Being like Che, today and tomorrow
On the 52nd anniversary of Ernesto Guevara’s death, we recall the question posed by Fidel: “What do we want our children to be?” And the answer: “…Like Che”
Author: Dilbert Reyes Rodríguez | firstname.lastname@example.org
october 8, 2019 10:10:56
“I am” or “I will be” is perhaps the most recurrent personal dilemma, in terms of revolutionary ethics, that Che’s memory provokes.
This challenging question weighs heavy in the hearts of conscious individuals, well aware of the living force of Ernesto Guevara’s impeccable example.
It is clear, first of all, that this is not a question for everyone, since he does not mean the same thing for everyone. A man becomes a symbol only for those who share his dreams, while for others he is simply an historical figure, albeit a renowned one.
Che speaks to us in many ways, as a legend, a leader, soldier, companion, father, a natural man.
Nothing in his life or work needs an explication to defend its value. He did not need it when he was alive, when his posture and acts spoke for themselves, even as a developing young man. Much less later, after his ascension from the world of the living, to that of those who live forever.
From Rosario’s boy to Bolivia’s guerrilla leader, he constantly took on colossal challenges. He responded to his asthma by climbing mountains. To heal the sick? He swam across a jungle river. To understand the pain of his people? He rode a motorcycle across the feverish continent. To help remedy this pain? He gave himself in battle, embarked on an overloaded yacht, fought, and succeeded, making the Revolution that would begin the continental rebellion, in which he already knew he would die.
His unreachable, impossible goals were as legendary as the man, but nonetheless, for mortal revolutionaries who understand him, he left an ample legacy of challenges for daily practice, a framework for the human and the virtuous.
Fidel posed the question: “What do we want our children to be?” – those who we are now, and our own. “We want them to be like Che.”
This is the issue today: Asking ourselves if we are or will be like him, is to understand that the question is not to choose today or tomorrow, but to always be frank, bold, industrious, supportive, critical, decisive, and of course, sensitive dreamers committed to the common good, because seeking individual happiness in itself is not genuine. It is only true when, like the world’s eternal guerrilla, it has a collective soul and a vocation for humanity.