I am privileged to meet several interesting and inspiring people. Lately they have one thing in common. They talk about an upcoming change, that they are not able to define more precisely. Something is in the air. No one knows when it arrives and if it will be positive for us or totally not.
When the first wave of crisis came, we were joking about the good times that passed away and we started to prepare ourselves for the worse. But nowadays it is different. People talk about second wave of crisis and they do not forget to add their odd feeling that it will be combined with some kind of transformation for all of us.
The death of Vaclav Havel and subsequent funeral spectacle in the streets of Prague intensified the feeling even more. Suddenly the everyday news about economical and political corruption was suppressed by a reminder of what ideals we have fought for in 1989. This retrospective view helps many people to pause and remind self, what they want from life and what definitely not. The realization is obvious especially for the younger generation, which takes the torch from the passing ones. They sincerely come to pay tribute to Vaclav Havel and don´t forget to show with their fingers the victory symbol, they do not forget to ring the keys, similarly as their parents did twenty-two years ago.
The situation was however different at that time. We knew well what we want to fight for. We wanted freedom of speech and the same rights for everybody regardless of our origin or participation in a political party. We wanted to open borders and free the economy. We thrived to exchange the absolutistic governance of a communistic party for a true democracy.
People nowadays feel the transformation is on its way however concrete - generally accepted - formulation of what the change should bring us is missing. We are only at the beginning.
Vaclav Havel fulfilled his historical role. Even the timing of his passing away during the period of uprising discussion about the possible future arrangements is more than symbolic. People suddenly ask how much utopia there is in his claim of “Truth and love will win over lies and hate.” They remind themselves about their feelings from the beginning of the nineties, when the new opportunities opened up in front of them. Secretly they wish they would like to live it through once more. They would like to have again the euphoria and hope for the better future. During the Velvet Revolution twenty two years ago they realized their own worth and the power they can have if they decide to use it to change the world for the better. They used to have a goal that somehow disappeared during the last years. But their time still can come. Who knows?
It is very hard to anticipate what the future brings. With some exceptions – of course. I will never forget my university teacher (of Marxism-Leninism philosophy) in 1989 who encouraged us on Wednesday, November 15th to come with candles to Albertov (in the center of Prague) on November 17th. He said there may be no lesson week after. And he was so right…
Regardless of what the future brings I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Very Peaceful, Prosperous, Healthy and Happy Year 2012!