Yes, I know the title is pretensions and ambitious, but I actually have some examples to prove my point so bear with me.
Brazil is not a great nation for two reasons:
Brazilians do not consider it a nation.
Brazilians do not consider it their nation.
Yes, I also know that Brazilians have to be cut some slack because they are making lots of efforts, but its much, much deeper than that. I will illustrate my philosophy with examples that are all 100% true and witnessed in person.
1. In an outdoor birthday party in a country club, everyone, and I mean everyone, simply threw their paper cups and napkins on the lovely lawn, and left their used plates on the ground, next to their seats or on tables.
2. A Facebook group is trying to collect signatures to force the authorities to create strict laws against drunk driving. This country has millions of Facebook users. They need 1 million signatures and have, after 2 years, only collected 400,000. This can only mean two things: Brazilians know they are drinking and driving and will do nothing about it until someone in their family dies in a car crash (causing someone´s death is obviously not important), or their children are drinking and driving and they have no intention of stopping them. Police apprehensions of people driving without a license have gone up 80%!
3. A Facebook page is trying to collect signatures to fight corruption, they aren´t even close to the 1 million and never will be. The reasons can only be that Brazilians still consider corruption acceptable or admirable or that they are corrupt or corruptible in some way, maybe at work.
4. The presidential party (ruling party) is currently being investigated for corruption in one of the biggest political scandals and trials in the history of Brazil. The same party has majority of voters in São Paulo, a city that never voted for this party.
5. During the election campaigns, litter left by candidates in the streets was so bad that a woman actually tripped on the pamphlets and died. My town looked like an atomic bomb had hit it. If politicians are willing to treat their city that way, how can they deserve our vote?
6. The city or town hall says that each individual is responsible for his or her pavement. Yes, this means that if you fall into a hole in the street, the house or building that is directly in front of that hole is responsible for your injuries. On the same token, the pavements that are in front of properties that belong to the town or city hall are always the worst in the city or town, sometimes causing serious pedestrian accidents almost every day.
7. Every day, at school in and out time, a police car has to stop at the pedestrian crossing in front of the school (in my town) so that kids can cross the street. If the policeman does not force cars to stop, they do not stop and the kids cannot cross. If the law says you have to stop when someone stands at a crossing, who is enforcing that law?
8. When you visit Ilhéus, the Princess of the North-East, in Bahia, you sit in the beach and have to dodge buried nappies, food and plastic cups. Trucks simply dump all their rubble in the beaches. One individual actually tried to create a movement, but she asked all the members to organize the protests so the movement became obsolete. Politicians in Ilhéus have been promising the construction of a new bridge for almost 6 years. Candidates get elected govern and leave, and no one builds the bridge.
9. Luxury stores in Paris have to hire Brazilian sales staff (not Portuguese, Brazilian) because if the saleswomen does not treat clients in a certain way, they do not enter the shop. It´s not arrogance, it´s lack of self-confidence and she has to know what handbag “Carminha” in Avenida Brasil was using to be able to sell them a Chanel bag just like hers.
10. In carnival in Salvador, Bahia, they installed hundreds of chemical toilets that were stolen or vandalized. The organizers concluded that “people (o povo) are not ready for these things”. In carnival in Rio, people left so much litter in the beach that it became news and an example used for littering campaigns.
11. In a protest held in Rio (Rio!) to support the “mensalão” the huge political trial going on in Brazil right now, 40 people participated. Now, in this year´s Gay Parade….
I could go on, and on and on forever with these examples. My conclusion is that Brazilians simply do not care about Brazil. They do not love their own country as a nation of equals who have the same needs, rights and duties. No one is held accountable and no one is punished. Everything simply dissolves into nothing, which they call “pizza”. It´s no longer a joke. It´s just not funny anymore. If we, yes I include myself although I am the only one who stops at the bloody crossing, do not start embracing our country as a nation and defending the rights of all its citizens, we will not only be isolated from the world, but from our own people. Finger pointing is not the solution. We have to look at ourselves first.
Now, let´s sit back and see what happens in the Olympic Games and the World Cup. Then maybe Brazil will wake up and fight or come together as a nation.