HAVANA TIMES – In the past, I have wanted to leave Cuba because of hunger, poverty, a desire for freedom, but now I want to leave because of a disease that has taken over the island, it goes by the name: Indifference.
I have stopped feeling this sense of attachment, this enthusiasm that defined Cubans for being empathetic and making any cause their own, from a bit of salt for the neighbor in need, to the burning desire to accompany them to the hospital and track down a medicine they need.
I can’t say that this is a widespread ill of society, I have always heard my grandparents say that famous phrase of “there are still good people around”, it isn’t that this emotional numbness is stopping me from living my life and adapting to the space I live in. I’ve just got used to living in a country of simple people without any barriers or body fortresses, people who would hug you as soon as they met you.
This emotional coldness has come to stay in Cuba. It has come with a shield that protects the “I”, isolating it and hiding it in the darkest and most uninhabitable place of human existence.
In terms of social living, indifference is normally rejected. I believe it goes against the values of respect, solidarity and empathy needed to live in a society.
I need movement, I need to respond and for anyone who hears an emergency call to respond, a combination of emotions, an interaction that goes against taking a neutral position which brings us to a standstill, paralyzes us, where things don’t tend to change.
I want to leave Cuba because it has fallen into a slumber, it has fallen into a “medically-induced coma”.
My flag, my homeland, my national anthem sung by voices that are used to the same catchphrases without finding the resounding truth, hurt me too much.
I don’t want to see how our steps slowly take us away to nowhere, I don’t want to listen to what people say without understanding what they are thinking. I don’t want to hear words with deaf ears, while a woman is killed, while I see a child go hungry or a helpless animal. I don’t want to keep running into lifeless bodies, with scents and sounds but without an owner, like a full cemetery, but empty…
This ill is an undeniable global reality, but it has hit the Cuban people hard in recent times, and I’m afraid it has now become our culture.
I want to stop for a moment, in another place, realize what is happening around and inside me, not to become infected by this dying state of non-reaction. I can’t stand this lack of feeling being our feeling, while every step silently leads us towards an indifferent society.