We live in a time when it’s easy to get asphyxiated by the constant doom and gloom that’s thrown at you on a daily basis. The over-politicization of it all, the impunity that certain actors seem to move with, the constant barrage of online discourse and news cycles that keep you on the edge and apathetic, and the ever so outrageous developments that seek to humiliate and demoralize you until you just throw the towel, to name a few.

Many, whether they’re aware or not, have lost themselves into imported causes that are foreign to that of their own respective nations. They cling to foreign idols, politicians, and ideals with such an abject fervor only to end up poisoned by it, because at the end of the day, and despite how much online zealous fervor they espouse, those idols, politicians, or ideals would not give a damn about their own country, and much less about that person in specific.

We’ve just finished going through two years of a pandemic that claimed the lives of loved ones for many, and where draconian measures were enacted that, if you were to ask for my opinion, did substantially more harm than good to people on a physical and mental level.

My own long standing struggles with depression aside, all of this (and more) has certainly gone to nurture a global aura of despair and hopelessness. Case in point, we have a generation that has grown up living in a constant state of fear that one day they will literally melt out. Young men and women are now growing up with the notion that there is no hope, that all is lost, and that there’s nothing you can do — because doom is certain.

In the case of Venezuela, this is a country were an entire generation has known nothing but the same regime in power, the same politicians (some that were already old by the time I was born) perpetuating the same cycle of conflict that has now spanned 23 years and counting, and the status quo wheel just spins over and over and over again while we all continue to wither away — all of which has spawned the worst migrant crisis in the Americas, worse than Syria’s, and toe to toe in numbers to that of Ukraine’s (both of which, you know, are the results of wars unlike ours).

Suffice to say, and no matter what you choose to think or which side of the fence you find yourself in, things are royally messed up and you don’t need to be an expert to figure that one out, that much is certain — But I’m not here to talk about that.

I’m here to talk about the little rays of hope, the pockets of optimism and hard work that flourish and shine ever so brightly despite all the despair that permeates all aspects of life these days.

While many chose to simply resign to the doom, let themselves be consumed by tired ideologies that promise so much but have only left despair in its wake, and bicker online to the point of terminality, there are people still giving the good fight to make things better, be it just for themselves, or for their families and loved ones, and in some cases, for their respective communities.

Beneath all the gloom and doom that I barely just glanced above, there’s the many noble dreams of men and women that pierce through the veil of hopelessness that you could say has been imposed upon us.

Through the past five years or so that I’ve had, what I don’t know if I should call an online ‘public figure’ presence, I’ve come to know about numerous stories of Venezuelans from all corners of the country, of different origins, beliefs, shapes, and sizes.

Like me, they were born either before the Bolivarian Revolution took power in 1999, shortly afterwards, or some time later. They may all be different from one another, but this Venezuela that we live in is all that they’ve known: The socialist party’s rule, the ‘opposition,’ the collaborationist, the unending collapse, the entropy.

Even after all that’s happened here, they continue towards building a better world at a local level, whether locally or as part of the 7.1 million (and counting) migrants that have so far left the country. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing about the noble efforts of a man helping his family’s farm work, raising sheeps for the family farm, and finding ways to boost their production of dairy products so that his family can have a future.

With a lot of effort, and dedication, little by little this dream has been materializing for them.

At the same time, I’ve recently come to know about the efforts of preserving the nation’s culture and literature of a time long past through audible formats. This is admirable, as Venezuela has become a country where culture has been disrupted, and where the circumstances of it all (political, economical, and societal) leave little room for culture and literature to be preserved and for new works to flourish, more so when one can easily lose themselves in the daily grind of the unwinnable game that is Venezuela.

Others have opted to work towards improving their local communities, and finding ways to help, be it by repairing infrastructure or rebuilding from the ruins of the collapse we went through a couple years ago.

I’ve come to know the stories of many that continue to pursue their dreams in the fields of film, arts, and music. I’ve been acquainted with someone who has a passion for filmmaking, an amazingly talented woman from my birthplace that creates unique pieces of art unlike anything I’ve seen before, and musicians whose works have instantly made me into a fan. The list is quite extensive, and I could go on and on for days with examples.

Sure, all of these passionate dreams (some more personal than others), while fixing things at a personal or local level, do not fix the greater problem of Venezuela’s political and economical crisis, but they don’t have to.

These dreams are admirable because they’re not for the pursuit of power or influence, but because they bring good things to this world and in turn help inspire others to do the same, be it by improving the conditions of their families and communities little by little, or by making great things that last.

These are things that help inspite and bring good, improving their families and communities, little by little, by making things that last, bring joy, and sure, why not, some cash to buy food cause damn, it sure has gotten even more expensive lately.

It’s proof that the despair and gloom we’re constantly bombarded with can be beaten, that the country’s disfavorable circumstances are merely obstacles to overcome, and not unbreakable barriers and shackles.

I am of the belief that this country has no solution in the short term, and we certainly are not voting our way out of the socialist regime, especially with the ‘opposition’ that we have the misfortune of having. Solving the Venezuela problem is a bit more complicated than a pantomime ‘free and fair’ election, and fixing this country will require a lot of work, and I mean A LOT.

But that ever present truth of the state of the country, hard as it hits, has not (and I’m sure will not) stop these men and women that I’m referring to from working towards pursuing their own dreams and fulfilling their own projects that, little by little, build a better reality for themselves.

By working towards their dreams, they’re making things better within their own local realities or spheres of influence — which I believe is a good place to start to fix the Venezuelan disaster at its most fundamental level. Over time, things should work out for the better, won’t you agree?

As for the politicians, yeah, that’s a whole other problem. Maybe it’s all just wishful thinking on my part, who can say.

Of course, it is not something isolated to Venezuela, and I’ve met many more men and women beyond the borders of the country that are also similarly fighting for their dreams, big or small alike. They all serve to make things better in their own communities or spheres of influence.

From connecting with like minded individuals towards pursuing greater solution-finding goals, building ways and mechanisms to genuinely help others to even the most pure form of bringing joy that I know: by being the local hero and making others smile.

Honestly, I had lost myself a little until last week, when I attended to a medical conference that was held in honor of my mom, where I was informed that the unit she led for sixteen years, something I was told was all but gone, is slowly being rebuilt, and the state of the country, while it certainly complicates things, has not and will not stop their efforts.

I have my own personal reasons to not believe in this city, and I have an even longer list of reasons as to why I do not believe in any politician while strongly believing that my own healing will come from moving away from a place and environment that has given me so much pain and grief throughout my life — but seeing how my mom’s hard work is not entirely gone, and instead, is being rebuilt with plans she had in mind towards improving the attention and care of patients to boot was a wake up call for me.

I do have dreams of my own destined towards making things better and bringing good to others in my own way, even if I’m not smart or strong like others are. Perhaps, by publishing my upcoming novel series I’ll attain the means to pierce through that veil of despair and in turn help others — I’ve admittedly have paused much of my dreams throughout this year as I had to focus on a lot of irl bureaucracy, including what is my last Hail Mary at getting my brother on a plane out of here, thus fulfilling the promise I made to my mother on her deathbed. I’ve also had many health setbacks, but I’m still trying to work on improving my overall health.

Hopefully, once bureaucracy does its course, I can resume working on my dreams. I pray to God every day that He gives me the strength I need to fulfill my dreams — and maybe, just maybe, good things will come to me from them.

Hopefully, by having the resources and means to help others, they too will be able to achieve their dreams, and little by little, they can in turn, help others make things better like a sort of chain reaction.

That is all I aspire to, I have no aspirations to attain power or fame of any kind, I just want to repay the world all the help I’ve been given these past years and hope that people do not repeat the mistakes we’ve committed as a whole, and that includes my own personal mistakes.

Even if the country is essentially gone and there’s no foreseeable solution, things are being slowly rebuilt. Even if the world as a whole goes to hell, I intend to make things better within my limited reach and area, keeping it real no matter what.

I suppose that’s a start, isn’t it?