This story begins with a journey, a mental journey of those I love, of those who catch me and do not let me leave. A trip back in time triggered by memories that take me to the past, allowing me to relive my whole life in fast motion. A specific picture of my mental movie makes me slow down. Then I stop and watch, in the screen in my head, a moment of fear in which a sentence which I longed to hear, because of that fear, became the first brick of a huge wall.

I get scattered and, at that moment, as it always happens to me, that word, wall, makes me go even further back in time. I start remembering the walled cities of the past, those that protected its citizens from everything external, unknown, malign.

Cities like Avila in Spain,

Tallinn in Estonia,

Pingyao in China,

Carcassonne in France;

successful cities at their time, but ultimately trapped inside and full of limitations.

Then I think about how those walls have been dissolving over time, and it strikes me that perhaps this is not what have actually happened; maybe they have not been dissolving, maybe they have been mutating to become invisible barriers, walls built with verbs, with words full of thorns that sometimes create more distance than those heavy and imposing walls. Entire countries have preferred to be isolated from the rest simply because they fail to see beyond some harsh words.

We build walls to isolate ourselves from the world, because we do not want to face our reality; we act based on fear; we get too scared to feel vulnerable, without control of the situation, and we lock ourselves in to escape.

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Finally, I get back to my reality and feel surprised to find so many futuristic proposals that are nothing but a newer version of the same wall built with heavy stones. A wall that instead of isolating ourselves from enemies or pirates, isolates us from inclement weather. Transparent domes whose only function is to avoid reality. But avoiding it is useless; it is still there, waiting for us.

The environmental crisis is not going away by itself, and a dome might be able to temporarily prevent the negative consequences of many years of environmental wear and misuse. It may be a solution if we follow the easy path, but that does not mean that we can forget the root of the problem, because then we would be acting like cowards.

And, as in the story that sparked this post, fear works only to avoid facing new challenges, new achievements, new emotions.

Only by facing our worst fears, we will become better people, better inhabitants for our planet, better human beings.

Only by embracing our emotions and accepting the ones of those who come close to us, we will feel happy…

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