Example of Triumph

The world has been watching with anguish the drama of the Japanese people, victim of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on Friday (3/11), considered the worst to hit the country since records were first compiled at the end of the 19th century, according to the United States Geological Survey. The quake was followed by 10-meter waves that devastated entire communities in the northeast of the archipelago. Thousands of deaths are already being spoken of. Tsunami warnings were also issued for various coastal regions of the Pacific, including South America. As a consequence of the disaster, nuclear risk has become another serious concern for the Japanese authorities. More than 200,000 people were removed from areas close to the plants, such as Fukushima.

We Brazilians, who have a strong connection with Japan, are deeply grieved by the tragedy. We send our deepest prayers to those who died and solidarity to their family members, many of them certainly have relatives in Brazil.

We are speaking of a nation accustomed to facing problems resulting from severe geological conditions. The number of deaths was not greater thanks to the many preventive measures taken along the past decades.

In 1987, in my book Dialectics of Good Will – Reflections and Thoughts, I expressed my admiration towards the Japanese people and their capacity to overcome obstacles: it is during crises that great characters are forged and the most powerful nations emerge. Let’s take a look at Japan, a country isolated by some islands. It does not have oil. It imports most of the elements it needs to survive. It is said that the Japanese lost the war. However, I think they won it, because it was from that condition that they became a nation of international power. (...) You take a Japanese person, or a Japanese descendant, and give him, say, a quarry. From that he will make a productive farming appear. Why?! Because the effort to adapt to the lack of land on its islands led the Japanese people to overcome such restrictions and, despite lacking large areas of fertile land, they became insuperable farmers. And that is without speaking of the might of Japanese industry... This is why we should not flee from difficulties. We need to face them and transform them into victories. (...)

With this same triumphant spirit and the assistance of God, our Japanese brothers will forge on, developing even more advanced technologies to prevent such natural catastrophes. A model from which the planet could learn a lot from.

May the cherry trees—the symbol of happiness in Japan, and which we have planted at the LGW Educational Center in São Paulo in honor of such courageous people—bloom in better times for all!


The Portal www.boavontade.com has announced that Brasília is to be one of the venues for the 8th Solidary Society Network Multi-stakeholder Forum – 5th Innovation Fair in support to the Annual Ministerial Review of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six main organs of the United Nations. On March 30, in the federal capital, we will receive the illustrious presence of Mr. Andrei Abramov, Chief of the NGO Branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA).

Included in the agenda of the event—which runs from March 11 to April 1—are the cities of La Paz (Bolivia), Asuncion (Paraguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay) and, in Brazil, Londrina/PR, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Porto Alegre/RS, São Paulo/SP and Salvador/BA. Under the theme “Education for global development: a view beyond the intellect”, the forum will receive representatives from civil society organizations, companies, governments and universities. Sign up by e-mail at redesociedadesolidaria@lbv.org.br or call (+ 55 11) 3225-4743.

Applying the Pedagogy of Affection and the Ecumenical Citizen Pedagogy, the LGW schools contribute to the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—targets for social and environmental progress established in the year 2000 by the United Nations—, especially in terms of promoting quality basic education for all.

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”