Archives for posts with tag: culture

What is really going on at the essence of the universal health care discussion in the United States? How come the most powerful nation on Earth, by military and economic standards, is not able to provide health care to all its citizens? To find answers, we must look beyond the sickening party politics and the chaotic legislation that shapes American Health Care. Right now, the politicians are not even reading the legislation that they are either supporting or attacking, on both sides of the aisle; it’s just a competition about who wins the argument: Democrats or Republicans. The millions affected by all this have been set aside.

In essence, the issue should be simple: if everybody pays a little bit, everybody is entitled to a little bit of health care. That’s how it works everywhere on the planet, except in the US. The core discussion is then: how much does each person have to pay, and how much coverage does everybody get? Everybody gets coverage, but maybe not a first class suite on the best hospital in Houston to have plastic surgery on your ear lobes.

Behind all the rational analysis of the myriad of options available, it gets down to culture values and the emotions attached to them. It is not really much of a surprise that the culture on Earth with the highest score on Individualism, combined with a clear preference for Performance over Caring (as measured statistically by Hofstede’s culture value-dimensions), becomes polarized around an issue that, primarily, is about individuals chipping in for the collective.

The problem with culture values is that they are closely linked to strong emotions, since they originate in early childhood, when we all learn what is considered “right” and “wrong” in our families and communities. Anything that challenges those deeply seated values elicits a strong emotional reaction, in every culture.

So when somebody in America proposes something that appears to threaten individual freedom and responsibility, such as Universal Health Care (take care of each other, not just of yourself), Socialist public policies (the common good is more important than individuals), or gun control (the State interferes with the individual freedom to have weapons of choice), it’s only natural that people may get upset and emotional about these things: they appear to threaten their core values and that is something very difficult to cope with.

I once met a young American woman at an international event, just after Obamacare had begun implementation. When I asked her: “how’s it going in the States, now that you have Universal Health Care?” She gave me a five-minute angry speech about how it all sucked, for one big reason: she would now have to pay an additional $150 per month out of her hard-earned salary so that other people would be covered by health care.

In any other culture, this would not be considered a valid argument. Basically, everybody says: “Sure! That’s just how it is! It’s like taxes: you pay a bit from what you earn, so that everybody can have public services, like roads, police… and also health care.” In the US, however, the thinking is more like: “I need to take care of myself and everybody should be capable of taking care of themselves.” As Margaret Thatcher so pointedly summarized: “there is no such thing as ‘society;’ everyone should take care of themselves!”

Indeed, the value-dimension of Individualism versus Collectivism can be seen as an unconscious dilemma that every society needs to solve: do we go towards one side of this polarity or should we tend towards the opposite? The statistical research studies carried out by Hofstede revealed that a few cultures tend towards Individualism, while most others go in the opposite direction, towards Collectivism.

Still, even those countries with similar statistical scores as the US (such as the UK and Australia, recently praised by Ivanka’s Dad) all have Universal Health Care; they managed to find a way around the issue, despite their belief in meritocracy and in individual responsibility. After all, scoring high in Individualism does not preclude cooperation and solidarity. Teamwork and collaboration are possible in every culture, but they express themselves in different ways. In collectivistic cultures teamwork comes naturally, while taking individual responsibility requires extra effort. In America it is teamwork that requires the extra effort, especially if there is not a clear short-term goal to be achieved. Individual responsibility comes naturally, it is almost taken for granted as a given. Will the US ever find their path, to having UHC without feeling that it hurts some people’s core values?

Perhaps they might, if they are able to simplify the overall issue. Right now people are discussing too many details in terms of what kind of coverage are certain groups entitled to, depending on age group, whether they are Federal Employees or not (shockingly, congressmen have legislated in their own benefit, ensuring they themselves get coverage, while millions of others do not), depending on where they live and what kind of work they do. Maybe it would be easier if UHC were to be funded by a blanket 1-percentage point increase in income taxes, for instance, rather than by singling out a specific contribution to medical assistance. If it’s embedded in your overall taxes, people tend not to argue.

If taxes were broken down into the different items they are destined to fund, we would see a lot of arguments about certain topics that do not bring benefit to certain individuals. Should single adults with no kids pay for public schools? Should people who live in farms pay for funding of large urban centers’ infrastructure? If I never use public transport, why should I subsidize railroads? As soon as you single out a collective benefit (like UHC) you will get some people objecting: “I don’t need that, why should I pay for it?” Yet the building blocks of any society rely on finding a balance between individual interests and collective ones. Each culture finds its own balance; America is still trying to find it regarding UHC.

The puzzle will only be solved if people look at the overall forest, not at the trees (or groups of trees). Obamacare was a bit of a Frankestein monster, too complicated and difficult for everyone involved. The Republican alternative appears to be even worse, arguably. Perhaps Congress needs to scrap all of it, and come up with something simple, elegant and truly universal. If the Aussies did it, surely America can do it too: just forget about partisan squabbling for a minute and look at what needs to be done for the overall population.

Dilma falou bem, mas acho que não se deu conta da profundidade daquilo que estava dizendo.

Segundo o Estadão, Dilma declarou (10.12.2016) que o Brasil poderá ser vítima de “um golpe no golpe”.

“Eles subestimaram a crise econômica, acreditaram no que estavam dizendo, e muitos sabiam que era mentira, de que a crise econômica era responsabilidade exclusivamente minha”, disse a petista em discurso. “E também subestimaram os efeitos da crise política como fator de instabilidade, de aprofundamento de qualquer crise, e isso fica claro nos momentos em que  a crise política se transforma em crise institucional”.

A que ponto chegamos… A ex-Presidente da República fala em “golpe no golpe,” quando se trata de fazer o impeachment, por corrupção, de quem promoveu o impeachment dela, por improbidade de gestão. Ela chama de “golpe” a denúncia de corrupção. Ou seja, uma denúncia legítima é considerada “golpe.” Ela não se dá conta de que está dando razão aos seus críticos, quando chama tudo de “golpe,” pois está nivelando tudo por baixo. Está chamando de “golpe” qualquer movimento de destituir quem foi eleito, mesmo que o movimento seja totalmente legítimo, legal e ético. Isso não é “golpe de estado,” isso é a democracia institucional em ação, fazendo o melhor pelo País.

Ao dizer que a crise econômica não era exclusivamente responsabilidade sua, falou o óbvio. Qualquer pessoa com um mínimo de conhecimento e consciência (reconheço que estou falando de 10% da população) sabe que a crise econômica brasileira não foi criada pela incompetência da Sra. Dilma Roussef. Ela é produto de anos de incompetência dos governos federais, estaduais e municipais que a antecederam. O pecado de Dilma é que ela não soube lidar com a crise. Ela fazia parte de um sistema incompetente e corrupto. Pode não ter se beneficiado pessoalmente com propinas, mas sabia de tudo e foi conivente, na melhor das hipóteses. Isso para não falar dos benefícios indiretos obtidos por quem ocupa posições de autoridade numa sociedade como a brasileira.

Disse que “subestimaram os efeitos da crise política como fator de instabilidade.” Ou seja: “vocês vão puxar o tapete para derrubar o PT, mas isso vai derrubar (quase) todo o sistema político brasileiro, ameaçando as instituições do País! Vocês vão se arrepender!”

Pessoalmente, não me arrependo.

Estamos enfrentando questões que são, não apenas suprapartidárias, são questões supra-ideológicas. Não se trata de PT versus PSDB e nem mesmo de direita versus esquerda. Estamos enfrentando a corrupção generalizada que abala todas as instituições brasileiras, do setor público ao privado. Isso afeta os três poderes, de Brasília a Botucatuva e afeta também nossas empresas, escolas e também nossas famílias. Estamos enfrentando o lado mais terrível dos valores básicos da nossa cultura, nossa maneira de ser e fazer.

E isso é muito bom, embora possa ser muito dolorido também. Estamos questionando a exploração do próximo, que encontramos no capitalismo e no comunismo igualmente. Isso vai além da ideologia, dos regimes políticos e dos partidos. Estamos falando de integridade e dignidade. E é muito bom que a gente se sinta indignado com o que estávamos vendo à nossa volta.

O primeiro passo para melhorar a situação é reconhecer que: como está, não pode continuar. É preciso reconhecer que existe um problema e que precisamos agir. Nós não inventamos a corrupção; mas todos convivemos com ela, durante anos, e fomos todos coniventes, em maior ou menor grau. É muito bom que tenhamos recuperado nossa capacidade de sentir indignação. Muitos de nós havíamos ficado “confortavelmente dormentes,” como disse Roger Waters, do Pink Floyd, no álbum The Wall.

Aceitamos a corrupção generalizada como fazendo parte da nossa cultura e concluímos que não havia forma de evita-la ou mesmo combate-la. Com isso, a situação foi se deteriorando cada vez mais.

Agora, com a Operação Lava-Jato e similares, estamos deixando de ser dormentes. É desconfortável, mas a dor é o sintoma que nos leva a procurar a cura.

Dilma, Cunha, Renan, Temer, Lula, Aécio e tantos outros, todos dirão: “não façam isso comigo! Eu vou denunciar aqueles que estão me acusando! Isso vai ameaçar a estabilidade das nossas instituições!”

Vai, sim. E é disso que precisamos.

Na Holanda, onde moro atualmente, se vê com frequência aquilo que quem vem de fora chama de “uma reforma holandesa.” Casas construídas em 1640 passam por uma reforma radical, na qual apenas a fachada, que faz parte de um patrimônio histórico tombado pela UNESCO, é preservada. Você vê uma obra dessas e enxerga, por uma janela aberta, que o interior da casa virou um enorme buraco e nada mais. Todas as paredes e pisos, o telhado, o chão, tudo foi removido e até as fundações estão sendo substituídas. Apenas a fachada se sustenta, graças a um conjunto de suportes de madeira e metal que a impedem de desmoronar. Terminada essa reforma, que pode durar dois ou três anos, sendo uma verdadeira reconstrução completa do prédio, a fachada continua dizendo “1640” em cima da porta principal; mas o interior é totalmente moderno, as fundações são novas, o encanamento e as instalações elétricas têm a melhor tecnologia do Século 21. A energia é solar e controlada por aplicativos inteligentes que você maneja com seu telefone celular. A fachada é uma lembrança histórica que denota respeito ao passado; mas o interior representa o que de melhor existe no presente para que se possa viver em conforto, de maneira sustentável, por várias décadas.

No Brasil, precisamos de uma “reforma holandesa” nas nossas instituições. Preservemos a fachada do Congresso Nacional e da Praça dos Três Poderes; mas façamos uma reconstrução completa por dentro, das fundações ao telhado. Reforma política, fiscal, trabalhista e previdenciária. Aproveitemos o embalo e façamos uma reforma igualmente profunda no nosso sistema educacional, começando pelo ensino básico. Vai levar tempo, talvez uma década ou mais. Por isso mesmo, precisamos começar já. Quanto mais cedo começarmos, mais cedo a reforma ficará pronta.

The first week of 2014 gave us a great example of how culture differences have an impact on the behavior of investors in the New York Stock Exchange. China Trip (NYSE:CTRP), the leading travel & touring operator in China and a darling of global investors, announced that, because of increasing competition from smaller companies trying to eat away on its dominant market share, it will offer its services basically ”at cost”, slashing its fees to the minimum, in order to defend its position.

American investors panicked. On the day this was announced, they sold CTRP shares like crazy and the stock plunged over 10%; on the day after, the stock dropped an additional 5%. The difference in mentality was starkly evident.

In China, positioning yourself in the market for the long run is more valued than short-term profit. For Chinese managers, it is a natural move to sacrifice your profits in order to gain market share or defend a leading position. In the US, it’s quite the opposite. Short-term results are more important than the distant future. Short-term results are concrete, palpable. The future is fuzzy and uncertain. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Plus, what is “long-term”?

For the typical American Wall Street investor or investment analyst, “long-term” is anything over 90 days, or beyond the current quarter. “Short-term” is anything under three months.

For the typical Chinese managers, “short-term” is anything under three years. “Long-term” is in a decade or two. So, when China Trip decides to slash prices to defend its market position, it is quite confident that it can afford to lose money for two or three years and eventually make more money to recuperate the losses in ten years. Nothing more natural than that. But in New York, nobody is that patient.

If you are a truly patient investor, you might wait for the shares to drop even further, and then buy some stock for the long term. And I do mean long term: for beyond 2020…

Back in 1943, Abraham Maslow published his famous “hierarchy of human needs”, which quickly became a classic reference regarding the motivation of people at work and in any kind of situation.

The basic idea is that people first need to satisfy basic needs, such as physiological needs and safety, which stood at the two bottom levels of the hierarchy (often referred to as a “pyramid of needs”. Once the basic needs are satisfied, people become motivated to satisfy “higher” needs in the next three levels: belonging, esteem and self actualization. Whenever a need at a lower level is not satisfied, behavior turns to satisfy that lower need until it is satisfied. Only then will anyone be motivated by the next higher need. When the bottom four levels are reasonably satisfied, people will turn to satisfying the top need (self-actualization).

This “pyramid” concept of needs was disseminated all over the world for seventy years and was taken for granted as “universal”. It was used in psychology, sociology and management courses as a sort of “Motivation 101” course. It has become so popular, so well-known by people in general, that, for instance, in Brazil, the press and people in general have coined an expression: “physiological politicians”, referring to politicians in Congress who will vote on legislation independent of ideology, but rather based on whoever satisfies their basic needs. This is an euphemism for corrupt politicians who basically “sell” their votes to the highest bidder.

Not universal pictures

The hierarchy of needs was proposed and accepted by most people as a universal concept, that applies to everyone. However, we now know that this picture is not really universal: it has a strong cultural bias, like many other concepts that were born as a product of a given culture and mistakenly thought to apply equally to all mankind.

Yes, we can say that the bottom part of the pyramid is fairly universal: everybody needs to first satisfy their physiological needs before they can turn to safety needs, and only after these two are reasonably satisfied can they focus on belonging needs (the next higher level). But that is exactly when things start to become a bit more complicated.

I happen to be a fan of Maslow: his work reached far beyond the hierarchy of needs and included the foundations for the Humanistic Psychology movement of the 60’s and 70’s, that I joined as a young student. He turned the attention away from looking at people who were mentally ill in order to understand human personality, towards learning from people who were mentally well. That part of his work has had a huge impact on psychology, sociology and management. He deserves all the praise in the world for that. However, his pyramid is crumbling.

To speak about “belonging”, then “esteem”, and then self-actualization makes absolute sense in a culture that highly values individualism and performance, such as the US and its cultural peers (UK, Canada, Australia). Yet, when we look at cultures that value collectivism, the picture changes a bit.

Mind you, it might very well be that Maslow himself was aware of this; he was a sensitive and worldly person. Unfortunately he has passed away in 1970, so we cannot ask him to comment. He never got to know Hofstede’s research on culture values and their impact on how people perceive and assess the reality around them.

We can now see that in collectivistic cultures the emphasis on belonging to groups and maintaining loyalty to them during your whole life is much stronger than in individualistic societies. In collectivistic cultures it is all about “we” and group opinions are more important than individual opinions. Confrontations and conflicts are avoided.

The need for esteem is quite different in “caring” cultures (like Scandinavia and The Netherlands) than in performance-oriented cultures like Japan, Germany, the US and China. In the US, where Maslow was born and raised, esteem centers around self-esteem. It is certainly natural that once you have the need for belonging satisfied, you move to satisfy your emerging need for esteem. Specially in the US, esteem centers around self-esteem. Your individual responsibility is more important than the groups you belong to, so the precedence of “belonging” to “esteem” could be questioned. Also, esteem is obtained through standing out among your peers, gaining status through performance. Winners are admired, so self-esteem is reinforced by the admiration of others. The sense of belonging, however, seems to be less important.

In Scandinavian cultures, standing out is frowned upon; performance does not drive self-esteem. It is driven by a sense of autonomy and independence, most often not focused on performance, but rather on the ability to enjoy a better quality of life. Winners are often seen with suspicion; there is more sympathy for the underdogs and the less fortunate. Success is considered to be largely a function of luck, rather than capability.

Therefore, the pyramid might have a different order of needs, on the higher levels, depending on culture. The needs have a different way of manifesting themselves and people seek to satisfy them in very different ways. Priorities are different and the hierarchy of needs is different. 

At the very top of the pyramid, we find other differences as well. The very concept of “self-actualization” seems almost incomprehensible in collectivistic societies where your duties to your family, to your elders and to society are much more valued than the actualization of your individual potential. In some Asian cultures, people may never seek “self-actualization”, but rather they seek to “lose the sense of self” in order to blend in with the universe and to reach Nirvana. In China self-actualization is seen as selfish. Actualizing your potential is interpreted as fulfilling your duty towards your family and your “guanxi”(life-long networks of friends). Is that different from the need for belonging, placed at the third level of the pyramid?

The question that needs to be addressed is: “what are the underlying values supporting this (and any) concept?” We all have cultural biases of which we are seldom aware. We need mirrors provided by people from different cultures in order to become aware of our bias. Maslow and his early followers all lacked such mirrors in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, because the concept of culture differences was hardly tangible in those days.

Paramount pictures

Management models such as Michael Porter’s “competitive advantage”, or Tom Peters’ “Excellent Organizations” have also quite strong culture biases. They are paramount pictures in the American culture, but not necessarily elsewhere. Some things get lost in translation, but it’s not just a matter of translation. Even a well-translated concept may simply not apply to a different culture because the environment is completely different from a sociological point of view.

Porter’s ideas fit very well in cultures that are very competition-oriented, such as the US, UK and other Anglo-Saxon societies. However, there are cultures which are more collaboration-based rather than competition-based. In these cultures, companies are not focused on competitive advantage, they are focused on coexisting in harmony and seeking to better understand client needs. Competition is such an important aspect of doing business in Anglo-Saxon cultures that it may distract companies from their main purpose, which is actually… providing services and products to clients!

It is no coincidence that focusing on the client’s focus (rather than focusing on the client), as is often stressed by José Carlos Teixeira Moreira from the Escola de Marketing Industrial (a business school) in São Paulo, is a concept developed in a collectivistic culture such as Brazil. In collectivistic cultures communication is more receiver-oriented rather than sender-oriented. In such societies people grow up with a greater attention to other people’s perspectives, rather than their own; there is more sensitivity to non-verbal messages, to reading between the lines and to trying to understand other people’s thoughts and feelings, in order to better deal with relationships. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is easier to do in marketing terms, in Brazil, than it is in Northern Europe or North America, where individualistic values predominate. Naturally, this affects the type of models and concepts used in marketing, in management and in doing business in general.

When Tom Peters writes and leads workshops about “The Search of Excellence”, the first thing he mentions is that excellent companies all have one thing it common: a bias for action. Peters failed to see that this is true of his own culture, which values action rather than reflection or elaborate planning. Therefore, the bias for action is true for companies operating in America and in similar cultures. However, the bias for action is regarded as acting irresponsibly in cultures with a high Uncertainty Avoidance index, such as Germany, France or Japan. These cultures consider that if you act too quickly, you make too many mistakes.

Getting people to act fast in the US is easy; everybody has been raised with a favorable bias towards that and they quickly become energized and motivated by suggestions of “a little less conversation, a little more action”. Doing the same in Germany or Japan is much more difficult! People have learned that action should be preceded by careful planning and analysis. They believe that it is more important to take your time in aiming, and only firing when you are confident that you can hit the target. Conversely, in the US it is about being quick on the trigger and firing first.

In Brazil many people have an idealized impression about the United States. They tend to think that whatever works in New York will work just as well in São Paulo. Well, it ain’t necessarily so…  Things that work in the US do so because they are consistent with that culture. Will it work just as well in Brazil? Maybe. Ask yourself what are the key aspects of what you are looking at. Ask yourself whether these key aspects will be consistent with the Brazilian culture or whether they are likely to clash with it.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Whenever we encounter a business model, a concept or a framework that is presented as “universal” we would do well to question its origin and the cultural values it is based on. In analyzing the validity of models it is not enough to ask about its logic; we need to ask about whether that logic will hold true for any kind of environment and not only for the environment in which it was created.

Maslow’s Pyramid initially seemed to fit any kind of environment. This is largely because most of the western cultures’ graduate programs have a strong influence exerted by Anglo-Saxon ideas; when another idea comes along and it fits the concepts we’ve been hearing at school, we think that it must be true. However, it may not be consistent with the real world outside our universities’ walls! In the real world people’s behaviors are determined by the values they’ve learned at home, in primary school and in the community when they were children. The real world’s values are not determined by university professors who teach using foreign books as a base.

If we want to study people’s motivation and behavior, there is nothing better than going out and talking to simple  people. Try to learn from what small businesses are doing, try to learn from entrepreneurs who have been successful operating simple organizations in a small scale, in unsophisticated environments. This will give you fantastic insights about what people really need, what motivates them, what drives their behavior. Therein lie numerous opportunities to understand your potential clients and to offer them what they actually need. You can deliver true value, as judged by your clients, for which they will gladly pay you generously.

Ouviram do Ipiranga as margens plácidas

Pois é… As margens plácidas do Ipiranga não estão mais lá; ele foi canalizado e enterrado sob toneladas de concreto, aquele concreto que impede a absorção natural das chuvas e provoca enchentes. O progresso é importante, mas pode e deve ser sustentável. Dá pra fazer isso tudo de um modo diferente e mais integrado.

De um povo heroico o brado retumbante

O brasileiro é um povo heroico, sem dúvida. Trabalha muito, luta contra a falta de infraestrutura, a falta de educação, segurança e saúde, batalha para que seus filhos tenham uma vida melhor. E o brado retumbante está aí, reverberando por toda a nação e pelo mundo. Até o Valcke (Secretário Geral da FIFA) ouviu.

E o sol da liberdade em raios fúlgidos

O sol da nossa liberdade tem, realmente, raios fúlgidos. Às vezes desaparece, encoberto por nuvens, tremula devido à poluição. Nossa liberdade tem sido fugidia: em certos períodos nos foi roubada. Quando, finalmente, elegemos governos que garantiam ser honestos (diferente dos outros) e justos para a população (diferente dos outros), o que se viu não foi diferente dos outros. Nunca antes nesse País se viu tanta corrupção e incompetência. O governo que prometeu nos libertar, jogou a polícia de choque contra um povo, com uma violência de fazer inveja a qualquer ditadura militar…

Brilhou no céu da Pátria nesse instante

O sol da liberdade está brilhando nesse instante, nas noites de Brasília, do Rio, São Paulo, Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Florianópolis… Mas apenas nesse instante. O que fazer para que esse sol seja perene e sustentável?

Se o penhor dessa igualdade

Mas, “de que igualdade me hablas?” Não temos igualdade no Brasil. Ela ficou na promessa do Joaquim (autor da letra do hino). Continua na promessa dos políticos e na nossa ilusão. Se queremos igualdade, ela precisa começar em casa, na família, entre marido e mulher, na maneira de tratar os filhos, na maneira de tratar quem é diferente de nós ou pensa diferente de nós. Igualdade já!

Conseguimos conquistar com braço forte

Em 1822, não houve braço forte. A independência foi um “jeitinho” luso-brasileiro, sem lutas, para garantir que o País ficasse na família, imitando o Sarney no Maranhão. O penhor da nossa igualdade ainda precisaremos conquistar com braço forte. Porém, como disse antes, a igualdade começa em casa.

Em teu seio, ó Liberdade

É ótimo estar no seio da Liberdade (os japoneses de São Paulo concordam) mas sem esquecer que a liberdade termina onde começa o direito do próximo (mais ou menos na altura da Aclimação), que merece respeito. Nada de abusar do seio da Liberdade.

Desafia o nosso peito a própria morte

Estamos vendo isso nos protestos agora: manifestantes atropelados, espancados, sujeitos a tiros (com balas de borracha e de chumbo), gás lacrimogêneo, spray de pimenta. E com o aumento da violência do Estado, aumenta o movimento desafiando a própria morte.

Ó Pátria amada, idolatrada, Salve! Salve!

Tudo por amor a essa terra. É emocionante ver o patriotismo brasileiro, a nossa terra é realmente idolatrada. Mas quem precisa salvá-la somos nós. Não adianta “delegar pra cima” para um político que se apresenta como “salvador da pátria”. O salvador é você. Não é nem Jesus, nem Maomé, nem Deus. Afinal de contas, “Deus está dentro de ti!” O salvador é você.

Brasil, um sonho intenso, um raio vívido,

Somos o País do sonho, sim, adoramos sonhar e isso é muito bonito… Os sonhos inspiram e emocionam, mas precisamos também agir, se não o sonho vira pesadelo. Vamos tornar nossos sonhos realidade e sonhar novos sonhos ainda melhores.

De amor e de esperança à terra desce,

O Brasil é o País da esperança, a última que morre, a que nos permite suportar a injustiça e a iniquidade. Mas esperar cansa, também chega de esperança!
Precisamos de chegança. É hora de usar esse amor para fazer um País de verdade, de realidade.

Se em teu formoso céu, risonho e límpido,

A imagem do Cruzeiro resplandece.

O céu formoso não é mais “céu de brigadeiro”: tem poluição, tem greve de controladores aéreos, tem caos aéreo. Precisamos cuidar dos nossos céus também. Eles precisam do nosso amor e carinho, da nossa consciência ambiental, da nossa cidadania, da nossa responsabilidade. A Infraero é uma vergonha. E pra quem chegou agora: o “cruzeiro” não é a moeda falida que já tivemos, é o Cruzeiro do Sul, a constelação de estrelas que pode nos servir de guia.

Gigante pela própria natureza,

O gigante acordou, e acordou de mau humor… Agora precisamos usar esse tamanho todo e essa natureza toda para fazer um País que seja grande não apenas em tamanho geográfico, mas em valores humanos, em justiça e igualdade.

És belo, és forte, impávido colosso,

Chega de ser impávido diante da corrupção e da impunidade! Podemos fazer com que esse gigante deixe de ser belo e forte para poucos e passe a ser justo para todos.

E o teu futuro espelha essa grandeza.

O futuro fu… Deu no que tinha que dar: povo na rua, querendo mudanças já! Se a elite não entrar no bloco, vai ser imolada. Parem de se olhar no espelho, na academia, e tratem de engrossar o bloco da mudança, que a coisa vai engrossar! E os professores catedráticos universitários também: parem de se olhar no espelho, na (outra) Academia e venham praticar a teoria, que sem prática nada seria.

Terra adorada

Entre outras mil

És tu, Brasil,

Ó Pátria amada!

Sem esquecer das outras mil: o Brasil tem sido muito isolado, como povo: vamos olhar pra fora do País também. Ser a oitava economia do mundo significa assumir responsabilidades internacionais, acolher imigrantes e exportar conhecimento. Amamos o Brasil, mas não estamos isolados no mundo. Temos algo a fazer também em outros lugares para promover a paz, a justiça social e a sustentabilidade. O mundo não termina na esquina.

Dos filhos deste solo

És mãe gentil,

Pátria amada,

Linda e enganadora frase… O Brasil é uma mãe que tem muitos safados pendurados nas suas tetas. Essa mãe gentil tem seus pecados (e graves): passa a mão por cima da corrupção, dos crimes, da impunidade… Não somos mais crianças. Chegamos à idade do desmame. Aos quase duzentos anos, já era tempo! Vamos cuidar da nossa mãe com amor, mas agora é nossa vez de sustenta-la, ela que por tanto tempo nos sustentou. Eu saí de casa e continuo visitando a mãe Brasil com frequência, zelando por ela. Cada um precisa fazer o que pode. Está na hora de retribuir e fazer um País do jeito que nossos filhos merecem.

%d bloggers like this: