La Voz de Galicia – July 22, 2022 →

Cristina PatoYet another year when we feel the sad impotence of not knowing what to do to help. Hills burn, and thousands of people watch how a setting full of life gives way to one full of ashes. And unfortunately, we intuit that this is only the beginning of a new season of fires because we have the experience from last year, and from the year before that, and from five years before that, and from a decade before that. Galicia, once again, burnt.

I suppose that if we begin to look for guilty parties, each one of us, according to their discourse, will see the cause in a different reason, and the solution nowhere. Because when the guilty one is the other (administrations, pyromaniacs, climate change, etc.,) we stop feeling that we, too, are responsible in some way.

I wonder what social responsibility means in the context of Galicia’s fires. I wonder whether we as a society are doing what is necessary to, at least, reflect about the reasons that bring every year a repetition of images of sadness, blackness, ash, and desolation. I wonder about what we can do to contribute so that this doesn’t end up being something that we accept as one more misfortune that repeats itself every summer, and that is beyond our control, like a virus. Because when all mechanisms fail for whatever circumstances (political, historical, economic or social), we, individuals, are the only hope remaining. Or perhaps the most complex thing is not really knowing how we can assume the responsibility of saving the future of our hills, of our land. What are our tools? And how can we begin to use them so that that green full of life that so defines us does not end up being an image of the past?

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