HAVANA TIMES — I know several people who have never had a break in life. When I say “break”, I mean a good life. What’s a good life? For many, having a good life consists in the possibility of obtaining and having anything one wishes, material things, that is.
I have come up with a short list of things that would supposedly make mortals – those living in Cuba and elsewhere, where we can allegedly make our dreams come true – happy.
- A house with several rooms, a pretty view and – of course – a swimming pool.
- A car
- A TV (ideally the latest model) in every room of the house.
- An amazing kitchen
- A DVD player
- The latest cell phone
- A lot of clothes (if they’re brand-clothes, so much the better – we would spend a little more, but it would make us happier).
- An excellent job
- A fantastic salary
- Good furniture, and the possibility of changing it regularly.
- Computers, for playing games
- A stereo
- Air conditioning
The list could go on, but I don’t want to overwhelm readers.
It doesn’t matter if we don’t know how to write or speak well in Spanish or English, let alone that we are oblivious to the fact thousands of people – including children, women and elders – are being killed right now in stupid wars provoked by a Nobel Peace Prize laureate (amen). It doesn’t matter if we don’t know who wrote the The Little Prince, and so on and so forth. What the better part of society cares about today is the ability to buy, to buy again and to always have a little bit more.
Having a little bit more – and more – gives us a sense of security. We consume, we recycle, we consume again, we recycle again. Time passes and we never stop to ask ourselves what will happen after we have everything we supposedly need, all those things that are as essential to us as oxygen (though many never actually get to have what they dreamed of, neither in Cuba nor elsewhere, where many say there are more possibilities).
Nothing, nothing happens, because, in the end, everything becomes monotonous, like the impulse to look at one’s mobile phone all the time, to see whether someone has called you at your new, cutting-edge phone. Big deal! And we’re on the lookout for the latest model, and it doesn’t matter how expensive it is, we want to have it at all costs, because it’s the latest thing out there, and that’s how we spend our whole lives, becoming more and more insensitive. We are so caught up in the race to have more and more that we unwittingly turn our backs on those who have nothing.
Those who don’t have much are freer. They only think about having what they need to get by, not in having more and more – things that, in the end, as in a fairy tale, will all turn to dust.