A Point of View by Paul V. Montesino

Adjusting eternity to temporality.
A Point of View © 1996
By Paul V. Montesino, PhD, MBA, CSP.

No one can argue that we break history into tiny compartments to gratify the temporary character of our nature that comes back to meet the unavoidable impact of an everlasting eternity.

In order to live today’s life in the present, we learn to forget a past that we can’t change and stop worrying about a future that no one can predict. Meditation training techniques that offer ways to practice that approach have a long history not only in our occidental societies but also in many oriental civilizations of the past and the present.

I will talk about the past first. Unfortunately, ignoring the components of recorded history because they have no presence today robs us of many opportunities to learn not only about that past, but also about how to correct any errors committed in the past and who we are in the present.

There is no lack of monuments and literature about the founding fathers, and mothers if they exist, in most if not all the nations of the world, ours included. We even carry their pictures engraved in the paper money contained in our pockets. A world list would look like a telephone directory if I tried to quote their names in this article. But the article is not or intends to be such a directory. This does not mean, however, that the members of those groups did not influence or are influencing the world today. Speaking of influencers!

If you travel to One First Street, NE, Washington D.C., you will face a magnificent old building that houses the United States Supreme Court, where nine Supreme Judges interpret the principles designed by our Founding Fathers that were supposed to represent what the United States would be not only then but also in their future, our present. Once the Justices express an opinion, it is supposed to carry the force of a precedent and any new cases will become subject to that precedent as the cases presented to the court since the founding of our country than have been subject to the legal philosophy and principles of our founding fathers before.

But in order to be subject to those principles we should also be willing to fight for them. And I not only mean fighting with our hands, arms, and weapons, I mean giving our institutions the ability to cover all of us with what I call “an umbrella of rights and privileges” that protects us from the stormy rains of discrimination and tyranny.

As immigrants to this country, it also means that we carry in our mental and spiritual luggage the principles of those from our original countries who sacrificed their lives giving us the impetus that moved us to America. As Cuban immigrants, like in my case, that means bringing with us the memories of Jose Marti and Antonio Maceo as many others, martyrs of our war of Independence, and their philosophy, with the intention not to replace, but simply add them to America’s inventory. The same goes for every well-intentioned immigrant that tries to cross our borders… on the way in.

January 28, 1853, to be exact, one hundred seventy-one years ago, in Havana, Cuba, Jose Marti Perez came to this world. His father Mariano was a Spaniard, and his mother Leonor was from the Canary Islands. But young Jose was not content with becoming a Spanish offspring; he chose to become a member of a new breed that opposed the government of his elders trying to establish a free country for his descendants. He was not only fighting against his past, but he was also joining them to create a more just future for all.

Cuban nationalist, poet, philosopher, essayist, journalist, translator, professor, publisher, and also a humanist, was his nature. He had all the tools necessary for us today to face the political and moral challenges confronting the world, including the sixty-five-year-old messy situation in Cuba itself.

There will be events celebrating the birth of Jose Marti by those who care. There will be papers presented and speeches given, but in the end, the audience will go home to live their lives as usual. I don’t believe that Jose Marti wanted or deserved a retreat that way, but it is up to us to correct that behavior, not Jose Marti himself. He is in a world of eternity, not temporality.

And that is my point of view today. So long.

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