As Argentinian I am as geographically American as any other person born in this huge and precious continent. However, we all know the States somehow politically borrowed the demonym for itself. In Spanish we would call them “United Statesians”. So I wonder why I feel so American in the English sense of the term.
I mean, I feel so identified with the people, the culture, the values, the language, the research bodies, the speakers. I sing in English more than I do in my own language, I read in English more than I do in Spanish… Oh, come on! Don’t come to me with the anti cultural colonization speeches! America is a great country and has gifted the world with awesome, awesome people. American folk women singers touch my soul as no one else can. I listen to Brené Brown´s audiobooks while driving. I follow Marie Forleo in my multi passionate entrepreneurial adventures as if I were her own shadow. I study philosophy, take dance classes and business coaching with Americans. Ken Wilber has offered a framework for my entire career unfoldment and yes, I could listen to James Taylor to infinity and beyond.
I guess what drives my attention so much so is the sense of freedom Americans vibe in. Not in an international political sense —which is so much debatable—. I mean it just on a very personal level. To me Americans move like elephants in the jungle: they open paths for me to follow. As much proud as I am of my own national roots I would be a fool to deny it. I guess my admiration arises from the fact that I´m an intellectual and Americans ignite and nurture my hunger for thought freedom.
I love the sense of freedom the States citizens offer to the world almost as much as I love India´s.
Speaking of which…
Last Tuesday was India’s independence day. And I came across this excerpt from a discourse given by Sri Madhusudan Sai a few years ago during a visit in the States.
“America is like a giant elephant, very powerful, very capable. It is colossal and, by virtue of its sheer size and strength, it can do a lot –but, if the elephant goes mad, it can be very dangerous; the same elephant that can be productive can become damaging, if it goes mad. The elephant’s mind is the American mind; if the American mind does not change, America can be extremely destructive –but, it can change if people start changing. People will start changing if they have the right leadership, the right education, the right associations. That will all come in time –but, what is important is that it has to begin here, with you. A huge elephant can be controlled with a small stick –the stick of selflessness and devotion is the only refuge for the people of America and of the world.
In times to come, America will go through some ups and downs. If there is an old house and you want to build a new one, it is better to demolish it and rebuild it, then you can build it to be strong and it will last forever. Sometimes a little pain is good to allow greater growth; sometimes, a little demolition is good in order to build a new –one has to look at it in that way. Changes are going to happen and those who fit into the new age, the new change, will continue as they are. For others, there is no way other than by transforming themselves. America is not land, buildings and natural resources, but the people. The people of America must undergo transformation.
With passing seasons, some plants have to go and new plants appear. Similarly, America will undergo a major change at every level: social, political, economic and even spiritual. It is going to undergo many changes. It must be ready to embrace the changes and take them in a positive way for the betterment of the country, as well as of the world. As time progresses, you will see that spirituality will come back into society again; people will look towards God for solutions to all the problems in their lives. A major change will come. The last hundred years have brought a major shift in the way humanity thinks and that thought-process was led by America. However, the next hundred years will bring a very different way of looking at the world, and that thought-process will be led by India.
As I said, a huge elephant can be controlled by a stick in the hand of a small man. India, with its stick of devotion, will be able to teach the elephant America how to behave itself (Laughter) –and it is coming. This is not going to happen in the next week, next month or next year; it is something that will happen over the coming century”.Sri Madhusudan Sai. June 20, 2016- California, USA.
This little man with the stick in the hand reminds me of Gandhi, who after liberating an entire country from the mightiest colonizers ever, when asked to summarize his endeavour he humbly said:
“I’m a simple man in search of God”.Mahatma Gandhi
This is how India’s stick is non-violent. The stick is not for cunning the elephant.
The stick is to walk all the way to the Indic Ocean shore followed by hundreds of thousands and extract salt from the sea.
The stick is to hand-spin your own cotton and weave your minimal livelihood requirements with it. Yes, it is also a stick to stop the western out of control elephantic myth of ever increasing economic growth at the self-suicidal rate of spending 1.5 of the entire world’s resources. A few loincloths would make it for Gandhiji´s entire wardrobe. That´s more than enough when your steps on this Earth are oriented towards the realization of the Self.
Here’s where both ends of freedom meet to me. America has taught the world how to think free. Now it is India’s turn to inspire the world to be free of thought. As a crew member of spaceship Earth I rightfully claim my heritage of both. No, I won´t claim God is on our side. I humbly pray we´re on His.