November 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil people always refer to each other as sir and ma’am and somehow it doesn’t feel stuffy but it feels respectful.  People often also say: “Stay with God” – literal translation – and as I’ve shared before my views on the existence of God veer more to human and scientific, but I still like to hear “stay with God”, because it means that person is wishing me well in the most profound way that he or she can.

Some other nice things in Rio: clapping when the sun sets on the beach, and when the moon comes up. Massage on the beach, fresh coconuts, and lots of friendly faces.

One of the bad things that I’m reminded when I’m here is the entitlement of the wealthy.  Words like thank you are seldom used when the rich deals with the poor.  The “you work for me or I’m paying you” thinking precludes people from thanking others.   The centuries of a non-existing middle class also contributes to that type of behavior.  But things are changing in the socio-economic make up of Brazil.

I spend a lot of time observing my behavior and of others.  Maybe because I write so much, but observing teaches me a lot about humanity and if I’m diligent with taking steps I can affect changes in my own behavior and life.

Lately, I have really been thinking how often we misconstrue what other people mean and think.  I’ve learned that what is important is our own intention and goal.  What do I want to accomplish?  And then follow through with that without wondering why others are doing and thinking certain things and getting stuck in that.  It isn’t because we shouldn’t be concerned about others but because it is too hard to know the intentions of every person we have to interact with on a daily basis.  We also can’t please everyone, so if our intentions are good and we are clear we should aim for our goal.

I’ve also realized how fighting to feed and support my ego can really get in my way.  So much energy can be wasted by trying to prove that I know more, that I’m better than or any other thing like that.  What a waste.  Instead of being side tracked by proving something to someone, if I use that same energy to succeed and accomplish the result, that will be proof enough and without any stress.

This stay here in Rio, while I work on the production of a feature film, will be an interesting time for me to observe how much I actually have or not changed.  Anytime we go back to the place we were born and grew up in, it becomes clearer how much or little we have actually changed.  And I’ll be certainly sharing it all here.  Looking forward.