Monday, December 1, 2008

Contemplative and Hopeful


So, another year has gone by, another notch on my educational belt leaving me one step closer to graduation. Damn, it’s been too long of a trip already. Still, as I reminisce on the past year I find myself wanting, for even with the election of Barack Obama, it feels that this year was lost to politics.

You see, this year has been one of turmoil, with wars around the world, genocide, and ICE raids becoming an unfortunate norm; nothing has been spared. Even the 2008 Olympiad, a competition that has stood for unity saw controversy directed its way before it even started.

Still, with a growing economic meltdown and the failure of the three big automakers hurling along the horizon, all I can think about is what classes I’m going to be able to take next semester. Sad, isn’t it? Among so much, I choose to reduce my focus to so little. This is the reality to most, whether we admit it or not.

Thus, I reminisce and think back to a Raza Student Association general meeting where an Hermanos Unidos member asked for help with the Border Angels organization.

I still remember how I sat there listening to the presentation as he gave the stats on how many people risk all just to enter into the U.S.. It touched home in a way that I truly wasn’t able to express. Hector Gomez, the HU member, mentioned that on average, one traveler gives the ultimate sacrifice for freedom every week. But what touched me most were photos of a grave of the unknowns where they have laid to rest 600+ who have been found in the vastness of the desert between Méjico and the U.S.

Yeah, it is some crazy shit. But the battle isn’t done. You see, as the semester draws to a close and the holidays loom near, while most are just wondering where they will head out to for Christmas and New Year’s, I still remember the days when all I could do was wonder how my family in Méjico was doing. Wondering if I was going to be able to visit them one day and still have the chance to come back, without the assistance of a coyote. Wishing that El Niño Dios would know where I was now and where to bring my gifts.

Thus, I reminisce about this past year and wonder how many more have died along the border, how many have had their families broken due to the "law." How many children will lie in their beds praying on Christmas Eve with only one wish in their hearts:

"Por favor, deja que mi familia, mi mamá, mi papá, mis hermanos y mis hermanas estemos juntos otra vez esta Navidad."

And with this, I hope. I hope that while we count our blessings this holiday season we look back and remember those we have lost. That we look back and pray, to whomever we can, for those whose families that have been broken up due to forces beyond their power.

But most of all that we act, for as this year comes to an end, a new one is just about to dawn. With it comes the promise of a fresh start, new hopes, new dreams, and new mistakes ready to be accomplished and overcome.

As this semester, these memories, and this crazy thing we call the year 2008 comes to a close, let us think back and hope for the future. ¶

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