I had a crush on Michael Jackson. He was the only celebrity that made me feel special just for being a child. Everywhere else I looked, the bling of adulthood was just too tempting. I went to his concert in Mexico; it was the first concert I ever went to, and it was epic. I was seating really close to the stage, and as he performed, I truly bought into his mission of healing the world and making it a better place. Why would someone ever think differently? Yeah. MJ had the answers to everything.
Ok, I know you could argue that there was a flip-side to that, but at that point in my life he made me feel less lonely. I was sure that the day I became an adult, I would make bicycle cars a thing (real cars seemed so boring), and invite as many people as possible from the streets to live in my house, because there was enough space for many of those little girls and families who spent their days begging in front of the shiny window displays I shopped at.
At that time coffee and alcohol were bitter and unattractive, while chocolates and candy were all I wanted. I fell into the trap of growing up, and it was probably pain that kicked in my appreciation for bitter flavors, and made me disregard the sweetness of the things I used to love.
When does maturity kick in, and why does it have a way of pulling us away from vulnerability?
Today I spend so much time in my car, and would not give up on AC for the world. My house is my temple, and only my closest friends and family can enter. I’m the guard of the hopes and dreams of my children showing them the beauty of the world, but often having trouble explaining to them its dynamics and injustice.
We all started full of hope, and eventually find ourselves filled with fear, but I often believe that the vision I used to have of humankind was better than the one I have now.
I remember how I felt back in September if 2017 after going through Irma and the earthquake in Mexico. Vulnerability made me a better person, but it was such a hard stage in my life as well. I’ve been reading ‘Becoming Wise’ by Krista Tippet, and this quote really resonated with me:
‘I’m waiting for the time the world becomes too vulnerable and say, we all have to stop. We all have to share. We have to make sure there’s enough food for everyone. We can teach each one our ways, we can share our dreams and hopes, but we can’t kill each other. And we can’t despoil the world as we are doing.’
It has to start with the way we raise our children. We can’t just throw at them a screen. I’m so surprised to see so many little children at restaurants plugged into cartoons, not engaging in conversations. We need to raise our children as human beings who care for the world, troubled as it is, and are aware, and participate on this dialogue.
I don’t have answers yet, but I know every answer starts with a question, and vulnerability is a key element for change that is available to all of us on our daily interactions with the world.
The best lesson I’ve learned from engaging in good conversations with great people with huge impact in the world, is that regardless of status, power or money, we are all looking for points of connection, and there’s no connection without vulnerability.
Pictures: Celia D. Luna
Look: TopShop TopMan