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The Next Decade and Beyond Published: Sunday, October 11, 1998 By: Dr. Manuel Angel Morales

After the destruction of Georges, Puerto Rico requires cooperation. It means a titanic effort for overcoming alienation, learning to work and live together, taking the initiative to support one another. Cooperation is the task of creating bridges among people and organizations and taking a strong position on eliminating antagonism and violence. It means to work through people and with people. It means to manage the tribal, gregarious, and territorial instincts (which, on the one hand, lead to intense loyalty and group spirit but, on the other, can also result in barbaric behavior). Sectors, organizations and parties must overcome their bitter rivalries and protect or develop prudent ethics of business and politics. Teamwork is needed and not only in business and the professions; it is also required among all sorts of groups.

After Georges cooperation must take a new turn. It`s a matter of the highest urgency to build cooperation on the common principles of humanity that bond us all, in this very moment. It is equally important to find faith and support in the religious values we all can share. We must express those beliefs that connect us, emphasize them, teach them, promulgate them, so we can be more tolerant in areas we disagree. The greatest danger in this world is unthinking people, people who have nothing to lose. Universally, lack of education is the result of poverty, and poverty is the result of absence of education. This loop, which turns into a downward spiral, must be avoided. A virtuous circle must be establish to replace the nefarious results of the vicious circle of the near past. This is the ultimate meaning of unity and cooperation ventures.

After Georges, there is a transformation coming. It will not be like the transformation of the past. It will originate with the individual and with a new culture, and it will change the way of doing fundamental things as the final act of the previous decade. It will not require violence to succeed, and it cannot be successfully resisted by force. It is like Chet Powers of the Youngbloods said: "Come on people now, smile on your brother, every body get together, try to love one another right now…"


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