My good friend Silvio Canto asked me yesterday to do a radio show on the hunger strike of Cuban dissident “El Critico del Arte,” and on the letter published in the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson in support of the Afro-Cuban dissidents in Cuba.
My first reaction to Silvio’s request was total surprise. In the past, Silvio has asked me to be on his radio show when I have written an op-ed that gets published in babalublog. This time around, I had not written one. So, I concocted a thousand excuses as to why I should not accept his invitation – I only had less than 24 hours to prepare, I had all kinds of chores and errands to take care of on Saturday, I had to rake the leaves, perhaps I would still be in bed by 10:00 AM, and on and on.
But this got me thinking about how often we would like to go back in time and imagine how things would have turned out if we could change certain variables. For example, I’ve wondered at how my life would have turned out if I had grown up in Cuba, rather than in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. And, I engaged in all kinds of permutations about the “what if’s”, and, yes, my life would have turned out completely different in each of these scenarios.
The problem is that even if I could turn back the clock, no situation would be exactly the same. Each moment in time is linear; not cyclical. The Cuba that I kept going back to in my imagination was the Cuba BC (Before Castro) – and, this Cuba would never be again. As the late Cuban-American comedian Alvarez Guedes said during an interview, the Cuba that he knew doesn’t exist anymore.
We are so worried about achieving perfection in our lives, that we fail miserably to embrace the deep message embedded in Julio Iglesias’ song “La vida se hace siempre de momentos / de cosas que no sueles valorar / y luego cuando pierdes / cuando al fin te has dado cuenta / el tiempo no te deja regresar.” In essence, life is all about enjoying those special moments.
Rather than worrying about the “what may have been,” we should appreciate the “what is”. Live life to the fullest, as every moment is what it is supposed to be. Only when we realize this, will we be able to achieve fullness in our lives – with no regrets.
So, after finishing my musings, I e-mailed Silvio last night to tell him that I would be happy to be on his radio show this morning.
I realized how lucky I was to live in a free country where I could speak my mind about the abuses that go on daily in Communist Cuba. I felt fortunate to give a helping hand to my friend Silvio, and to “El Critico del Arte” with the hope that he would be released from prison soon. I was happy that after I had complained in a previous op-ed about the presence of a double standard from some members of the Congressional Black Caucus with respect to the lack of civil liberties in Communist Cuba, at last we could see the light at the end of the tunnel by having U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson (D-Fla., 24th district) speak out against the lack of freedoms of Afro-Cubans. And, at last, we had President Barack Obama meet in Miami yesterday with Cuban dissidents Dr. Guillermo Fariñas and Berta Soler to discuss the steps that need to be taken to have a Free Cuba again.
There is no better time to make a difference than right now!
To read my previous op-ed about measuring the moral compass of the Congressional Black Caucus, click on http://babalublog.com/2010/04/04/measuring-the-moral-compass-of-the-congressional-black-caucus/
To listen to the radio interview, click on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cantotalk/2013/11/09/todays-message