By Beatrice E. Rangel
According to astrology ,"the equinox and solstice points are sacred markers in time that help us connect the dots to the mystery behind the Earth's never ending circle of life." This upcoming summer solstice seems to have inspired two Latin American leaders to search for the meaning of personal and global life. They are a writer and a spiritual leader.
Mario Vargas Llosa has always been described as a superb story teller a great listener and a gentleman.
This description hardly fits the words uttered or rather written by the Nobel laureate to Peruvian journalists last week. Infuriated by comments on his romantic forays with Isabel Preysler, a Spanish socialite, he sent a note to his country's newspapers demanding a fairer treatment for his private life.
The note depicted the Peruvian press and the country's force vivants as "a hypocritical pack of hungry hyenas seeking to sink their dirty teeth in the life of others given the stupidity of their lives."
The rant goes on calling his critics poor spirits sunk on the sea of nobodyness while indicating that he has always led a very interesting life when it comes to pairing, as he married first his aunt and then his cousin.
And while those on the receiving end have chosen to remain silent, many are beginning to wonder whether the great writer has not fallen prey to his lifelong nemesis: believing his myth.
Should this be the case he might be heading to hit a concrete wall, for the only acceptable myths in this century of transparency and ubiquity are those created in the popular internet destination Second Life where people live their myths while enlarging those of others. Given that all inhabitants are stars, no one pays particular attention to others, busy as everyone is building his or her own myth.
In this milieu, Mario Vargas and Isabel Preysler would go completely unnoticed, but in our battered reality, people tend to follow those that seem to have the most interesting lives. Failing to understand this could prove to be deadly for his trade as the only way people nowadays buy books and magazines, the vehicles through which his talent flows, is when they include mystery, drama and pinky love.
Very close to Vargas Llosa's roman à coeur, another drama is beginning to unfold spearheaded by yet another Latin American who, like the writer, promises not to let the Europeans rest this summer. Indeed, with Greece about to burst the euro bubble, the last thing European leaders needed was the Roman Pontiff launching an environmental crusade before the Chinese come into the free trade fold.
And while the world youth reacted with enthusiasm and support, most political leaders seem to want to let the news pass under the bridge of oblivion. The crowd pleasing document opens with a beautiful Franciscan canticle: "LAUDATO SI', mi' Signore" - "Praise be to you, my Lord."
In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.
The opening stament is followed by a truly erudite discussion on the meaning of biodiversity to conclude: "The earth's resources are also being plundered because of short-sighted approaches to the economy, commerce and production. Caring for ecosystems demands far-sightedness, since no one looking for quick and easy profit is truly interested in their preservation. But the cost of the damage caused by such selfish lack of concern is much greater than the economic benefits to be obtained. Human beings too are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and endowed with unique dignity. So we cannot fail to consider the effects on people's lives of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture."
The Papal vision also dissects inequality defining it as an "environmental debt" that needs to be paid by the prosperous and affluent industrial world to those countries that are less fortunate when it comes to economic performance. To be sure, at that point, the encyclical seems to flirt with the theory of unbalanced trade launched by Raul Prebish when he led ECLAC. But the Pontiff is a Jesuit, and Jesuits are masters at the arts of trompe d'oeil. He thus takes an unforeseen road to action which calls for every man and woman of goodwill to participate in what he describes as the harmony of creation.
This entails the adoption of a belief very similar to that of Buddah which grants every living creature (this includes insects, amoebas and plants) a dignity of being that reinforces the dignity of life of every man and woman.
In short, we are called to enlist in a new credo which submits the idea of the integrity of the universe.
"The universe as a whole, in all its manifold relationships, shows forth the inexhaustible riches of God. Saint Thomas Aquinas wisely noted that multiplicity and variety 'come from the intention of the first agent' who willed that 'what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another', inasmuch as God's goodness' could not be represented fittingly by any one creature. Hence we need to grasp the variety of things in their multiple relationships. We understand better the importance and meaning of each creature if we contemplate it within the entirety of God's plan."
One can visualize world leaders at the November 11th environmental Summit quietly slipping out of the rooms to engage in meditation so that their hearts can truly grasp the meaning of a credo that by then will probably have more following than any of them in their countries. These are the magical effects of summer solstices!!Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.
Pope Francisco - Encyclical Letter Laudato Si -- June 2015 (English) by Latin American Herald Tribune
Pope Francisco -- Laudato Si -- Enciclica Sobre El Medio Ambiente - June 2015 by Latin American Herald TribuneAlso by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet seriesBeatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome
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