Entry by Jose Toledo
Martin Luther King reminded us about the sense of belonging to all of humanity and the importance of the prevalence of the sense of the collective over the protagonism of individuals: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly….” — and that was exactly what was lived in Tierra Nueva. Each one of the people committed with the grassroots Faith Communities (Comunidades Eclesiales de Bases) transmitted the importance of knowing how to live in community from the practice and not the theory or rhetorical discourse. Maybe these people never heard MLK speak but in the practice they demonstrated to us the sense of collaboration, complicity, and responsibility that they took with each one of us. This demonstration of solidarity and commitment comes about from the experience of faith and from a political commitment assumed from the responsibility of inter-dependence. Our hosts knew that each word and each action would affect not only the reputation of their families but also the harmony and stability of the whole community, and for that they needed a large dose of emotional and political maturity. None of them said anything that crossed the line that could negatively affect us. They understood their freedom in terms of the collective well-being and not the subaltern interests of individual character – like capitalist, individualist cultures do, where they use freedom as a pretext to allow their egotistical and immature interests run about, where the collective passes to Second Place. Tierra Nueva was a success: from the warmth shared in the family of Sandra and Carlos it was confirmed for me the sense of human solidarity with the grassroots Faith Communities, and the aggressive individualist logic of the capitalist system as the origin for all the ills of our societies.