Social friendship constitutes a practical concept that could very well contribute to solving multiple phenomena of confrontation, polarization and even animosity at the level of people and sectors. Basically, it constitutes an attitude of renewal of confidence in the human being’s capacity for goodness.
Unfortunately, politicians and many venal officials have taken it upon themselves to undermine the confidence of the public, but the institutions remain. The recent calls for protests in the Plaza are due to that just demand for changes in public administration, the application of transparency rules and a systematic clarity of the management of the treasury, factors that have been relegated and even exploited in favor of obscure personal interests or sectarians.
To add complexity to this social unrest, groups of fanatics emerge who, using various reasons, ranging from invocations to popular power and faith to supposedly conservative values, try to provoke further division. The only thing they achieve is to fragment a society so hurt by historical events such as the internal armed conflict, the discontinuity of the struggle to achieve better development indicators and the proliferation of opportunist cliques that have striven to take the State as booty, in rather than a forward-thinking project. These groups that promote discord obey opaque interests, to which the spirit of confrontation, polarization and enmity is appropriate.
Pope Francis, in his most recent encyclical, Fratelli tutti, highlights the need to rebuild social friendship, to cultivate it as a regeneration of the social fabric and not only for pious or confessional purposes, but as an ethical manifestation that restores and expands the possibilities of modern society.
The pontiff calls not to put ideologies or extremist positions in the first place, since they only constitute abstractions that leave aside the concrete realities that remain unsolved.
The recent declaration of a change of course offered by President Alejandro Giammattei and Vice President Guillermo Castillo may seem like a fleeting or insufficient gesture that is not enough to restore worn-out confidence to the government. And indeed, it is not enough. However, in the absence of real alternatives of coherent, consolidated and viable thinking, it is better to grant a limited benefit of the doubt to the elected authorities.
The global horizon is not in a position to allow itself a breakdown of the institutional order, not even to fall into false successions that would only bring instability and uncertainty, highly damaging to the much desired competitiveness.
Labels, prejudices, stereotypes and exclusions must be set aside in this new stage of national dialogue. It is very likely that no one will be completely happy with what arises from the discussion that will take place in the next few days about the 2021 Budget, but even that circumstance will be an indicator that something will have favored us, even a little. It is urgent that we recognize ourselves as Guatemalan brothers and not as factions. The future of the generations now living their childhood depends on what is accomplished in the coming weeks.
The entry Recognize ourselves – Guatemala News was first published in Noticias por el Mundo.