December , 2018
Confessions in our time
17:20 pm

Ernesto Kahan

For many years, I have written essays and papers about the urgent need for a global agreement based on harmony; today, with the purpose of attracting more people; I decided to write it in the form of a letter.

Dear cohabitant on Earth; A day of unbearable heat and, while on television there were repeated announcements requesting everyone to preserve water, which, despite the existence of desalination plants, was increasingly scarce. I was walking through the park near the university and looking at the grass that had a yellowish tinge.

I sat on a bench in front of a many hundred-years-old tree, one of those that, due to their age, lived through the history of revolutions, wars, technological advances and dictatorial leaders who inflamed confused multitudes. The tree brought to mind existential thoughts about the present and future of life on planet Earth, because I belong to a complex generation of human beings existing among times of violent wars of domination, the development of amazing new technological techniques, including atomic weapons for the final destruction of civilisation, supercomputers, industrial globalization, artificial intelligence, and the capacity to produce resources to eliminate hunger in the world. We are a generation that lives with dilemmas that question the future of humanity and all biology.

While I analysed all this, I felt that my body was flooded with endorphins, which are the internal substances that react to strong emotional reactions of pain, love, joy, exaltation of nature, or crises of my own identity - reactions that provoke changes in my breathing and probably in blood pressure. Immediately, I felt my eyes and face were flooded with tears that were accompanying my sadness.

I remembered Elon Musk, the well-known person that founded PayPal, the electric vehicle and battery company Tesla and the private space corporation Space X, who commented that we are facing an immense threat which is artificial intelligence – “Which is like those stories in which someone summons the devil.” It was clear to me, that this is similar to the saying of Albert Einstein, “We must think in a different way so that humanity survives.”

The trunk of that centennial tree told me that we are living in an historical period in which commitment and education are necessary to achieve tolerance to save the positive aspects of our civilisation as social progress in freedom, care for ecology, peace and harmony.

Yes, my dear cohabitant on earth, to obtain survival on earth, we must obtain comprehensive peace in the world, and for that, we must reach a global agreement based on harmony, and of course that should be achieved by using tolerance and respecting the dignity of the people.

Today many intellectuals of the world are offering robust determination to work with the heart for a more humane and just world, a world that is less violent, healthier, and also protective of the environment. That is, a work struggling for tolerance, harmony and universal peace, or in other words, for the dignity of man.

I was looking at the horizon and convinced myself that if we manage to educate those who deny or question the need for peace, it will not be a utopia. However, if we will not achieve it, and then life on Earth will disappear as the consequence of the use of atomic weapons, the Universe will continue, since permanently it confronts explosions and collisions of stars and even galaxies. The question is, given the danger of using modern genocidal weapons, have we the ethical right to be indifferent? I at least will not.

The conclusion is simple. It is necessary to enlist ourselves in a crusade for harmony for peace. It is not easy but it is not a utopia. Political leaders, intellectuals, artists, journalists, educators and the public in general must act in such a way.

After that, I walked and put together my thoughts on modern leaders and inescapably, on Mahatma Gandhi, to whom I wrote the following poem:


“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”

Mahatma Gandhi

At this time, one hundred and fifty years from your birth.

The “shofar” (horn) sounds

to celebrate your life,

your teaching; the never ending way to act:

“Whenever one is confronted with an opponent,

One has to conquer him with love.”

Yes, Gandhiji

If people could understand that with the use of love

they will achieve more than with the use of hate…!

When such a shofar sounds announcing a New Hebrew Year,

reaches the heart of everyone

provoking painful feelings of the undesirable acts

for the good of the world.

Yes, Gandhiji

Our poetic art is like this horn,

waking-up consciences

for a new world in harmonious peace.

Yes, like flowers born to seed a green future

for deserts and thorns,

for the most beautiful things, we can give them:

Freedom - tolerance - respect - health

- love - study - art - justice in peace...


Your friend, Poet Rabindranath Tagore,

was the lyrical voice of the "man within the heart".

To both of you, I embrace that union and plead:

Be always our torches of knowledge;

So often forgotten;

Unite the hands, and

be the bridges of hope and the necessary forgiveness

encompassing a world,

that will be only one, or in replacement, none.

Gandhi, Gandhiji.


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