World

what's right with the world

Ao menos por um dia vale a pena ignorar o que há de errado com o mundo para se ater ao que há de certo, de bom, de verdadeiro, de divino.
At least for a day it’s worth ignoring what’s wrong with the world to stick to what’s right, good , of true, of divine.

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25101113I had been coming for at least a decade of political, economic, religious, philosophical and psychological readings that insisted on showing me the problems of the world. In apocalyptic times, this is an editorial lode that thrives. For some reason, each author seems today to take on the responsibility of pointing the finger at something that is wrong.

For me, the broth started to spill when I read “Straw Dogs” by John Gray. Do not misunderstand me; as little as I remember, the book is great. Well written and such. But something there bothered me. And it didn’t help that I next tried to “take a break” by reading “What’s Wrong with the World” by Chesterton.

I only know that one day I got tired of just sticking to disagreements. What bothers you. To what is seen as wrong and which is sometimes the product of carelessness, sometimes of bad intention. These crooked things are all out there, in words, actions and objects. But why do we tend to look only 25101113 at the what’s wrong? Why not take a peek, even once in a while, at everything that’s right 25101113in the world?

Then I remembered that today Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Of all the good 25101113 things that we insist on not import from the United States, this is the one that intrigues me the most. After all, just yesterday there were little wizards and little vampires knocking on my door looking for sweets. Nothing against Halloween. I myself had awful fun (pun intended) carving a pumpkin. But why not mind this absolutely admirable gesture of bringing the family together once a year just to say thanks?

The curmudgeons will say there is nothing to be thankful for. That the world is horrible. Look at the PEC of the Precatório, Paulo! There are people going hungry! Didn’t you see the teacher who was encouraging kids to kiss? Take a walk around: there’s death, rape, domestic violence, racism. The Uighurs are being chased, man! Not to mention Netflix’s latest sealing release.

Yeah, me know. Oh, if I know! The world has things wrong a lot. But if you stop to think (and see) a little bit, it doesn’t even have to be for a whole day, you’ll realize that the world has more things right than wrong. I am so sure of this that I plan to write a book about it. And the very ease with which one can write, publish and distribute a book these days is proof that we live in a world and a time that may not be perfect (they aren’t), but which is wonderful – if you know how to contemplate it.

Ah, but what about the decay of Western Civilization? – someone will ask me. What about progressivism? And the gender dysphoria epidemic? And the politicization of everything? And the knocking down of statues? And Lula’s return? And the attack on Judeo-Christian values?

25101113Calm down. As I said, if you look around you will see a lot of bad things. A bunch of problems and, for each of them, a book and an indignant article pointing out what’s wrong with the world. But if you change the little key, you’ll also notice a lot of good things. On my street, for example, there is a Catholic institution that offers food to beggars. Every day I find myself thinking about the suffering and life choices of those people. Why not think of the selflessness, generosity and patience of the nuns who daily deal with dirty, drugged and drunk men?

There is, in fact, a lot of noise, a lot of trickery, a lot of Machiavellianism out there. Much… evil! But for every wrongdoing story there are also one or more stories that go in the opposite direction. For every insult you see on social media, for example, but several other people who, even disagreeing, preferred respectful silence. For every stupid decision of the Judiciary there are thousands of morally and legally correct decisions. For every movie/series/book full of proselytizing there are countless movies/series/books available at the touch of half a dozen buttons. And so on.

Too Panglossian, this text? Perhaps. But I have no problem playing Pangloss for at least one day a year. Look around you. You probably live in a house with running water, sleep in a soft bed, have a plentiful fridge (despite the price of meat) and so much technology at your disposal that you don’t even have time to use all the little gadgets. You have friends, and maybe you have thousands of acquaintances with whom you can instantly exchange ideas.

Not to mention the main reason to thank yourself not only today, but every day. That reason I hesitate to mention so I don’t fall into fussiness, but oops, calm down, I’ve just stumbled here in a puddle of viscous melancholy and, when I found myself, my head was already sunk in sentimentality. And now there’s no going back.

I’m talking about your life. From the simple fact that your heart is beating, your lungs are inflating, your tiny mitochondria are in an uproar, releasing energy that will be properly transformed into the divine synapses that allow you to decode the signals on your computer screen and, almost miraculously, understand this message.

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