I get why Brazilians are annoyed with their government. I get, at least a small portion, of what is happening here and that it is very serious. People in high places are stealing money that should go to the very VERY basic needs of a large portion of the population, not to mention many other issues. Brazilians should be pissed.
That said, I think it is also time for Brazilians to take a moment and look at themselves. Any citizen battling their government on ethical grounds needs to turn around and check out their own reflection. What kind of ethical foundation do they have?
I have the perfect example of why Brazilians need to take a long look at themselves, after they take a peek at the definition of hypocrisy.
The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess.
I imagine this line of thinking isn’t going to be super popular with my Brazilian readers. Fair enough since being called a hypocrite isn’t the easiest pill to swallow. Trust me, I’m an American. Not only do we get called a ton of names, the women of our nation are evidently known for an activity requiring mad swallowing skills .
Anyway, I have a simple example that I hope will explain my point: Brazilian Drivers. Brazilians love to bitch about how other Brazilians drive, how driving when traveling abroad is amazing, and how no one respects driving laws in Brazil. The complaints are double when you are walking with fellow Brazilian pedestrians. People yell at cars that run red lights, that stop over crosswalks, and people who park in front of ramps or entrances just to name a few.
I totally get it, it is annoying and wrong.
But they are missing one piece of the puzzle, the Brazilian pedestrian. Brazilian pedestrians are trying to not be hit by cars… while they are attempting to jaywalk.
While any Brazilian will complain about the lack of respect for pedestrians, where are pedestrians’ respect for cars and their drivers?! You get pissed when someone almost hits you, but you really shouldn’t if you are halfway into the street when the light is green, or even yellow.
That is how Brazilians treat their system. They get pissed that the government isn’t “certinho”, or doing things correctly, and yet they don’t hold themselves to the same standard. Brazilians are constantly looking for jeitinhos, literally translated as knack, but it basically means a loophole, that will make their lives easier.
It shows up in all parts of daily life in Brazil. It could be paying your repairman on the side because he offers to charge you less than his company, the one you originally hired. You lie to his company, say you refused their service, and save a hundred or so reais, and he makes a hundred or so reais more.
Everyone wins right? Well, not quite everyone. The company doesn’t win. If you really think about it, people who do that may be why they have to charge so much in the first place. This is only the tip of the iceberg, seeing that this kind of mentality seeps into other things. People cheat on taxes, steal utilities, contact “friends” so they can jump the appointment line at places like the federal police, cut corners when it comes to hiring to save on taxes, and much more.
My point is, if as a citizen you can’t enforce and follow the laws in your own community, why do they think the government can do it as a whole, especially seeing that they are attempting to do it with citizens such as yourselves?
My friend said it perfectly when mediating between Mr Rant and I. She knowingly asked what was the consistent factor in this issue. The answer: me.
Various parties have held the office of the presidency in Brazil, and we have also had a dictatorship if we are going to list governmental changes. So what has been consistent? The Brazilian people. Kind of makes you wonder if change has a better chance of happening with a group chanting in a plaza, or with each person starting at home. You tell me.