“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.”
― Dalai Lama
Please note: I am the least political person in the world. I don’t like discussing politics and religion, normally wanting to keep my opinions to myself and avoiding conflict. I will tell anyone what I think if I am asked but I will not go out of my way to address certain issues. I also don’t feel I have read enough and understand enough to opine, but I feel the need to say something, from my Brazilian heart. There is danger in keeping quiet, there is danger in not voicing your opinions, there is danger in going with the flow.
In addition, Ex sent me a text saying how sorry he was about the protests going on in Brazil. I replied thanking him and saying it was a good thing. He was shocked by my reply to agreeing with a protest for a few cents. This morning he sent me this article saying that now that he read it my reply makes more sense:
So, I decided to write about the protest going on in Brazil right now.
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce
Today I am wearing my Brazilian Soccer jersey, which a lot of my co-workers thought it was because Brazil beat Mexico yesterday in a soccer game. So I guess I am killing 2 birds with one stone 🙂 My soccer jersey is to show my support to Brazil and perhaps an invitation to people to talk to me about Brazil, and I can’t deny I love Brazilian soccer.
The idea of the protest in Brazil is a good thing. I think it does lack a bit of clarity. Is there a clear list of demands? oh wait, is that what protesters do or perhaps that is what hijackers do? whatever it is I am confused to what we (Brazilians) want. We want change, but perhaps at this time we need to be more specific and spell it out the list of changes!
“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
― Albert Schweitzer
The protest is not about the increase of a few cents on public transportation fares! It is about the never ending corruption and inequality. It is about the changing of laws to protect the corrupt and powerful. It is about hospitals and schools in deplorable state. It is about so much more.
I hate to see hurt and destruction provoked by vandals and criminals that take the opportunity of the protest to cause chaos; but to the protest and the reasons behind it I say: “It is about time!”
Next year will mark 30 years of leaving Brazil and living in the USA. In all these years I go to Brazil every year and have the opportunity to notice the changes in our economy and way of life. Also my family lives there, so I know how their lives have improved. Brazilians now have jobs available, we are eating better, travelling more, have access to everything the First world has (and speaking of First world, Second World, Third World, what is up with that? we are all one world!!!). We have come a long way, and I see improvements in most areas, but still we are so far from where we could and should be.
Education, healthcare and the justice system needs an immediate overhaul. Income inequality is another area that needs to be addressed asap.
The past several years I have witnessed a resurgence of “being proud to be Brazilian”. I credit Lula (former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva) for putting Brazil in the world economy map and bringing about change. I may not agree with everything he has done, and he has had his share of political scandals, but there was decidedly an improvement in the economy in Brazil caused by his presidency. No single person alone can change a country and please everybody.
“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”
― Amelia Earhart
When I speak, I speak of my experience, I speak of my family’s experience living in the suburbs of Sao Paulo. The experience and lives of people living in other areas of huge Brazil are vastly different. The truth is, to one degree or another the entire Brazil suffers.
I have been happy with the little improvements in Brazil. Perhaps that has been Brazil’s problem all along: to be happy with the little that has been offered, never causing any waves, always wanting to please. When you never had much a little can seem huge! As long as we have our Sunday football, yearly carnival, daily soap operas, we are happy and quiet!
Criminals go impune hiding behind an outdated criminal code (he/she is a minor, it is his/her first offense, and the list to go totally scot free goes on and on and on. Criminals get arrested today and go free on the same day. The Brazilian Legal System has become a joke. Brazilians citizens have lost total faith.
I pray this opportunity for the Powers that Be to take notice and do something about it is not wasted. But honestly I don’t have high hopes.
In Brazil we are so used to things not getting done, not getting resolved, specially with the politicians in Brasilia, that we even coined a term “tudo vai acabar em pizza”, meaning “everything will end up in pizza”. It means they will talk about it, fight with each other, say they have the people’s best interest at heart, but in the end all stays the same and the politicians, or the people in charge, end up in a bar eating pizza together.
The coming up World Cup is the icing on the corruption cake! Where is all the money going?
I am proud, happy and blessed to be both Brazilian and American. My prayers go to my fellow Brazilians living in Brazil. May we be noticed and heard!
My truth is I have 2 loves which I cannot say which one I love more. Brazil is my first love, Brazil is in my blood and in my heart. US is my day to day, the welcoming open arms, the land of opportunity. Brazil is my biological country, US is my adoptive country!
My heart aches for Brazil, Turkey, Syria, anywhere and everywhere in the world where there is political turmoil and unrest. May compassion be in the heart of all, may the powerful be kind, may the weak be strong. May understanding be a bridge to a peaceful destination.
“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.”