Cuarta época

Economía y Sociedad
6 de Agosto 1998

My Open Road

By José Piñera

I have chosen these verses as the masthead of the mission to which I am devoting my life. The verses come from the "Song of the Open Road", written by America's great itinerant poet, Walt Whitman.

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

All seems beautiful to me,
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such
good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me...

Now understand me well --it is provided in the essence of
things that from any fruition of success, no matter
what, shall come forth something to make a greater
struggle necessary.

My call is the call of battle, I nourish active rebellion,
He going with me must go well arm'd,
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty,
angry enemies, desertions...

Camerado, I give you my hand...
Will you come travel with me?

 

I chose neither flag nor standard, for this is a voyage, not a struggle. Instead, I chose a poem, a love song that Whitman wrote to America and to the world.

 

Like Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", this voyage of reform will forever be a work-in-progress, a process of learning and improvement. This global pension revolution gives workers property and dignity through the awesome power of economic freedom.

 

I was born in the South American nation of Chile. Thus, it would have been natural to have chosen a poem by Pablo Neruda, a poet I knew. And Neruda is the Nobel poet laureate the world most readily identifies with Chile.

 

Yet, I chose Whitman. The reason for this choice is a fitting piece of symmetry. Just as Neruda always regarded Whitman as his literary father, I have always regarded American liberty as the progenitor of our own.

 

And now my mission is to spread ideas of liberty around America and the world.