Commentary: Dreaming in the time of viceroys
I have always been caught up by the beauty and clarity of the speech “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have always been caught up by the beauty and clarity of the speech “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. In his dream, Dr. King referred to his aspiration of seeing all people united, living in harmony beyond race and color. That dream is still pending as an aspiration rather than an accomplishment in a society still torn by its structural sins.
In my experience working in the Latin American and Caribbean region, I see, hear, and experience some other pending aspirations, mostly expressed as dreams too. Allow me to share a story from the Mexican southeast:
Antonio dreams that the land he works belongs to him. He dreams that his sweat is paid with justice and truth. He dreams that there is a school to cure ignorance and medicine to scare death. He dreams that his house lights up and his table fills up. He dreams that their land is free and that it is the reason for their people to govern and govern themselves; they dream that they are at peace with themselves and with the world.He dreams that he must fight to have that dream; he dreams that there must be death for there to be life. Antonio dreams and wakes up…
The viceroy dreams that his land is shaken by a terrible wind that raises everything, dreams that what he stole is taken away. He dreams that his house is destroyed and that the kingdom he ruled collapses. He dreams but does not sleep. The viceroy goes to the feudal lords, and they tell him that they dream the same thing. Everyone dreams in this country. It’s time to wake up…
We are living in the time of viceroys. They do not rest until they build the walls, prisons, and barracks they need to preserve their way of life. They take away the land, poison the rivers and pollute the air. However, the viceroys fear the wind that rises into the air revolves everything. It is the wind of the Spirit, inspiring our nations to embrace a new world, but based on eternal values.
Our First Nations have their values very well defined. They dream about the reproduction of the fullness of life—much like Jesus told us in John 10:10)—including the tenure of land, education for children, health, and communion with the environment. Houses lit up and tables filled up in sovereignty and peace.
Let the path of our dreams be like the one that defined the resurrection of Christ. He resurrected so we all could have eternal life, but also abundant life. Life that is worth living. Life to be lived like the one our ancestors dreamt about. As Antonio said in his reflection, let´s wake up and make it a reality too.
The Reverend Angel L. Rivera-Agosto is the Global Ministries´Area Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean.