched on the news on TV and the first thing that I saw was a man that was stabbed to death just because he told the perpetrator not to pee on the street! And also some people set a minibus on fire with the passengers still alive inside, for whatever reason! All that in the same day!

Don’t be fooled my dear readers, because they are also part of Colombia, these are the people we go to school with, we pass them by when we walk down the street. These people are just the other Colombian that thought such acts of criminality were OK. How can someone do anything like that?

So what does it take to rocket our country Colombia to the heights of progress and development? What does it take to see Colombia at the top? What do we have to do?

The 'Palma de Cera' pic was originally posted to Flickr by Natalia Vivas at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollyparker/3359041426/ under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic.