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  • Andre Lamartin

Alive Are the Dreams of the Past

Old age arrives when dreams are expelled from the realm of possibility. When tomorrow seems less welcoming than today, and imagination is enslaved by the present day. Bound to worries never set aside, even when the problems of the future are taken in stride. This is when old age arrives, when the future no longer bears the promise of many lives, and all possibilities collapse into one certainty: that tomorrow won't be better than today, all one has is what remains of this day. Heaven being so far away; Hell arriving only to stay.

The cheerful student of yesterday then becomes the disillusioned teacher of today; the lessons learned were not meant to last, and dying are the dreams of the past. Looking at the leadership of the world today, very little inspires any faith. Only in Christ have I found guidance that cannot be priced, only in God have I found hope that cannot be bought, only his love renders a man forever young. If the dying dreams of the past were not meant to last, new ones born are meant eternal to be, never torn, always seen, eternal youth for those who believe.

But when adults base their decisions on the facts on the ground, the wisdom of youth is rarely taken into account. Feeling young in a world that expects you to age becomes the cause of great personal consternation, great spiritual pain. Feeling like you are always early, while others state you are always late. Having different priorities and values because you still believe in bringing about meaningful social change, based on Christian principles that should never for money or power be exchanged. While senile servility is expected from those whose hearts have grown callously dejected, bowing before the illusions of a mendacious world so often treating the gospel with disdain, as an alienating lie only bringing about disillusion and pain. It is difficult relating to politics in a meaningful way, when the usual tricks involved can Christian values only betray.

Simply reading a newspaper proves to be an act of valor. The truth is not what passes for our daily intake of facts, figures and opinions, our daily intake of public clamor and spiritual pain. Being informed of what is supposedly happening across the world only to later realize there is so much more to each story than the ink of current words could possibly portray. There is so much more to our own stories than is ever found in any given article written today. Wondering why so much is said of democratic systems based on electing false promises so recurrently made. False dreams described with false words by politicians always so handsomely paid. Divisive language that rarely brings about the necessary unity to change the world in any meaningful way. A disturbing rhyming pattern emerges marking the passage of time and the impossibility of actual change, the beat of a political life that agrees with what biblical teachings deem so unacceptably deranged. Published news that grow old the very first second they are written, for the moral corruption involved abides by the unwritten rules of a dark political system. If the mission is bringing about disruption and shame, satisfying personal ambition remains the name of the game.

Whereas before I believed that political power could ameliorate life and bring about the requisite social change, I now perceive the true importance of elections in an entirely different way. So recurrent is the use of needless violence in place of what peaceful democratic discourse has to say, by the time a candidate becomes an elected public official, his soul is proverbially sold along life´s long, tortuous way. For someone who always believed in the redeeming power of conciliatory diplomatic words, repetitive is the sound of gunfire always heard violating peaceful silence, as triggers are pulled and grievances fired at innocent victims of mindless violence. A democratic system where blind aggression is the language of choice makes you question the true importance of having a political voice. When the role of dialogue itself in a society comes into question, the reliance on violence becomes a mindless obsession. How can one reconcile the divine power of the gospel with the political realities of a world where man is seen as the wolf of man, and votes are freely sold? What becomes of democratic dialogue and the defense of Christian values amid rampant corruption that all overtakes? If this is true democracy, Christians have been betrayed.

It is difficult not losing faith in the redeeming value of political choices made when from Christian values they have always strayed. Two choices then present themselves for a Christian bent on circumventing or overcoming this political hell. One choice is to turn your back and walk away from this political circus, ignoring a reality that may someday force itself back into our lives with single-minded purpose. Values contrary to our personal beliefs are forced down our throats, based on laws we can only quote because political decisions made without our participation now guide the future of a divided nation. Political decisions unmeant for archives strive to reach the light of day, directly affecting our families, often in a mindless way.The other choice is to accept the shortcomings of political life, sitting down to play the game, despite a serious risk of compromising your values in return for money and fame. As your cards are deftly played, perhaps to your original interests being blind, spiritual salvation may be exchanged for greater economic gain or a false peace of mind, thinking that political alienation was not your crime, and true public policy made, only to later realize: unbridled personal ambition will religious values always betray; only humility carries a Christian along his way.

These difficult choices place into question the very respectability of the democratic system, a form of government supposedly based on openly negotiated concessions that has so many victims made, simply because the crass political wisdom employed fails to recognize the primal role that religious and moral values play. Values that so many children so easily understand, while adults prefer to build castles made of sand. But a disillusioned teacher should always keep in mind that neglecting the wisdom of youth is only but a crime. Corruption is raised not just suddenly created by people who have learned to worship the false history of a nation. One based on a concept of greed that all seems to justify when compassion should lead and true love should guide. Only religious and moral values can ever provide the light to illuminate base political instincts responsible for our current plight. When first created, the democratic system was never set in stone, it can certainly adapt when the time comes to atone. Meaningful social change can lead us to a bright future by first applying the wisdom of the past, tried and true Christian principles once created to forever last.

If a political life ends where the religious one starts, reason will always contend with the principles of the heart. Political are the choices that so often affect religious life, if church and state are separated, one desperately needs a wife, values celebrated since the dawn of time. By separation of church and state please do not misunderstand that the church should be obliterated by a state that all commands. The two can safely coexist if Christian values are not dismissed by a corrupt political class whose time has come to pass. But when elections deprive the citizen of a real meaningful choice, he will only be impelled to rely on the power of his voice. In an age of discredit where democracy has been so often rejected, it pays to consider how a dark present can from a bright future be so disconnected. Democratic political representation was once adopted because entire populations could not be consulted before every political choice was made. In the nearby future, this may no longer be the case. Technology now provides a politician immediate contact with his base, whether this implies greater political participation largely depends on his values and a good measure of grace.

In a world that almost requires us to voice our concerns in written form or speech, the same technology so crassly employed to disseminate political propaganda, well beyond individual reach, can also be used to express our own existential views, thoughts, emotions, and dreams. One need not necessarily address political issues only to defend the values for which he stands. Politics is merely a defense of values, principles and interests that can even be in poetry or prose contained. Best be judged by my own words than be judged solely by what my professed political representatives have to say. Andre Lamartin once walked the Earth; this is but a sample of the personal history valiantly made: a life described in words, politics set aside, if only for today. Standing before a mirror by way of conclusion, I must now take a hard look at myself, how has my disillusionment with politics affected my standing before Time itself?

Old age has not yet arrived, for my dreams in the realm of possibility most certainly reside. Tomorrow shall be more welcoming than today because imagination has not been enslaved by the present day. Though it must still free itself from worries never set aside, the problems of the future are taken in stride. Old age has not yet arrived. The future still bears the promise of many lives, as all possibilities collapse into one certainty: tomorrow can always be better than today, so long we fight for what remains of this day. The cheerful student of yesterday cannot become a disillusioned teacher today, for the lessons learned are meant to last, and alive are the dreams of the past.

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