As may be expected of a blog, it is an ongoing affair. For the moment, we publish here three types of texts that suit the definition of a blog.
- in English: texts that Touché and Guy post with a certain regularity at LinkedIn.
- in Portuguese: contributions of Touché to Brasil com Z, a blog by expat Brazilians about the countries they emigrated to. The cooperation stopped some time ago, but Touché's texts are still interesting.
- in Portuguese, Dutch, English and even French: whenever we travel, we send newsletters to friends in several countries. At first, these messages appeared only in Portuguese, later a Dutch version was added, and in 2016 we were crazy enough to add a French and an English newsletter during our stays in New Zealand/Australia and Costa Rica. We will progressively post some of these travelogues, going back in time.
Note: the latest post is at the top. Use the menu at right or scroll down for older messages.
Touché at LinkedIn in 2018-1
You’ve had that experience. Or you’ve learned from reliable sources. You’ve proved to be competent in the matter, maybe even an expert. You are not looking for fame and glory, you don’t need it. You are not arrogant, you just know that you know and you are a helpful person, caring and helpful. And you feel happy to share your knowledge because you think this is fundamental for life. Sharing and giving support to those who need it are values you cherish and you act accordingly.
Sometimes people ask your advice, but you prefer to give suggestions instead. However, you are always open to listen to people’s projects, plans and dreams and try and help them find ways to make them come true. It is truly rewarding to receive a ‘thank you, I really appreciate your words’ and even better when you see your suggestion put into practice: it means you did something of importance for someone you care about, as you’re not going around distributing tips. The most idealistic ones do, but it is not your case: basically your concern is focused on the ones you love, you are not investing in your own future, your future is reality for you.
You are not snooping to know what is happening with them, no. What you get to know comes from them, the ones who also love you and tell you what’s going on. Many times this means they are wishing to move further in their lives but they are lost somewhere on the road and that is when you say ‘hey, maybe it would help if you did this and that?’ And why do you say so? Because they are walking well-known paths and the world is round… paths meet at some point. You know it, you know the ups and downs, the curves here and there and you give the picture where the alternatives are shown.
Great! Nice to have someone who listens and even better who points at possible solutions. I’ll keep you posted as I move with your good new ideas. Just wait. The results might be surprising!
And yes, the results are surprising, because you are a believer, you are open to surprises. Truth is, nothing happened since you talked. The person in question most probably just hasn’t taken any step to move on. People get stuck where they were from the beginning, they don’t even try. You feel sad and frustrated, not really understanding what that was all about. Why ask, if you don’t mean to act? Take care of yourself, dear. Maybe these people just need some distraction and telling you about their ideas serves the purpose. Don’t feel frustrated, especially don’t worry.
Just don’t waste your time, it’s not worth the trouble. Maybe, as a last favor, you can mention the excellent sentence (said by John Lennon among other famous people): Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. And don’t worry: they won’t listen anyway!
There is a saying: ‘leaders are born so’, words that can lead to two possible and opposite interpretations. At one side it brings hope to all parents who would dream of a sucessful life to their children. As ‘natural leaders’, no matter how limited their resources might be, their son/daughter will always find people who will recognize his/her special talents and opportunities for great carriers will come up in a... natural way.
Indeed there are stories of important people who did not need any special education on leadership just because their charisma was there to take them to the top. We know of some people who achieved power and/or fame without help of teachers. In fact, what is a teacher good for, right?… However, natural leaders are seldom to be found and in general when one of those is detected effective measures can make him/her silence in case he/she goes against some interests. Think of John Lennon. He was not only a famous singer but a charismatic leader. His lyrics were messages of love and protest against those who don’t love. Well, he got shot.
Then we have the ‘educated leaders’, those who are talented, yes, but not exactly the ones to be followed just because he/she is there. More and more we know of courses on leadership which attract those who want to go higher in their positions but need some kind of push, a market for leader teachers who can provide useful information on how to move to high positions. Here a question: why aren’t those teachers the CEOs of most companies?
The real point is: reaching a top position does not mean natural leadership unless the big boss has that sparkle that makes him/her be admired by the employees. It requires more than only technical lessons can offer. Those looking for a top job should have real talents to put such lessons in practice. It is always possible to be trained to become a manager, director or equivalent, but being a leader asks for shympathy for the followers. Leaders must understand what people need and be able to support them on their search for personal development. That is how societies move towards the future what clearly point to the ethics of those in leading positions.
Leadership comes from the heart, brave and courageous heart. People can become leaders as long as they are natural leaders. The rest is power. What is another story.
It should not be so, but it IS so. In most beautiful and/or not so beautiful places but attractive for any reasons, residents are getting a dubious feeling about the arrival of the touristic season. In the Northern countries it means... now. Spring is in the air and people are coming from everywhere changing the usual dynamics of the places they visit.
Tourism has become not only a profitable business but a very important channel for socialization. The cultural crossroads originated by tourism alter behavior and influence ways of thinking, which means establishing new parameters for whatever we may consider globalization. Traveling is always a movement towards the unknown, even when it is exclusively for working. Or maybe when it is for working?...???
Tourism is a new construction, a typical archetype of our era. Tourism as art, as work market, as form of education, and so many others, it has its representation in many fields in modern life. Undeniable fact, tourism is of crucial importance for changing the world. It should read: tourists are those who have a strong power to contribute for those changes therefore going around as visitors contains much more than just any bag or back pack can carry. Tourists bring influences and changes. This requires a sense of responsibility towards the people they will meet – or not – and the places they visit.
As visitors, tourists must show respect for the home of those they visit. No matter how much you care about your own place, the fact that you are not home must always be taken into consideration and never forgotten. Nobody likes being treated as slaves and attending tourists absolutely does not mean the obligation of accepting rude words and behaviors. Arrogance should be left home if you go around as tourists. You are a visitor, not an invader!
Unfortunately many tourists do act as barbarians and leave all types of marks behind which can vary from loud speaking in countries where this is not the habit, to effective damage to constructions and physical elements in the place. Those horrible people throw garbage everywhere and natural parks, woods, lakes, mountains, beaches, just name it, just any site with public access is used as trash deposits. When they leave these ‘souvenirs’ remain for the residents who will then have to work hard to keep their home places clean and organized as it used to be. They are a disturbance, unwelcome people and the money they spend, which obviously is important for the development causes sadness and anger to those who can’t avoid their presence. Relief is the word to define the feeling brought by their departure.
Vacations are here, there is much to see, loveliness to be experienced. Tourists should be thankful for this chance and behave as human beings, not as monsters.
Consider this: respect and care must be carried everywhere. They are light on your luggage.
Be a clean tourist! Help the world be a nice destination!
Sometimes it is so: life seems to have stopped inside and around us. For different reasons. Some that can be defined, some not. The world just does not feel like a place where we can see alternatives. We are tired of trying, we are sick, frustrated, please just leave me alone.
Outside the dark seems to have taken possession of the sky. Roads do not show any direction. Friends do not call and if they do we have no echo for these nice sounds.
We need a push, a new job, a ticket somewhere. New clothes maybe with other patterns than the ones we find in our wardrobe. The refrigerator only offers the same old flavors. Not even an extraordinary unknown author is able to bring a message of hope and excitement for the future.
This is the cycle of life. Underground and high in the sky and everywhere we can find new answers to old questions. It is not the meaning of life that brings unexpected light but how we open up to all wonders that are and have always been around. When we say, that’s enough, that’s the moment when new opportunities become real facts and not only the impossibility to make something awesome happen and be part of us.
It takes strength and determination, faith and perseverance but it is always worth trying to move on. Sometimes it looks as if the world has stopped, and the universe has decided to close down.
It is not so.
The world and the universe do not stop when we do.
Let’s open our windows and fly towards whatever is there for us.
The world does NOT stop.
And that is really great!!!
This personal text is based on the fact that I want to focus on the experience of being an immigrant, something I learned from my life, not from literature. If you ask me why I’m writing about immigration the reply is simple: this has become a ‘hot’ subject basically due to political decisions which constrain many people to quit their home countries in search for a place to stay alive.
Politics: some powerful people of a country destroy homes and cities far away. Politicians go for power and for more and more money. The price to pay, human lives, is not of their concern, period. On the other hand, the fact that so many people are loosing their homes originates the ethical question ‘where are they going to live now?’ and the answer seems to be ‘in rich countries, of course’.
Here a question: are political refugees ‘immigrants’? Well, this theme can lead to profound discussions and require a knowledge I don’t have. Moreover, fortunately I myself am not a political refugee. Here my story: I am an immigrant, a happy one. Not only because I left my home country for romantic reasons but even more significant, because I always believed immigrants are – we are – very fortunate people who get the possibility to live and learn from different cultures, what gives us the chance to have our horizons enlarged and our life enriched. So I think, so I live.
Objectively speaking we immigrate because it is OUR interest to do so, exceptions made for those who are so special and famous as to receive an invitation from another government/people to go live there. This case apart, we emigrate because we believe we can have a better life in another country. Being immigrants responds to our personal needs, reasons, decisions, wishes, dreams. And then there are the citizens of the country to where we move who are willing to help and support us in our integration process. They did not choose to have us around, we chose to have them, and our decision impacts their lives and culture. This I think should be the basics of the attitude of any immigrant: do the best to integrate. Not to act as royals who are entitled to rights and benefits but to be what we really are: foreigners in search of a better life.
When I express my gratitude to the new country that gives me this opportunity I am not doing anything extraordinary. On the contrary, I am just doing what is fair. And I dare say this has brought my new acquaintances to become friends and to make me feel really welcome.
Here my word to those who feel otherwise: being an immigrant is a gift you get from unknown people and you should not take this for granted. Thus be kind and grateful. Be respectful to their traditions and habits. Try and learn their language and to understand their ways to express themselves. This is fundamental for your integration.
This is my experience and I can say: I am a happy immigrant!
Give it a try. And enjoy the results. It works.
There is no need for art. Period. Our world requires scientists, technicians, experts who can solve all and any type of practical problems.
No. Definitely not. Totally wrong!
Make an abstraction of all artistic creations around you and think if life would be still liveable. Just everywhere and through time there are demonstrations that new conceptions of images, sounds, smells, anything perceivable by the senses but not necessarily resulting from intellectual studies are fundamental for our species.
Just take a look around the place where you are right now. If there is just anything, a tiny insignificant thing transmitting and causing an emotion and you can ‘feel’ something like a provocation leading to a thought, a reflexion or to the creation of your own ‘something’, then you have art around you. Suppose now that there are not only one of those challenging objects but some. This means that you are subject to diversify and move towards different thoughts, ideas and emotions because you are in a place where those particular ‘things’ are.
Now a quick exercise? Close your eyes and ears and even stop breathing for some minutes if you can. Dive into this place without its contents. Dive into emptiness. It is easier when you have walls around you because nature is full of sense temptations all the time. Forget nature then. It is you and empty rooms, empty walls, empty everything. And this is not only a place where you spend some hours but the whole world instead. Got the idea? Name all these disturbing things ‘art’ and picture yourself in a world without it. Done. The exercise? No, dear. Life itself. You’ve just entered the anti-life world.
There is no ‘use’ for art as well as there is no ‘need’ for artists. Art disturbs, artists raise polemic. High technological societies can do without artists and their crazy ideas. Wherever there is an artist expect to have arguments, troubles. Machines can well do their jobs effectively and without disrupting the calm of the environment even when they make some noise. Because they work and achieve results. What is then the good of having artists in any place? Specially in work places?
Well… maybe for a minor reason: because they create AIR. Doesn’t just anyone?
If you can’t think of a world without air then consider that art is what lets people breath.
Artists in a company can be very good company. Maybe not all members of a professional community have that great ‘artistic’ sparkle that brings special light to the working place but surely whenever art is around things become more exciting.
And artist can just be anyone who cares for making the world more interesting, challenging and appealing to those who are trying to build something... useful, if I may say so…