The right to dream - Eduardo Galeano

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The right to dream

By Eduardo Galeano


© Colin Robson

Who knows how the world will be in 2025! But one thing is certain: if we are still here, we will all be people of the last century.

We cannot guess how the world will be, but we can imagine the world we would like. The right to dream is not one of the United Nations 30 human rights (1948). But if we didn’t have the right to dream, or the water it gives us to drink, the other rights would die of thirst.

Let me invent the future here. The upside-down world turns the right way up:

In the streets, dogs will run over cars.

There will be no pollution in the air – the only poison will be from human fear and human passions.

The television will stop being the most important member of the family. People will use it like the ironing board or the washing machine.

The boys who don’t want to do military service will not be arrested – boys who want to do it will be arrested.

People will work to live, not live to work.

No illness will be called mortal, because life is mortal.

Economists will not confuse the standard of living with how much people buy, and they will not confuse the quality of life with the quantity of things.

Historians will not believe that countries enjoy it when other countries invade them.

Politicians will not believe that the poor enjoy eating very bad food.

Cooks will not believe that lobsters are happy when people cook them alive.

No-one will treat street kids badly, because there won’t be street kids.

No-one will treat rich kids like money, because there won’t be rich kids.

Education will not be only for people who can pay for it.

Police control will not be only for people who cannot buy it.

There will be no difference between legal and natural children, because we are all natural.

A black woman will be President of Brazil and another black woman will be President of the United States of America. An Indian woman will govern Guatemala; another will govern Peru.

In Argentina, the crazy women of the Plaza de Mayo will be wonderful examples of mental health, because they did not forget when everyone else was forgetting.

The Church will correct a few of God’s mistakes. The sixth commandment, which says people must not enjoy sex, will say: ‘Celebrate the body’. The ninth commandment, which says desire is bad, will say desire is sacred.

The Church will also say there is an eleventh commandment, which God forgot: ‘You will love Nature, because you belong to it.’

The passionate man will not be a champion, and the passionate woman will not be a prostitute, because no-one in the world will be turned off.

Eduardo Galeano, poet-historian from Uruguay, has written several books eg. The Open Veins of Latin America and Memory of Fire. This article first appeared in our July 1995 issue.

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).