Combating drugs and alcoholism

June 26 is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This date is important for health in general, in particular of our youth. It is at an early age that we learn how destructive drugs and alcohol are.

The lamentable consequences leap in front of our eyes. Look at how many road traffic victims, the unhappiness in the bosom of households, and the high costs it imposes on healthcare systems. Just to mention alcohol, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry, 10 to 15 percent of the world’s population is considered dependent.

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Initiatives aimed at treating humanely those who have fallen into these traps of addiction or which focus on preventing such ills deserve all our support and incentives. Combating what is bad for people is also an act of legitimate charity.

Tougher dry law
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The new Lei Seca [Dry Law] in Brazil, which was enforced in 2012, is providential. According to a spokesperson for the National Department of Motor Vehicles (DETRAN), the existing laws have been made tougher to reduce deaths and traffic accidents caused by alcohol consumption.

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According to Agência Brasil, on January 29, 2013, the National Transit Council (CONTRAN) published Resolution 432/13 in the Diário Oficial da União [Brazilian Official Journal] establishing guidelines for the stricter Dry Law: "If the result of the breath test is greater than or equal to 0.05 milligrams of alcohol per liter of air, the driver will be fined R$ 1,915.40 for an extremely serious infraction, have his driver’s license suspended for 12 months, and vehicle impounded. Before, the limit was 0.1 milligrams of alcohol per liter of air."

Human lives depend on respecting this law. So much suffering can be avoided!

Bonifácio, Kennedy, Shaw, and the Invisible World

John Kennedy

Bernard Shaw

In his speech before Parliament on June 28, 1963, in Dublin, Ireland, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) affirmed that "George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life: ‘Other people,’ he said, ‘see things and say Why? But I dream things that never were—and I say: Why not?’"

As a descendant of Irish immigrants, JFK continued: "It is that quality of the Irish—that remarkable combination of hope, confidence and imagination—that is needed more than ever today. The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not."

José Bonifácio

Now, these are also qualities of our good Brazilian people, illuminated with hope, no matter how bad the situation may be. At a joyful moment, illustrious José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (1763-1838), Patriarch of Brazil’s Independence, exclaimed: "Brazilians are enthusiasts of the beautiful ideal, friends of their freedom."

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Newton

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Einstein

Having said all these things, it is clear to those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear" that learning in the world is still incomplete. The current understanding of Spiritual Life is similar to the Universal Law of Gravity developed by Newton (1643-1727), with the later contributions of Einstein (1879-1955). For the sake of argument, we could say it does no good to simply deny it, since our contemporary scientific knowledge has not discovered all the laws that govern this principal.

Indeed, it is necessary to reiterate this teaching: social reform begins in the Spiritual realm. This point of view we have been discussing and we will develop it further in the course of explaining the Gospel-Apocalypse of Jesus in Spirit and Truth through the prism of His New Commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you."

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LBV), 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.”