- José de Paiva Netto*, journalist, radio broadcaster and writer. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will.
Twenty years ago at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Legion of Good Will (LBV) presented its proposal for creating a sustainable world from an ecological and ethical point of view: educate, re-educate, instruct, and spiritualize on the road to Peace. This leads to the survival of creatures, nations, Nature, and the planet.
We cannot make progress by destroying the world, our collective home, because of ignorance. There can be no long life in development that annihilates the habitat itself and its dwellers. This is nonsense marked by a lack of not only intellectual information but also, and mainly, of moral and spiritual knowledge.
- Foto: Arquivo BV
In the historic conference, an inspiring image went around the world: a group with some of the children assisted by the Legion of Good Will in Rio de Janeiro surrounding in a hopeful embrace the Tree of Life, the symbol of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Two decades later, many of those little ones, driven by the Pedagogy of Affection and the Ecumenical Citizen Pedagogy—and allowing the seed of that memorable encounter to germinate in their hearts—, have become adults bearing a resolute socio-environmental awareness. This is a simple example in the midst of such complex discussions worldwide. Children who are well schooled in issues of the environment will be future leaders, businesspeople, economists, doctors, operatives, scientists, citizens, in short, people to promote a sustainable development in the most different areas, whereas they will be, above all, ethical, solidary, and brotherly.
Also in the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Legion of Good Will launched the campaign “Human beings are animals too. Protect the Brazilian children”
. French oceanographer and explorer Jacques Cousteau
(1910-1997), reverently welcomed by those attending the 1992 Summit, voiced his support after being acquainted with the LBV’s initiative:“If we do not care for children, then discussing the ecological problem is worthless.”
The Secretary-General of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Maurice Strong
, also emphasized:“I agree with this campaign of the LBV. I hope that the most important decisions made here can have greater support, new energy and productivity so that children from Brazil and all over the world can have new opportunities.”
- Foto: Roberto Stuckert Filho/Abr
- President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff
Our greetings and best wishes for a huge success to the hostess of the challenging Rio+20 Conference, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff
, as well as the distinguished Heads of State, their entourages attending the meeting and civil society representatives.
Let us accept, with determination, the invitation to the event and be aware of the urgent need to put aside all theories and join forces, establish partnerships, and correct our errors. After all, we are on Earth. It is our only dwelling place! This requires that we become truly ecumenical, i.e. planetary, globalized citizens fighting for the common Good. Without this kind of conduct, globalization may become dangerous.Environmental changes and its corollaries
Over more than 56 years of work in the field of Goodwill, respecting this world and its greatest creation, the human beings, who we all are, I have had the opportunity to talk about environmental issues and its corollaries in interviews, speeches, lectures, radio and television programs, books, articles, etc.
On one of these opportunities, on October 10, 1981, in an interview I gave to the Italian journalist resident in Brazil Paulo Parisi Rappoccio
, I talked about the urgent need to illuminate capitalism with the light of the moral, ethical spirit of Charity, which comes from
God—meaning Love, Justice in Truth, and Mercy—, so that the imprudent craving for capital, in other words, corruption and greed, does not destroy, shall we say, democracy that has been consolidated in some places and is beginning in others.
[This “shall we say”, I added on purpose in case someone says:“There they have democracy...”
However, so many crimes are perpetrated “there” against the spirit of democracy that you think: “But is that it?!”
Nevertheless, as Churchill
(1874-1965) used to say:“Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
On the contrary, we shall continue to witness, horrified, the denial of the right to freedom, to life, to healthcare, to study, to employment, and to happiness of multitudes that dared to be born
.We are complementary beings
- Foto: Arquivo BV
- The area reserved for the LBV in the Global Forum attracted the attention of the public and became known as “Christ’s Booth”, precisely because of the emphasis the Organization gives to the brotherly and ecumenical message of Jesus, for believing that values like Solidarity, Respect, and Love are of utmost importance when it comes to consolidating a better world.
And here is yet another example of excellent politics. It is the measure taken to educate, re-educate, instruct, and spiritualize on the road to Peace, resulting from the fellowship of the numerous cultures that form civilization, which in itself is one, planetary (...). We have a lot to learn from each other, human beings and nations, instead of slaughtering one another. A policy, therefore, of convergence to Brotherhood in international relations must be adopted in which, for instance, sport and concerns with the environment should have an effective participation in life and in the development of people and of countries. We are complementary beings
. One day this reality must be understood as well as experienced in an effective and solidary way. If not, what may happen to Humanity will be the kingdom of hatred, a conscious and imprudent extermination practiced throughout the whole planet, with rare exceptions that are likely to happen, because there is always a solution when there is Goodwill and, consequently, the ecumenism of Peace in the hearts.The desert of the Romans
Talking to Portuguese journalist Ana Serra
in 2008, at the launch of my book Reflexões da Alma
[Reflections of the Soul] in the land of Camões, I pondered: Monetary capital has been enthroned in the world and what I call the Capital of God
, which is precisely human beings and their Eternal Spirit, has been forgotten.
[Or the Eternal Spirit of human beings, because the Soul, our divine part, is more important than everything. It precedes the body.]
The Soul that preexists the formation of the body is, although some people do not know this, the core of Economy, the most spiritual of the sciences
, as I argued during an interview to the Folha de S.Paulo
newspaper in 1982.
[The Spirit anticipated the formation of the body, in the same way that in the big bang—which created the Universe, according to modern physics—energy preceded matter.]
In Reflections of the Soul
I also write about the “progress of destruction”, promoted by those who are instigated by the greed to win at any price and do not realize that they put at risk themselves, their family, their homeland, and the world as we know nowadays. Resounding around the planet is also the warning from Tacitus
(AD 55-120), originally applied to the Romans because of the devastation caused to Carthage:“Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.” (They create desolation and call it peace.)
Exactly, because the sons of Rome razed Carthage to the ground. And this is what these mad people are doing to Mother Earth these days.The right attitude policy
Returning to the interview I gave to veteran journalist Parisi in 1981, it is necessary, therefore, to warn Mankind. Managing one’s own home, entities, companies, and nations is keeping ahead of the game
. In other words, it is trying to prepare for happenings by adopting a determined and effective attitude, avoiding difficulties or even correcting the course of things given the foreseeable risks regardless of time or place.Much can be learned from our fellow beings
Never has it been so indispensable as now to join efforts of ecologists and their detractors, as well as of workers, entrepreneurs, economists, professionals of print and broadcast media (and now I also cite the Internet), union leaders, politicians, soldiers, lawyers, scientists, religious, skeptics, atheists, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, artists, actors, sportspeople, teachers, professors, doctors, students or not (even though our desire is that everyone receives schooling), housewives, heads of households, barbers and hairdressers, manicurists, taxi drivers, street sweepers, among other segments of society in the fight against hunger and for the preservation of Life on the planet. The subject has become dramatic and its prospects tragic. For the same reasons, it is urgent to strengthen an ecumenism that crosses barriers, appeases hatred, promotes an exchange of experience that instigates global creativity
, corroborating the value of socio-humanitarian cooperation among partnerships
as in popular cooperatives where women are also strongly present
, highlighting the fact that they are completely against waste. There is really a lot to learn from each other. The opposite of that is undoubtedly the path of violence, brutality, wars, which have invaded homes around the globe.Summarizing:
Once we reach no arrogance or prejudice, there shall always be something to assimilate from all the components of this great Noah’s Ark, which is the world.
* * *Strivers
My sisters, my brothers, and my friends, I end this message—which I have humbly directed to all of you who honor me with your attention—with extracts from my new book Jesus, o Profeta Divino
[Jesus, the Divine Prophet]:
So that our planet may survive the effects of so much greed over the centuries, let the truth be told, we have seen notable efforts by researchers and citizens engaged in improving the quality of life throughout the whole world. Allied to initiatives that seek healthy eating by way of organic agriculture, alternative means of transportation and environment protection, recycling, adequate waste treatment, and the use of rainwater, excellent works being developed by scientists and other scholars promise good results in the short and long-term. For example, research is intense in the energy area, above all in relation to renewable and clean sources: biofuel, biomass, blue energy, geothermal energy, hydraulic energy, hydropower, solar energy, tidal energy, wave energy, and wind energy, in addition to other objects of study that are little known and those that we do not yet know and that one day they will be discovered. Faith is the fuel of Good Deeds
.“Don’t throw in the towel”
I highlight the militant effort towards the environmental cause made by serious and active government entities and civil society organizations in Brazil and throughout the world, by multitudes of idealists who “haven’t thrown in the towel” and still continue in the front line battling for a truly better planet.
Our call is this: Educate. Conserve. Survive. Humanly we are also Nature
* José de Paiva Netto, journalist, radio broadcaster, writer, composer and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), an effective member of theAssociação Brasileira de Imprensa (ABI) [Brazilian Press Association], of the Associação Brasileira de Imprensa Internacional (ABI Inter) [Brazilian International Press Association], of the Federação Nacional dos Jornalistas (FENAJ) [National Federation of Journalists], of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), of the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, of the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, of the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro and of the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil.