I make this humble reflection public in a tribute way in commemoration of my father’s first decade of absence in what we all understand as our lives.
These words come out of my heart because I’m so sorry. I would have liked to have the ability at the time to master communication as a tool for my father to know who I am. Unfortunately he left without knowing it.
I am hopeful that these words can help unrae up some thoughts in some of you and allow you to sincerely reflect on your loved ones from your reflection. And as a personal desire, I hope they express an intention to understand them if they need to.
Thank you friends for your attention.
“THE MAXIMUM INFLUENCE”
We should never underestimate the importance that parents have in developing a human being’s personality.
We sometimes discover remarkable parallels between adult personalities repeating patterns of behavior based on experiences lived in their close family circle. It’s amazing.
Our parents nurture, form and shape our character since we are little. More than we imagine.
How can we not notice their lack in our lives once they are not physically with us? Every day of my life I remember with pain the departure of my dog Max. How can I not notice the loss of my parents? How can I not admit your loss as a hinge moment in my life? Yes of course.
What’s after what we call death? Why did I always feel different from what everyone wanted to explain to me? Why are we so alike? What is life? Are we living in a simulation? Are we going to heaven or hell?
We have been raised in a society that seeks to find a quick and simple solution to the most complex things. That’s where the fanatics come in to destroy everything.
Why does the physical loss of a loved one hurt less to me than to another person? Why do I think I’m still connected to those people who are gone? Are they really gone? Should I listen to what other people believe because they read it in a book and never questioned anything beyond those lines of text?
Learning to live toget
her: “EXAMPLE CITIZENS OR INSENSIBLE MONSTERS”
Each of us feels the actions that happen around us very differently. Why couldn’t I express how I really felt?
Trying to speak openheartedly about death, religion and sexuality can transform us into exemplary citizens or insensitive monsters. All according to the way we express our words or the optics we use to analyze them.
In my personal case I’ve been much happier since I learned to express my feelings. I’ve chosen silence for many years. Maybe too many.
The pain caused by the helplessness of not understanding my peers in childhood and youth was drastically exposed in my adulthood. He had learned over the years to be politically correct, to evolve in the art of camouflage at an even greater level than invisibility. He could be one more and avoid the suffering of loneliness.
Years ago I would have expressed frustration. But I understood over time that this was due to the hope that I would believe that I would find a couple in people who were just different. It was, after all, a problem of lack of information.
The day my grandmother passed away, I decided to make a public comment similar to the one you’re reading now. My intention was to pay homage to his time on this earth as I felt within my heart that I should do it: from his optimism.
My grandmother was a certainly optimistic person. He maintained that quality in his personality until his last days where his memory deteriorated. He lived for more than 90 years. He raised his grandchildren and saw them develop. I admired her very much.
I am always mindful of the pain I felt when a family member associated my words with deep insensitivity and expressed his pain and helplessness for losing it by attacking me. Of course I understood his pain. Once again I would assume the role of accepting differences and understanding their pain, avoiding confrontation. Like I’ve done all my life. Until I remembered that I own my life and that I could choose with whom to use every second of our time on this earth. It was a moment of healing.
I wonder myself how I didn’t realize that I could generate such a reaction in a person who is suffering him even more than I do. I honestly hadn’t noticed. The text had begun with a very controversial title: “I AM HAPPY”. These two words would reveal my thoughts and expressions of admiration for my newly deceased grandmother. I imagined her reading those words with a smile.
The reality is that for a brief moment I felt that by putting myself in the role of victim for losing a person I admired and society understood her role as a grandmother, I could be free and express what she really felt. I was wrong. Because my words hurt an unentional person.
The sad thing is that the pattern was repeated once again. Every time he expressed himself freely, not only did someone get hurt, but he was on his side being attacked. It happened all my life. Whatever the intention is healthy and constructive.
What triggers those answers? Differentiation to the preset! WHENever we manifest ourselves in a different way than socially accepted, we will be attacked. It doesn’t matter what subject we’re talking about. It’s an instant response.
How come I didn’t notice it before? Everything would start to be easier from now on. It made sense. Step by step everything became evident.
I currently have a socially accepted profile picture. No one can attack a young middle-class heterosexual capitalist white couple with a matte in hand as he humbly smiles at an autumnal background.
With these little attitudes I would become an exemplary citizen. One more of the pile. Much better than being invisible.
“Experience is not what happens to you, bAldous Huxley
ut what you do with what happens to you”
“HOW DID I TRANSIT AND WHAT DID I LEARN THROUGH MY FATHER’S DEATH?”
Introduction: “THE EMPATHY”
When I was a kid, I used to eat the last fried potato on the plate. I felt like I was sad to be left alone. For some reason no one wanted to eat it. When my parents had the opportunity to give me a gift, I always chose the one on my own. The ugliest if possible. The doll that was missing his eye or was unsused. As an adult, I’d go closer to minorities. Young homosexuals, trans girls, the only Jew in the group, the only Muslim, the one who asked for coins in the street or the one who was waiting for a transplant in the hospital. The one who was lonely.
But at the same time I also liked to read about how a person had enjoyed a personal achievement, and especially how he came to develop it. It was sensational. I was learning to live through others. He embraced all these feelings simultaneously: happiness, sadness, hope, helplessness, loss, pain, love.
Part 1: “FEELINGS AS A ALL”
My father stopped breathing on July 10, 2008. At that moment they embraced emotions I’d never felt before. I’ll try to list some of them that I’m still in mind:
– I wish: deep in my heart I tried to imagine that there is a place where souls are reunited as he believed and would be seeing his father, his friends and my mother again. That I’d be happy. And free.
– Relief: I would no longer see him suffer physically or emotionally. His illness attacked his strong character and put him in check until his masculinity. It was a bull. It’s painful to see a human being suffer. Even more so to your own father.
– Empathy: the enormous pain I felt through him was fading. I was glad to know that his pain had ceased. It is related to the previous point, but on a personal level.
– Panic: Since my mother had passed away several years ago, she would no longer have parents. Never again. I was overwhelmed by the fear of not having a family, of never having a safe meal on the table again.
– Loneliness: I was too young not to have parents. Who could understand me? Who could I talk to about this? Get home and feel the emptiness. See the empty bed, the closet full. Knowing he’s not coming back.
– Adrenaline: “What do I do now?” Accounts, your entrepreneurship, customers, inheritances, debts. Take on the role of the male peacekeeper brother who seeks to balance the family’s reaction.
– Anger: the memory of his clients who did not pay him to know that he was going to die. Meeting in the wake with those few “friends” who had ripped him off and lied to my face thinking I was as naive as my father. Impotence for wanting to channel my pain into them because they are inferior for lacking ethics. Trying to contain myself and smile so as not to play a role in front of dozens of people out of respect for my father’s memory.
– External sadness: my father could not know my children or my younger sister’s. They’d grow up without paternal grandparents. My father couldn’t be part of that special moment. I could never look him in the eye and understand what it’s like to be a father.
– Inner Pride: knowing that I did everything I could to provide you with a better quality of life during your last days, despite how difficult it had been for me. Feeling fulfilled. Feeling grown up.
– External pride: the quality of people I noticed in my brother-in-law Santiago and his family. Knowing that my sister’s life was in good hands. That I would have the opportunity to start a beautiful family, as happened.
– Dispossess: literally “send everything to shit”. Reunite me with my lost freedom. Leave things material. Embrace this moment from the depth it means.
– Disappointment: by much of my family and people close to me. Once again my inability to understand their reactions was manifested. I should take it. And I did.
– Admiration: the immediate response of my friends Hernán and David who came to live with me when I needed them. Gestures I’ll never forget. The look of pain and real affection of my father’s friends made me. Your support. How that admiration would be reversed and fill my heart with hope and courage. Thanks.
– Mature: I learned to let go, to accept that there are things that do not depend on us. We’re a long way from being the center of the universe. There are times when we must act and this would be one. There’ll be time to reflect later.
– Injustice: my grandmother’s gaze. A father should never experience the loss of his child. No exceptions. Point. It hurts me not to be able to do anything in front of that. I’d like to hug every parent in the world who goes through something like this.
– Motivation: channel this amount of sensations to do something constructive with it. Feel relief in helping others who have been through the pain. Imagine his eyes of happiness. Get that look back.
– Freedom: I should no longer call anyone to ask for authorization to do something. I could do anything I wanted. Travel the world. I could be exactly the person I wanted to be. No one was expecting me at home. He was really free.
– Acceptance: embrace reality. Make the right decisions at the right time. Let it be.
Part 2: “ANALYSIS AND DEVELOPMENT”
That day was undoubtedly a hinge moment in my life. The big one before and then. In the future more events would happen that would change the course of my life, but this was definitely the maximum. And I knew it at the time. Only this was not a personal merit but an inevitable external fact. I knew I’d be writing a new chapter in the book of my life. That motivated me to take the pencil and write my own destiny.
The following months were very difficult, but in turn resulted in moments of great lucidity. Today when I give a talk to young people and adults I share an exercise that changed my life and I wish everyone could do it. It seems simple but it’s very deep. Let’s imagine a blackboard in front of us. If I asked you to locate seven faces of people you deeply admire, who would show up there? Once side by side in landscape mode, draw lines as columns to separate each other. What qualities or accomplishments have these characters developed for you to admire? Now it’s time to study in detail the life of each of them and understand what their hinged moments were. You have to write it down and get it straight. Discuss the relationship between one and the other. Now yes, once you’ve created this extraordinary concept map you can start making decisions in your life with greater objectivity. Let’s learn from the experience of others.
I analyzed social behaviors on a large scale. Why are those who most help others often being elderly, people who were close to death or spent deadlines, or successful professionals who achieved “everything” in life? Why do older people value their time and family more? Why had my father arranged his mother’s 90th surprise birthday days before she died after long years of virtually not talking to her? Why had he approached the family in his last days? These are very important questions that make us rethink life in an integral way.
Hence my definition of the human being: Animal of habit with a feeling of belonging.
Part 3: “EXECUTION”
This was the moment when I made the decision to dedicate myself professionally to philanthropy. I needed to feel useful. At just 25 years old he had worked in dozens of places, several countries and mastered languages. He had health, opportunities and contacts. He was a millionaire with no money in his pocket. Because I understood the value of time.
For this difficult but not impossible decision I had to focus on learning. Part of it was understanding needs in a profound way. I made the decision to donate all my belongings and savings. I bought a little backpack and put my camera and some clothes inside. I would travel through my country understanding plurality. I’d visit children’s homes, hospitals, open-air trash. I’d live for several months without touching money. I’d get close to the most vulnerable. I’d lose weight for not eating, maybe too much. In these places I would meet the best people I’ve ever met, who are still a part of it today. I’d start building who I want to be.
Most importantly here: I would try to honor my father’s memory in a way that he didn’t even know could be accomplished. Because that’s transcending. Go further. Live through your long-term actions. I was partly my father, but much more. He would take his virtues and set aside his flaws. I’d try to fight them so I wouldn’t adopt them.
Part 4: “LIFE AFTER A MISSION FULFILLED”
I constantly repeat: “Beware that dreams can be fulfilled.” And my case is one of them.
That 25-year-old who decided to remake his life with the goal of being part of a non-profit organization and perhaps at 50 years old founded his own, devoted so much time and approach to that dream that only three years later he would be creating “1971”, an NGO in the United Arab Emirates along with 5 Emiratis (3 of them women).
Not only had I been able to fulfill my greatest dream in life, but also an Arab and Muslim family had given me a room in their home. I had a family again. This time, chosen with the heart. It is impossible for anyone who has not been through the feelings shared above to comprehend. I was living the best moment of my life. and as if there was little in that process during my farewell from Argentina, I met Natasha, with whom from the first moment we met we began to build the relationship that we have today. It’s been almost seven years since that September 15th where we met in Argentina. We’re about to be married for six years. My life was not destined for failure, but quite the opposite. I’m very aware of the wonderful things that happen to us. Also from the negative parts.
The reality is that when I managed to build our foundation in Dubai I felt fulfilled. It was an indescribable moment. He was approaching what we see on TV when a football player raised the World Cup or the trophy that took him so hard to get. But paradoxically we learn the most important lesson of our lives: happiness is not a goal.
It’s hard to explain the desolation that took over my heart when I woke up the next day and when I looked in the mirror it was exactly the same person. Nothing had changed. I only had titles that served me to be respected socially among people of power. Now I’d be invited to eat sheikhs, entrepreneurs, artists. I was transported daily in those vehicles that as a child wallpapered the wall of my room. But I felt the same way. I missed hugging my friends I had done in the garbage dumpsters, the families of the children waiting for the operation. I was thinking all the time about my friends. Sometimes even in my family.
Of course he was proud every time we did a solidarity action or saw the eyes of a worker receiving a gift. But I also knew there was a lot more to do behind it. The pain I felt in sharing my feelings with the people I thought was able to listen to me was infinite every time they answered me: -“You are lucky” or “I wish I had those problems. Grab a shovel.” Not to mention the myriad times he tried to advise a friend who was making a mistake that harmed his life and that of others, but he would repeat it over and over again. What helplessness. Or the sadness of systematicly receiving unmotivating responses again whenever you wanted to share happiness with your loved ones.
I dedicated myself to isolating myself one more time. Like when I was a kid. First I stopped debating. After counting my accomplishments. Finally, it was summed up to just share the minimum and indispensable so that a few would be encouraged to write when they understood that there was something beyond what was seen with the naked eye. That got me to discover more and more people with diverse talents who felt alone. And a long time later to encourage me to speak publicly and give talks. As long as it is within environments where I would feel safe and understood: universities, TEDx, various educational and social establishments, etc. It did me very well. But I still can’t be immune to the violence of dream boycotters.
“LIFE AS A NON-LINEAR EXPERIENCE”
Personal appreciation and post-facts analysis:
After a lot of personal analysis and listening to the brightest people I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet, I learned to find out what makes me happy and how to sustain it over time. Remember that empathy I said earlier? I embraced her on such a level that I could understand her, enjoy it, analyze her and transform her. Although it may be difficult to understand because of my lack of writing experience, I learned that moving my life individually was no longer enough. I just can’t find that balance that my loved ones manifest. I wish I could.
But be careful, this isn’t such a bad thing. Once we manage to learn to feel through others, we discover a world of sensations that makes you feel infinitely more alive. We value life like never before. Because it’s just about living it. I no longer think of an action as an objective, but as a natural consequence. If we want to build a hospital we require a lot of time to generate money and invest it in this end. Then the applause of the masses will come. And if we don’t make it, we’ll lead to deep frustration. Or worse, we would lie to ourselves believing that we could do it without having the slightest idea that with our current knowledge it was impossible. But if our goal is really to build that hospital, why don’t we train ourselves to know how to persuade a person who has the economic or political possibility of building it? Would we be angry that we’re not mentioned, or would we be happy to know what was done? You have to be very aware of this point. It is not my intention to judge but to sincere.
Now, he’ll try to explain what I mean by “living nonlinear.” The hospital case serves as an initial kick to understand the point. I look forward to the day that one of the young men I once advised has the opportunity to build it. I imagine myself smiling, happy, watching the news as a spectator. At the same time, as I mentioned earlier, we are not as important as we think. Why should everything happen through us? Where does this obsession with standing out and being different come from? Aren’t we really looking to be different, but we’re not that different?
Every time I read an interview with Pepe Mujica or Dario Sztajnszrajber I get excited. And that I never knew them personally. The same is true when a friend has a child, manages to sell a painting, or travels for the first time. I stop my day completely and try to understand each of your sensations at that time. My heart smiles. The same is true when the fact is unfortunate. The important thing is to keep that empathy alive. Like when we were kids. Return to our pure state. Only this time we can enjoy it with the benefits of being independent adults. It’s wonderful.
When I started to engage with people with social advantage in the United Arab Emirates or the West, I realized the world that is coming as a result of exponential technology. This term is used to express inventions that profoundly change the life of society. For example, the smartphone. Today we all know what it is. And you may be reading to me in one of them. Maybe you haven’t met me in person either, but you feel identified with my words. This is a consequence of the impact of exponential technology on our lives.
The reality is, it’s not all pink. While it is possible that our quality of life at the health level will be greatly benefited and even more than a hundred years, the reality is that society as we know it is about to disappear. I will not go to explain this point now because there is a lot of information on the internet at your fingertips about it or you can ask me privately and I will gladly answer you.
What do I want to get to with these words? I’m not going to lie. The reality is that the more information you manage, the more possibilities you have in the future. New wealth is not money or contacts, but knowledge. Money arrives and so do contacts. It may seem difficult to comprehend at first, but I see it constantly. And here’s the problem. Born into a Latin American capitalist Western middle class, many of my loved ones are at risk of losing their jobs in the coming years. It would not be a concern if they had known this and were prepared for the paradigm shift that looms. The problem is, they don’t understand yet. Moreover, that people who should look after their interests not only who do not know it, but some who do, use it for personal gain. And that’s very worrying.
Here’s the real reason why we’re traveling the world with my wife, starting from Argentina to Alaska by land. Our goal is to fully understand how a Latin American brother feels and his reality. Many people worldwide will want to come and live on our land in the coming years, taking advantage of the privileged climate, low pollution and population density, lack of war. But unfortunately, as we have people in power with individualistic or short-term goals, we will collapse. The lack of innovation and education in our region is an extreme temptation for this type of person. And that’s very dangerous.
From our side we are working our best to learn how to prepare for this world that we believe is coming. That’s why we do so many things at the same time. It’s no longer enough to specialize in an area. Today we need to learn how to analyze data more creatively than before. Something similar to what happens with the implementation of artificial intelligence.
Why am I commenting on all this in a post commemorating my father ten years after his departure? Because he loved technology. He gave me my first computer. While he didn’t understand why I didn’t want to use my opportunities to make money, he knew computer science was the future. Every single thing I did had computer science in the background. He liked horses and made a system for hatcheries. He liked foreign trade and developed with his partner a system to manage customs dispatch offices. Every single thing he did had the technology in the background. My father was a very smart guy. He played several instruments and was not afraid to undertake, no more than ever he got rich with any of his projects. I constantly wonder what would have happened if my father had a good mentor or lived in the right place. He probably hadn’t made the mistakes he made in his life, or his projects might be successful. What I do know is that if my father were alive today, I am convinced that he would have the ability to understand what I dedicate my life to. And not only would he support me, but he’d be proud. And especially he would love to be part of the future that is coming. Maybe he was born too soon.
Ten years after the day hinge:
While I wish my father would read these words and hug me knowing that his son learned a lot from his experience, it’s something that’s never going to happen.
But perhaps, and only perhaps, there may be at least a small probability that one of you can draw something positive from my experience over the past ten years. And with the obvious sensitivity and difficulty it means to me to be able to open up publicly and manifest these experiences; I wish that once and for all they will stop judging without knowing the effort that is after. Let them learn once and for all, because they are already adults and there are no more excuses, to try to understand and support us.
If you have a family member or loved one in your life who is lonely, support them. Listen to him. Try to understand. If you can’t do it, have the humility and respect to go for help. If you live with a loved one with high intellectual abilities, obese or thin, lesbian, gay bisexual or transgender, or anything that makes you suffer every day of your life for your lack of approval; I ask you not to BE IMBECILE and break your prejudices. Learn to put yourself in each other’s shoes. I am tired of having to accept the opinion of people on social advantage who embrace their inherited benefits as if they had turned out to be a personal merit.
Accept that a very different world is coming to the world you know where prejudice and pre-established are a thing of the past. Accept it for your sake… because it’s going to be you who’s out there.
I propose a reflection taking advantage of the advantage that we are still alive: -Would you be the same person you are today if you could go back?” I give you good news… you’re on time.
You have my approval to share these words if you consider it. Thank you for your time.
My love for those are gone.