Friday, March 12, 2010


(Sergio J. Fernandez - March 12, 2010)

I remember that when my sister Angelica and I were kids, which was just a few days ago, there was nothing that bothered our mother more than to see the two of us fighting against each other. It did not matter if I came back home from playing on a yard with my friends and soiled the floor with my dirty shoes, mom could get a little bit mad to the point of wanting to hit me in the head with the mop, but I never saw her as irritated as when my sister and I fought against each other. It did not matter that some female neighbor came to my mom gossiping about how my sister rolled up her high school uniform skirt to make it shorter, my mom could get a little bit upset and even tell my sister about the birds and the bees, so that my sister could understand why she should not roll up her uniform skirt, but never ever saw mom losing her maternal patience except if it was because my sister and I were fighting each other. I never understood that particular behavior of my mom but until I had my own children.  However, I was able to corroborate from an early age, that my mom's persistence in maintaining harmony between my sister and I, paid its dividends a hundred to one every time my sister needed me and vice versa. We had finally learned to be “like fingers of the same hand” as mom had taught us.

In the wars of bombs and bullets, deaths by “friendly fire” are relatively common. Deaths that hurt even more because were caused by those who were supposed to be on “our side”. It is also known that in those wars alliances play a very important role in the determination of who wins and who loses. As stated in that phrase: “THE ENEMIES OF MY ENEMY ARE MY FRIENDS”.

The same way, in the wars of words “friendly fire” can annihilate our allies. Therefore, as the military strategists realize their campaigns in such way that they could win the greatest number of allies and to avoid in great scale deaths by “friendly fire”, we; the ones trying to use words to fight our battles, should plan our strategies ahead, to add the greatest number of allies, because definitely “strength is in the numbers”, and once on our side, protect them at all costs so that we do not lose them due to “friendly fire”. 

When I write about love and/or faith, I simply limit myself to listen to what my heart tells me, but when I use words as bombs and bullets to fight this battle of more than fifty years, I think first how effective is going to be the damage I wnat to cause to my enemy, second; how effective I am going to be recruiting the so much needed allies, and finally, I evaluate, in the spirit of self-criticism, what could be hidden in my words that could, even unconsciously, hurt any of my priceless allies (should read my brothers and sisters). 

Today, living in a foreign country by obligation and not by election, sometimes I feel like my mother should have, when I see my Cuban compatriots, my brothers and sisters, fighting against each other, forgetting we all are “like fingers of the same hand”. 

Anybody who publicly recognizes that there is a strong dictatorship that does not respect any of the fundamental rights of the human beings in Cuba, and that the primary responsibility for such dictatorship rests on Fidel and Raul Castro, is my brother and sister in this battle. 

My dear friends, my compatriots, my brothers and sisters, please let us try to use the bullets of our words directing them with all effectiveness to the heart of our common enemy, and not against ourselves. 

"The most important commandment," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these two." 

Mark 12:29-31 (Today’s New International Version)

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