By Santiago Echeverri
Andres had worked restlessly for eight hours, and he could not stop thinking about how uncertain his future was and how unfair life seemed to be. Sebastian, his old friend, had just given him a call.
Sebastian and Andres were a most unusual pair of friends, but with an almost fraternal bond between them, a bond so powerful that transcended all the barriers that their difference in Social Class created between them.
Andres and Sebastian came from the same Land, but they had been born under stupendously different circumstances. Sebastian was one of the lucky boys of the Land; he was the son of Carla, a college-graduate with a well-paid job. And Andres was the son of Dina, a housemaid whose education was not past the Elementary Years; she merely knew how to read and write. However, both Dina and Carla were women of great hearts who believed in Love and Honesty, and perhaps, because they had bestowed these Values upon their sons, Andres and Sebastian had forged such a strong friendship.
And so, Sebastian had just called Andres, as it was usual for him to do once every some weeks. And this call made Andres question many things. He asked himself why Life had decided that Sebastian deserved an easier path than him; he mused about why Sebastian had been blessed with the opportunity of being educated in the most desired of places—The Great North—while he, the arduous laborer, had to stay in the Land; and he further inquired why Sebastian, who had abandoned the Land, lived in that Great North at the expense of Carla’s work in the Land, while he, the son of the housemaid, had to tribute the Land with arduous work, and still, the Land barely repaid him with enough resources to survive.
But Andres was not a boy of resentment, he was a boy of Love. And as Love revolved inside his being, the resentment that had just begun to spark inside of him was overpowered. He remembered Dina’s, his mother’s, teachings: that Life was a State of Justice, where whatever a citizen gave, a citizen received, not mattering the situations which surrounded him or her.
Then, he saw everything more clearly. He saw that there was no worth in asking himself why Sebastian had been given a situation which seemed better. He realized that he was only wasting his mind by straining it with musings about the fairness of life. He became convinced about the core of Dina’s teachings: that there is only worth in musing about what Good there is to do in the only moment that a being has absolute control of, the exact present time, and that from effecting Good in the present, Good would be received in the future.
He felt more awake than ever. He realized that Life was fair after all. It was true that he lived in poverty, that he had moved away from Home to work in The Capital, and that he had to perform menial tasks every day in order to survive, send money back Home, and acquire the resources that someday would allow him to fulfill his—and Dina’s—greatest dream: becoming a college-graduate. This was his tangible truth, the truth which he could touch and feel most real. But his awakening allowed him to see other beauties that were true as well. It was true that he had a loving mother, which he could reach in matter of seconds; a family which he could reach in matter of hours; and a Dream, which he could fulfill in matter of years. But most importantly, it was true that he was alive. And for the very first time in his life, he became aware that for as long as he lived, he could strive through anything that assailed him: all that he needed to surpass any problem was life, and he was full of it.
New feelings started to evolve inside of Andres. Sorrow and self-pity, which had assailed him for years, disappeared, and feelings of calmness and joy began to evolve in him. In the beginning he just felt stillness, total calmness, like if nothing was worth a worry. But gradually—slowly—there appeared a tweak of joy, a spiral which began small and, as time gave it a lapse to span, it grew to proportions which Andres had never imagined. So great was his Joy, that he felt like his chest was going to explode from the inside out. There was in his chest an effervescent feeling of happiness, and he could not figure out where it came from. But, in a few moments, he realized what the source of his unexplainable happiness was: everlasting hope. By acknowledging that he needed nothing else than life in order to surpass any problem, he acquired the tool of Hope for his path through Life. From that moment on, it would not matter what high obstacle he would encounter in his Path, for he would always find enough strength, in his mindfulness of being alive, to climb the way above such obstacle. And when he would found himself in the zenith of what seemed as an insurmountable obstacle, he would discover that that which seemed to threaten him was nothing but a means for him to become stronger. That was his everlasting Hope. He realized that no obstacle could hamper him. He recognized that obstacles they were a necessary ladder to go higher. And so, he became fantastically happiness.
Then, while being more Awake than ever, Andres fell asleep. And he dreamed. Andres dreamed about a distant future. A future in which he had shared all the Good he had received, the Good which he had been awarded from the incessant Good had had done during his life. He was an old man with gray hair, and he was looking to the horizon from the summit of a snow-covered mountain. He could see the Sun shining in front of his eyes, and he was not blinded by its powerful beams. He had learned how to look at it. First, he experienced the dream in first-person. He watched the Sun, silently and deeply. Then, he saw himself from the outside. He saw the reflection of the Sun in his eyes, and he realized how peaceful he was. He wondered what that Old Him must have done through the years to deserve such peacefulness. Suddenly, he was absorbed back into his Old Self, and he saw it all. He saw the early days of eight hours of work and how they then became days of eight hours of work plus four hours of studying, after he had saved enough to pay for La Matricula in the University of The Land. He observed how he suddenly became the boss of his former boss in The Company, once he became a college-graduate, the very first one in all the generations of his family. He saw the joy of Dina for his professional son, and the joy of Sebastian for watching his Old Friend fulfill his dream. And he finally saw all the Good he had shared. He saw how he became a man of Power, through Honest and incessant work, and how he used that Power to share his knowledge about Life with as much people as he could and to heal his injured Land and make it a place where more people flourished. And at that instant, the dream was over.
The next morning, Andres woke up with a half-way smile, not euphoric, but simply content of being alive. He showered, dressed up, and had breakfast. And before leaving for work, he took some time to muse and remind himself about all the Good he would do that day. That night, there was no phone call and there was no dream. He had learned what he needed.