Spaces of decency, places of good sense or islands of sanity, various phrases serve to illustrate the idea of places or areas where honest, serious, lucid, prudent and wise relationships predominate, defined by respect for the human person and oriented towards the search for common benefit. They can be territories defined in geographical terms, but they can also be spaces determined by relationships between people, regardless of where they are. Or they can be institutions whose identity is a certain organizational vision, or human groups that are related by certain interest of an identity, religious, cultural, political and other types.
Spaces of decency are those where the activity carried out is based on cordial, sincere and trustworthy relationships. It can be a company, a sports club, a religious parish, an educational institution, a neighborhood or a village, the fundamental thing is that the conviction prevails that people are capable of acting in good faith, of kindly expressing their differences and of reach agreements through intelligent conversations.
Margaret Wheatley is a prestigious consultant in organizational matters, with extensive experience in the development of transformative initiatives in international and local companies, author of highly successful books such as “Leadership and the new science” translated into 18 languages. She is a PhD in “Organizational Change and Behavior” from Harvard University and has a master’s degree in “Media Ecology from New York University”. Today she is close to 80 years old, she is disappointed in the possibilities of change in the structures dominated by profit and greed. She prefers concentrating efforts on local or small structures that can, through agile global articulations, cause quantum changes.
In a world that exhibits extensive spaces of mistrust, exemplary samples of the power of humanism emerge scattered. Even in the tragedies of wars, the severity of financial speculation, the terrible offensive to human health by the transnationals of “food” and health, the obscene control of the owners of the monopolies of the information society and other tragedies of modern civilization, there are, by way of example, that the human condition exists, doctors, teachers, journalists, people who do charity and hundreds of organizations, most of them silent, that transform realities for the good of many people
Likewise, when one sees the trust gap that exists in Venezuela, one can also realize spaces where decency, honesty and honest work have their home. There are many farmers, artisans, businessmen and merchants who make a living “by the sweat of their brow”. Families that do not give up caring for their members, teachers who teach, doctors who heal, religious men and women who imitate Jesus of Nazareth, journalists who are heroes in bringing truthful information to their readers. There are even politicians who recognize themselves because they have not been victims of this madness that contaminated the parties.
The idea is that these spaces where sensible leadership has its place are cultivated and extended. Feeding the faith that there will always be a place where the nobility of the human person is expressed, and helping to make the experience known, valued, spread and receive the appreciation and encouragement of a society that needs good examples. Knowing that there are still serious and reliable people, and that the spaces, organizations or places where they operate live and survive even in extreme conditions.
An exemplary company, a supportive and quality school, a well-functioning health center, ecclesiastical parishes that are an example of spirituality and service, civil organizations that effectively offer services to alleviate the complex humanitarian crisis, or an organization that documents with professionalism reality, all are examples of spaces of decency.
A neighborhood or a village, a block in the city or any other place that organizes itself to maintain or improve its quality of life in the midst of deprivation, farmers that organize themselves, unions that have solidarity activities and hundreds of valuable human initiatives that They emerge to show that not everything has been lost, that not everything is greed and power, spectacle or circus, are worth it to rescue the idea of possible humanity.
If these experiences are known and some type of articulation is possible, they will surely spread and contribute to creating a multiplier effect that feeds the hope of a more far-reaching transformation.
Two experiences may best illustrate what is meant here, although there are many. One in the case of the Larense cooperative system known as CECOSESOLA (which won last year the so-called “Alternative Nobel Prize in Economics”, awarded by the Right Livelihood Foundation (correct way of life) among dozens of nominees from 77 countries around the world, “For establishing an equitable and cooperative economic model as a solid alternative to profit-based economies.”
Another experience is the possibility that the “vision” established by the inhabitants of Isnotú will materialize. In a series of exercises carried out before the beatification, a group of Isnotuenses, the authorities of the sanctuary and collaborators established that Isnotú should be “The spiritual paradise of Venezuela”, for which they proposed ten strategic paths. The idea of paradise is due to the heritage of biodiversity and landscaping that the place has, and the spiritual one is due to the service values that his son, Dr. José Gregorio Hernández, represents. Combine the ideas of caring for the “Common Home” and comprehensive sustainable development, with those of a healthy and supportive community.
SPACES OF DECENCY | By: Francisco González Cruz • Diario de Los Andes, news from Los Andes, Trujillo, Táchira and Mérida