«A nation remains strong as it cares about its real problems, and begins its decline when it deals with accessory details.» Arnold Toynbee
For decades Chile has been sleeping in the dream of rudeness or what Nietzsche called «bad conscience». The great call to cultural or paradigm shift, which is now heard transversely throughout our country, and in many corners of the world, demands it: it is no longer tolerable to live with these levels of ethical, ecological, economic and political awareness.
Milestone after milestone, in these last 2 weeks it has been very clear that we no longer want to be part of a community where the frivolity of rudeness reigns and cousins as a model of life. And rudely, I mean not just what happens in educational institutions, but an arid, individualistic, sad and meaningless lifestyle of community as a nation.
For almost three decades in our country, rudeness permeates everything. Overnight in Chile it is sexier to have a Ferrari or a Macerati than to live in austerity. Overnight holding several university degrees or commercial institutions is more relevant than being a poet, teacher or social worker; in a two by three we are already living in ghettos; and of a time here living without time, with the clock in hand, producing 24/7 to reach the personal or organizational summit, is more important than stopping to look at us and to talk about where we are and what inspires us as a society.
In any country accustomed to living in rudeness, it is very easy to fall into the temptation to quickly find the solutions to pretend to get out of social collapse soon. The temptation is very great because our addiction to work, exponential growth and climbing are pathological. The excell sheets are permanently lurking, and many of us are the ones who want to run the rabbit of success, opportunity and personal glory. But our lack of contemplation is just one more sign of rudeness.
One of the most fabulous buckets of cold water that brought us the social collapse was that we Chileans finally had time to stop to contemplate the smallest details, omissions and vericuetos of our rudeness. We were forced to descend into the underworld of our own darkness, to contemplate our greed, arrogance, insecurity and small competition. And some, I long, are even in the initial process of deep self-criticism and awakening of consciousness.
We all know, feel or intuit, today a new national consciousness or ethical responsibility for Chile is being developed in our country. Among those who are empowered to genuinely stop to contemplate and illuminate the roots of collapse, it is up to us to sustain it. Not only to transform our politics, economy or cultural conditioning, but more importantly, to commit ourselves to relentless self-observation, daily ethical action, internal coherence or individual integrity.
If a new national consciousness manages to sustain itself in time Chile could become, as prophesied by the English historian Arnold Toynbee, a beacon for humanity. But this will only be possible if we wake up from the dream of rudeness and remind at every step of the great post-collapse risk: our highest challenge is not our ability to rise again – the resilience of Chileans is highly validated – but the possibility of go back, back down thanks to our addiction to rudeness.
The content poured into this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.