So Hispanics/Latinos have grown into a significant and ultimately critical part of the national population. But what do the times demand of the modern Hispanic or Latino? I write of the HispanicLatino, not the HispanicLatina, for I would not begin to presume on the female consciousness. I am, after all, not a Catholic bishop. So who does the world need the HispanicLatino to be? Who does he need to be for himself?
Above all else, the world needs him to be successful. The order of power among nations is changing, yet the United States retains an essential role in the future of a world that needs it to play foil to others’ ways. America must remain more than just viable. And so, the modern HispanicLatino – increasingly important as other population groups contract and some disappear altogether in some areas – has a tall order ahead of him: Taking on responsibility in highly adverse circumstances. Taking on responsibility – or having it forced upon him by simple demography – require him to be educated.
With so much of the HispanicLatino population lacking sufficient levels of educations, those who are educated first must devote real and serious time to making sure that the rest of the community understands its pivotal importance to the country – not just saying it but making it real so that it becomes a part of the philosophical outlook through which HispanicLations daily manage their individual lives and the decisions they make. As they succeed in reaching a common understanding of how important they are to the nation, HispanicLatinos naturally should demand greater educational opportunities – and so the most educated need, second, to dedicate themselves to figuring out how to use technology to secure higher levels of education for so many more people. Absent increased public funding in increasingly tight times, technology is an almost providential tool by which HispanicLatinos can develop educational opportunities across a mass plane. They cannot wait to convert technology into their closest ally.
Neither can the HispanicLatino modern man wait for history to come to him – a third imperative. He is part of a globalized world and therefore should be proficient in the business language of the world – English – but he should not be afraid to speak Spanish, or relearn it. HispanicLatinos should pay more attention to the rest of the world than the average American. The modern HispanicLatino must know how the world around him has changed – and how it is changing humankind itself. The man who waits will lose in the future and lose the future itself.
The modern HispanicLatino defends his community. He demands power for it. He however is not sexist. To him the word macho should sound discordant, for in the modern world it is an anachronism. The modern HispanicLatino is not a homophobe for, of all things, he must be inclusive to be successful. And it should go without saying, but the modern HispanicLatino cannot be racist.
HispanicLatinos should make the Constitution and the country’s electoral processes matter, and though HispanicLatinos cannot forget that human history is replete with irony, paradox and contradiction, it is up to the individual to resolve and improve his life. No one – no parent, no priest, no politician – is going to do it for him. The modern HispanicLatino is not focused on anything other than how he succeeds in the future which means engaging in his community. He must help lead those HispanicLatinos who need to gain a sense of self and be supportive of those who already have attained a greater sense of purpose and who have become leaders.
In the end, every HispanicLatino must end up leading – and leading new lives – with a concentrated, new focus and understanding that in any and all industries and sectors he and those around him hold the key to the future of the country. The modern HispanicLatino is what he makes of himself at a time he is being called to greatness.
Feel free to forward these blogs adapted from previous writings, with additional thoughts published invariably in between.