The Spanish language produces so many telling refranes (sayings) that speak to life lessons and cultural norms. Aye Benditois one of many common sayings I have heard over the years. It was said to fit many occasions, but mostly empathy towards someone’s unfortunate circumstances.
Whether job loss or a sore tooth, Puerto Rican culture seems particularly sympathetic to someone’s stumbles, but the phrase has been viewed in more modern times as emblematic of a cultural crutch. Indeed, can we be too comfortable with failure and use it as an excuse for a lack of upward mobility and personal accountability?
Well, I am firmly in the camp that for our community to move towards the immense greatness that awaits, Aye Benditohas to die.
While I admire my community’s predilection for sympatico, the larger truth is that blind empathy has too often caused in bred culture of excuses and ceding our personal power to ‘dios quiere.’ Well, God wants us to serve others with the gifts he has bestowed and we can’t do that feeling sorry for ourselves.
I’m happy to say that I am blessed to collaborate with emerging leaders around the country who believe in serving others while demanding greatness from those they serve. One such leader is Rafael Alvarez. My tocayo from Philadelphia via Camden, New Jersey is a young activist that engages his community around electoral politics, constituent services and issues as diverse as urban gardening, GLBT Rights, and the political status of Puerto Rico.
Today’s Ray of Light Rafael Alvarez
I had the pleasure recently of chatting with Rafael Alvarez about the best practices and struggles we have found in activism and the importance of Why Ay Bendito is Dead. Listen to this thought provoking conversation over tortas and let us know what you think about Why Aye Bendito Is Dead by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep the conversation going on Twitter at @rayspodcast #AyeBenditoDead. Keep shining Rafael Alvarez and the millions of Rays of Light he represents.