Allow me to contextualize this text before we actually go into its subject. This entry reflects some of my thoughts about Brazilian society. If you’re not Brazilian, but you’re interested in knowing about different cultures, it might be appealing to you, and that’s why I’ve decided to translate it.
What motivated me to write this was an event on the message board dedicated to movies which I take part on (it’s called Fórum Cinema em Cena, and it’s in Portuguese). A few members of this message board came up with a game, and this game got quite popular. Naturally, having been created from scratch, it had to evolve as it went on. From time to time, a new rule would be created by the inventors of the game. Eventually, someone questioned the amount of rules. Unfortunately, though, all these regulations were actually necessary, because certain behaviors threatened to disrupt the game, and therefore jeopardize others. Each time that happened, there came a new rule.
All this may seem trivial, and yet it reflects a very big problem in Brazil: people don’t bring good judgment or politeness to their daily lives. And when that happens systematically, society’s response is to create more and more complex structures to deal with the problems that arise. Brazil has a gazillion laws. We have two polices in each state, plus a federal police, several branches of public administration dedicated to investigating and supervising whatever is done, and then some to supervise the supervisors, and it still doesn’t work and people still get the feeling there should be more.
I know I tend to be idealistic – and as I continue to write in English, you’ll notice that about me – but I believe that any civilization works better for everyone if its people are committed to principles. Be it in traffic, drinking with friends, walking down the street, taking the dog for a walk or just taking part in a silly internet game, one must keep in mind that “what I want” or “what I need” don’t take precedence anymore. Once outside your house (even if you’re virtually out, on the internet), you need to realize that you’ve just joined society, this magical entity in which everyone has rights but also obligations.
From my perspective, Brazil’s situation is really bad when it comes to this. We still have a long way to go before reaching acceptable levels of civility. Then again, it could be worse. In Ciudad del Este – a Paraguayan city on the border, next to the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu – elevators have signs asking people not to urinate there. In case it ever comes to this in Brazil, is there room for me in your country?
Para ler este texto em português, clique aqui.