An irreverent suggestion or question, this is the uneasiness that the present title creates. If it is an irreverent suggestion, its meaning slightly pejorative, it would mean that we are “excessive in everything”, we are the best, we don’t lack anything and we pursue the avant-garde, the constant advancements and the prosperity in permanent evolution, everything or almost everything done to perfection.
In reality it would not be any insolence if we had the merits or the arguments sufficient to auto-qualify as the best, the number one; we would be therefore emblem and paradigm, we would get others to emulate us, we would be as an A, qualified and at the third power, we would simply be the best of the best.
Of course, if the title was a question, it would bring more explanations, more anxiety, and therefore, it would demand without pretext, but with absolute conscience and exemplary sincerity, concrete answers from all and each one of us. This uneasiness would be of different nature, for example: social, political, scientific, cultural, economic, industrial, pertaining to livestock and agriculture, sporty, territorial with local, regional, national, global spectrum, with the details of a real identity, etc. Some anxieties ask for a profound responsibility for what they imply.
And what happens, appreciated and dear compatriots and friends of North of Santander in Colombia and in the World? What happens to what we are, what we have been, what we dream of being, what we could have been…., all in all of what we really are and “will be that we are”? Where is our reality? Where does our Northsantanderean disposition stand out? Where will the basis of our pedestal be found?
And what could we say of the spacious halls through which our history has passed and elapsed? Do we have a history? With which fabric have we weaved it? Ah surely we do have a history….our own history! And if we have it, with which letters have we signed before, with which letters are we signing it in our present time…Is it better or worst this earlier history? Is the aforementioned history good, regular or bad? Does it make us proud or does it embarrass us? How unbreakable or indestructible is the fabric that keeps the Northsantanderan veil along the distance of time.
Perhaps we Santandereans still live in the genesis of what will be our infinite epic poem, perhaps we live the first horizons of our rising spring or the genesis and the spring have already passed and we noticed it and therefore we are getting adequately ready for fall, our dilapidated sunset.
I presume that we Northsantandereans have our own defects and others that are instilled. I presume that our defects have filled up the side of the destiny, that our precariousness is a sum in constant growth, and that our weaknesses become stronger like cursed plagues. I feel like a pork rind is boiling in my soul…with “light” burns that are caused by the ardor produced directly by the conformism of our man, by the disunity and the meanness as a previous and posterior constant, by the stray violence and its profile of evildoing so infernal and so perfect, among other causes. And with deep heaviness, I understand that perhaps we do not know of any sense of belonging, perhaps we do not understand with clarity about solidarity and integration, maybe we do not understand the definition of the word freedom. Maybe we give eulogies to the corruptions and the mediocrity and suddenly we sing with honesty and without shame, together with the indolence. Perhaps we must understand that we are lacking decisiveness and character “at the time of the truth”, maybe we need to ask for a little bit more and kneel a little less. And where is our individual and collective compromise?
However, I presume, or better recognize that we Northsantandereans possess virtues, some qualities and all potentialities. We have hopes that cover us like landslides in pursuit of the direct sight of our good, our marvelous near and far horizons (after all hope never dies). I presume that something has been done, but I think that there is more missing, much more. I presume that we have to raise our own demands. I presume, but especially I feel the necessity of a general balance of everybody and for everybody. And why this balance? Initially we should join together (maybe as an urgent necessity) and thus to learn how to raise the northsantanderean flag. To join together to see if we are able to auto-criticize ourselves (at least for them). We should join together to recognize ourselves and the good that has been done, to offer a deserved gratitude without the usual standards/banners of lobbyism and false interests. To join together to point out and censure the reprehensible, not so much to condemn but rather to eradicate all faults, all the faults and the mistakes done, not like a senseless fight but rather with the praxis of a generous dialogue. To join together to be able to investigate who we are and where are we going. To join together to discover what we love…what we dream of…We will only find results in the future if we think about: What shall we do? How will we do it? And especially why will we do it? As a last resort to join together in the northsantanderean way to converse with everybody, counting on everybody, a refreshment, to do it at least up and down the entire anatomy of our geographic and human-social map. To join together to understand if in reality we can shake hands with greatness and not dazzle ourselves as usual in front of the constant of its penetrating but intermittent eyes.
In front of such anxieties it is deduced from my part and surely on your account, intuitively, nearly as one of my own responsibilities and obligations towards the Department that saw me being born and towards my Northsantanderean people, and they urge me to ask myself what have I done for it and for all or some compatriots and the answer, which in reality makes me ashamed but that I am obliged to provide honestly, is the following: For my Department North of Santander and for my people I have done nothing, absolutely nothing. However, if I try to “rescue myself” in a Machiavellic allusion, I come up with a sacramental question: And… what have you done? If you ask me why I have not done anything and what am I proposing to do, that is how I answer.
Even so I believe strongly in the Northsantanderean man, I believe in what we can do, I believe in the possibilities, I believe in hope, I believe in the realization, I believe in the presence of the present and in the eternal presence of the present in the future of my “till now long-suffering”, at times forgotten, at times helpless homeland….my homeland, our homeland. I believe in our preparation to take on greatness, I believe in our competence to face challenges and I believe that I will not stop believing. How beautiful to be Santanderean! And…in an irreverent suggestion I shout to the whole humanity: We are Northsantandereans…so what!
__Translated by:__ David Hernandez