These words were written at two in the morning, on a winter Saturday in Barcelona, leaning on a wooden table in the middle of the dining room, with the light of a desk lamp illuminating the notebook I’m writing in and the drink giving flavor to this insipid night.

When we’re children, we all want to do big things like changing the world and exploring unknown territories; we dream of goals as great as world peace and we value our classmates, friends, and family above all else.

As we grow up, the majority of us, sometimes very early, experience what is known as a “reality check.” This is the moment when a lot of doors close for us and we experience rejection, the obligation to meet certain expectations put on us that we ourselves do not decide. In this moment, we “understand” that dreaming big is useless. We are convinced that, if we want to survive in the “real” world, we should not think outside of ourselves and our “needs,” many of which are imposed by the social system we live in.

As human beings and activists for a better world, we believe that we have the right to dream and to experience a genuine human connection with others, regardless of our individual interests and lifestyles. We all have the right to express ourselves and to be heard.

If we look at the history of human beings on earth, the first human groups and primitive societies were formed with the goal of mutual support and collaboration. Every individual mattered. As society grew and became more complex, that original goal started to get lost and, today, has been replaced by a social system that has broken the basic human personal connection and substituted it for the often-misleading illusion of global hyperconnectivity.

The Free Conversations Movement was born, in 2016, from the will and desire to face this process of dehumanization and isolation that we are suffering today.

This movement emerged from understanding and acknowledging that our basic needs as human beings are more powerful and more relevant than the needs of a society where the vast majority of people are excluded from the process of making decisions that affect their lives and where human beings themselves have become irrelevant. This movement was born to reclaim the space where each person can recognize themself in their own story, and recognize that expressing that story to another person is exercising a right that we all have in common as human beings. This movement was born to help, to connect people, and to promote the free flow of ideas. The Free Conversations Movement understands that the increase in technological and scientific advancements since the 20th century, especially in information and communication, has offered the world incredibly valuable tools to pursue big objectives. But, on the other hand, this has also given rise to the increasingly frequent mass phenomenon of people feeling lonely and insignificant, even while being hyperconnected. Talking and communicating with another person face to face, as equals, is an essential activity in order to reclaim meaning and significance. This is why the Free Conversations Movement doesn’t marginalize or discriminate. The two chairs are exactly the same. Let’s share stories and describe our experiences, to grow in humanity. There’s room for all of us in this simple act of talking and communicating: right-wing, left-wing, young people and old people, wrong-doers and those who have been wronged, believers and non-believers from every corner of the planet.

Let’s take to the streets and fill our cities with places where we can sit down and talk. Let’s reclaim the noble art of sincere, selfless conversation, without judging one another. 

Talking to someone new, an unopened book, an untold story… We’re missing all of this, and for what? In exchange for selling our lives to technological advancement, trading real conversations for the false belief that we are more connected than ever before.

Go outside, meet up with a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Talk to your boss who you had an argument with, to your neighbor you haven’t met yet. Call your mom, your dad, your children, tell them face to face how much you love them, or resolve your differences. 

Get out there! Let’s reverse the process of dehumanization; there’s still enough time.

Let’s challenge the idea of a solely virtual society where we are holograms.

Let’s create spaces in cities where everyone can express themselves freely and be heard. Let’s work together so that all people, regardless of their gender or origin, have someone to talk to and have a conversation with. 

Let’s learn to listen to one another, coming from our shared nature as human beings.

Staying quiet is no longer an option.

Not taking a side is no longer an option.

Anyone who stays quiet, who doesn’t look,

who doesn’t listen, 

anyone who doesn’t become aware, 

is not for this revolution, but against it.

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