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Happy 2012

Frei Betto

My wish is for a Happy New Year where, God willing, all children will feel awash in Mozart, Pixinguinha Noel Rosa when they turn on the TV; will learn the difference between impressionists and expressionists; see shows re-enacting the Balaiada, the Confederation of the Equator and the War of the Emboabas and go to sleep after saying their prayers.

I want a New Year where, in the rural areas, everybody will have a piece of land full of oranges and lettuces and where the wings of humming birds flutter amongst the dairy cows. In the city, a roof under which there will be a kitchen stove with saucepans brimming over, a parlour carpeted with colourful remnants and a photo of the couple in an oval frame above the sofa.

I hope for a New Year where churches will open their doors to the silence of the heart, the organ will murmur songs of the angels and the Bible is shared like bread. May faith and justice hold hands and join together to help those who are unhappy to stop looking heavenwards to ease their unhappiness.

A Happy New Year to couples who feel free in the art of loving, their home smelling sweetly of perfume, their children contemplating their parents’ passionate looks and the family so entertained with dialogue that they don’t notice the television which is a mute and blind machine in a corner of the parlour.

I wish for a New Year where libertarian dreams are so strong that young people with hearts beating with ideals will not resort to the chemicals of drugs nor fear the future nor express themselves in unintelligible dialects. May they all be addicted to utopia.

I hope for a New Year where we will all avoid pinning resentment into the folds of our hearts, wash all wrath and injury from our memory walls and not bet on racing with time nor counting life’s speed by heart beats.

A New Year for enjoying the brevity of existence as if it were forever in the company of the goldsmiths of delights whose able fingers incrust tender and eternal jewels into every-day routine.

A New Year where all are assured the right to work, the respectability of a dignified salary, conditions for a human life, the potential of their profession and the joy of a vocation. A new year capable of satiating our hunger for bread and beauty.

I pray for a New Year where the police will be known for the lives they protect and not for the murders they commit; where prisoners will be re-educated towards social living and the poor will replace the blindfold on the eyes of Justice so that she will be impartial.

A New Year without untruthful politicians, arrogant authorities, corrupt employees and flatterers of every sort. May politics be the multiplication of the loaves without miracles, the duty of some and the right of all, free of immature enthusiasm.

I hope for a New Year where cities once again will have parks with trees; where public squares will have welcoming benches for citizens given to the healthy leisure of contemplating nature by listening in silence to the voice of God and celebrating with friends the simple things of life – a wide range of memories, a game of cards, the laughter of one who stands out as the best joke teller.

I wish for a New Year in which the human rights leader won’t humiliate his wife at home, the teacher of citizenship won’t throw paper on the ground, children will give their seats to the elderly and the distance between what is public and private will be shortened by the bridge of consistency.

I want a New Year with books enjoyed like popcorn, a body carrying less fat, a mind free of stress, the spirit enrolled in a dance troupe to the sound of the deepest mysteries.

I desire a New Year where the government will avoid our people from being affected by the crisis in capitalism, will free the population from the heavy tax of social degradation and gather in its lap the millions of children who are prematurely condemned to work with no fantasies other than the fear of death.

I hope for a New Year where the principal event is the inauguration of the Showroom of Human Dignity, where alternatives are presented so that never again will human beings feel threatened by poverty or prevented from having bread, peace and pleasure.

A New Year where competition gives way to solidarity, accumulation to sharing, ambition to meditation, aggression to respect and the love of money to the spirit of the Beatitudes.

I aspire to a New Year with a bird orchestra singing at dawn, rivers denuded by the transparency of their waters, lungs exulting with fresh air and tables filled with unpolluted food.

I pray for a New Year which will never grow old, just as the oak tree which gives us shade, the philosophy of the Greeks, the light of the Sun, the wisdom of Job, the splendour of the mountains in Minas Gerais and Gregorian music.

A year so new it carries the imprint of everything that is reborn: the day, the exuberance of the sea, hope and our capacity to love and excludes all that in the past made us less beautiful and good.

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