Category: In English (Page 1 of 3)

Back to humanity

Violations of human rights, ultra-conservative parties rising into power, inequality and the extreme individualism that triggers the loss of common references: Many people might agree that this is a pretty realistic view of what is happening in the world right now. I must admit that often when I am reading the news, I feel hopeless about humanity.

When people ask me what I do, I am proud to answer that I use my skills to promote Humanity. It could be enough to just live a decent and honest life, find my happiness, but I always feel that I should do more.

Some weeks ago, I started to reflect and review my convictions. Are my actions coherent with my beliefs? Am I doing things just for habit or because they fit my routine? If Love is the power that drives me, why am I accepting to live a meaningless life to remain comfortable? Answering these questions made me understand that it was time for me to change.

When you understand that altruistic love feeds happiness, it is hard to be satisfied. It seems impossible to believe that achieving socioeconomic self-sufficiency is the end of the game. Life cannot finish with people looking in the mirror.

Embracing humanity seems the only way to overcome the emptiness of individualism. Empathy helps to keep us united. It makes us family, despite personal stories and beliefs. We need to elevate Creation to an unnegotiable status that encourages us to look more at each other and to make impactful decisions, especially in favour of those in vulnerable conditions.

When I experienced pain and brotherhood

I have been thinking whether now is the right time to challenge myself and start to share my experiences in English. For over ten years I’ve been writing in Portuguese and Italian to the (I write, therefore I am) audience and now I feel comfortable to amplify the range of potential readers.

Firstly, I must say that writing has been a way to not keep my existence with me. It is a tool to share and not to promote myself. It is also a sort of auto-therapy. Every time I look back I realise how different I was and how much I’ve learnt through the experiences I lived. So, let’s do it.


Being in contact with different cultures is one of my passions. It is not a coincidence that my wife is not Brazilian and I had lived, for long or short periods of time, in countries on four different continents. As a result of these experiences, I met a wide range of people that made me realise how incredible the world is.

My life changing experience happened in 2005, in Indonesia. I stayed in Sumatra island for 29 days with a group of youth visiting projects in response to the tragic Tsunami that hit South East Asia six months before I was there.

Every time I share this experience a striking moment comes into my mind. We have just arrived in Aceh, the closest city of the earthquake’s epicentre, and an old man came to us saying that he would like to share his story. “I had to leave Aceh for one week to buy some stuff for my family. When I went back, my town was hit by the Tsunami. I run to see whether my family was safe, but no one was there anymore. All my close family, my extended family, my neighbours, my boss, my work colleagues, everyone was gone. I lost everything. In my neighbourhood with a few hundreds of inhabitants, only 30 people survived”.

I have been spared from close contact with real pain until that moment. However, listening to peoples stories made me understand the real value of empathy. I didn’t have to find solutions when there was nothing to change. I only needed to be there, silent, and (sometimes) cry together.

My presence in Indonesia, so far away from my homeland, triggered many smiles from those who were suffering. “Are you Brazilian? Why are you here?”. I just wanted to be there with them. It was the first opportunity I had to feel that, despite borders, walls, distances, we can be brothers and sisters.

Standing #WithRefugees

Thousands of people flee violence every day around the world, from Myanmar to South Sudan to Guatemala.

Ordinary people. People like me, like you, are searching for a place to call home for their children, their families.

They might seem too different because of their race, culture, their faith.

But we share the same humanity. “I am because you are”.

So, let’s not extinguish Hope in their hearts.

When we are alone, we are easily the victims of fear.

We must look at; we must build, the future together: not alone.

It is all about sharing responsibility, where all parts of society stand together.

Now more than ever, we need to stand #WithRefugees.

(Text is written for the ACT Alliance video for World Refugee Day 2018

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