Never has it been so indispensable as now to unite efforts in the struggle against hunger and for the preservation of life on the planet.
The 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which the United Nations (UN) is holding in 2019, makes us ponder even more on how the future of the world depends essentially on the attention and the magnanimity of women. This year’s priority theme of this notable meeting is “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.”
First, I would like to greet all the international delegations, authorities, and participants who are discussing these important issues in New York (USA) and wish them a successful event. Topics that guarantee respect for human rights are fundamental when it comes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Quite appropriate for this article, I share with all of you what I wrote in the 2012 GOOD WILL Women magazine that was forwarded to the CSW56: Women are the foundation stone of the greatest and most fruitful transformations. We have extraordinary examples in every country, from those women who are under the spotlight to the simplest ones, beginning with the humblest of mothers. Here I take the opportunity to exalt the greatness of a confectioner from the hinterland of the Brazilian state of Goiás and eminent poetess Cora Coralina (1889-1985). With only primary education, she published her first book at the age of 75. Cora once said:
“Happy is the person who transfers what he knows and learns what he teaches.”
It is the talent of well-educated and spiritualized people that transforms poverty into wealth! The wealth of a country lies first in the solidary heart and in the enlightened conscience of its people. Creative capacity is born of these aspects. It applies to all nations.
A long time ago Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) stated that:
“True wisdom consists of promoting humanity’s well-being.”
MUCH CAN BE LEARNED FROM OTHERS
As I affirmed in 1981 to the Italo-Brazilian journalist Paulo Rappoccio Parisi (1921-2016) and published in the Globalization of Fraternal Love* magazine, never has it been so indispensable as now to unite efforts in the struggle against hunger and for the preservation of life on the planet. It is imperative to take advantage of the endeavor of everyone, ecologists and their detractors, as well as workers, entrepreneurs, media professionals (written, spoken, televised, and now I also include the Internet), union leaders, politicians, armed forces, lawyers, scientists, religious people, skeptics, atheists, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, artists, actors, sportspeople, teachers, professors, doctors, students or not (though our desire is that everyone receives schooling), housewives, heads of households, barbers and hairdressers, manicurists, taxi drivers, street cleaners, among other segments of society. And this represents a higher spirit of Social Charity.
The first woman to go to space (1963), Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, summarized in one phrase much about the seriousness of the situation we are facing with regard to the problem of global warming:
“Once you’ve been in space, you appreciate how small and fragile the Earth is.”
The subject has become dramatic; and its prospects, tragic. For the same reason, 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 social and humanitarian cooperation among partnerships as, for example, in popular cooperatives in which women play a key role, highlighting the fact that they are completely against waste. There is 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. Alziro Zarur (1914-1979), late founder of the Legion of Good Will, used to emphasize that battles in the name of Goodness require bravery. Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), French writer, philosopher, and feminist, got it right when she stated that:
“All success cloaks a surrender.”
Summarizing: Every time we overcome arrogance and prejudice, there shall always be something fair and good to assimilate from the components of this great “Noah’s Ark,” which is the globalized world today. That is the reason why we recommend the union of all people for the good of all, since we share a single home: the Earth. The abuses of its inhabitants have been demanding an imperative measure: either we seek integration or we will head towards disintegration. . . . That is why we should strategically work in partnerships that promote effective prosperity for the popular masses.
Our times require that we develop, without delay, a true awareness of the social problems that need an urgent solution. It never is nor was it ever just enough to roll up the car’s window. The need for reform is knocking at our door. Let us implement it before the traumatic processes of society demand that measures be taken. Then, in addition to our rings, we will also lose our fingers. History is full of examples.
In an impromptu speech I gave in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) on June 20, 1987, in the Total Ecumenism auditorium, which was located in the former headquarters of the LGW, I once again pointed out that one does not build a better country and ensure people are happier by listing their faults, but by correcting them and catalyzing their accomplishments. Trying to make human beings compatible by way of their condemnable attitudes is complete suicide. Conciliation has to come from above: by its eternal virtues and qualities. A country progresses in direct proportion to the talent and the pertinacity of its children. . . . The same occurs on a planetary scale.
PRAYER, WORK, AND PEACE
Taking into account the little time we actually dedicate to prayer or to moments of meditation and introspection—for those who do not believe in the existence of God—I conclude this article by sharing a simple example with everyone:
Ever since he was very young, whenever my youngest son—today a teenager utters a brief prayer at the table before meals with our Family and friends, he moves everyone with a simple mantra that could sum up great compendiums of wisdom, one that shares Solidarity without borders of any kind. The young boy exclaims:
“God, I ask You, let there be no lack of food on anyone’s plate, including ours!”
In the challenging moments the world is going through, I consider it very worthwhile to call on a Higher Power in a similar prayer: Let there be no lack of decent means of earning a living for any hard-working woman, for any dedicated worker, nor for any member of our family! Amen!
Let us make this plea together, but in the active hope that this “so be it” will find the right measures that meet the urgent needs of populations in the plans of the world’s governments.
Well-employed human beings who are duly valued for their efforts are a guarantee of Peace and sustainable progress for all. Jesus, Whom I consider to be the Heavenly Administrator of spiritual and human beings, was pragmatic when He stated in His Gospel according to Luke 10:7:
“For the worker deserves his/her wages.”
* Globalization of Fraternal Love — Magazine presented by the Legion of Good Will to Heads of State, high commissioners, private sector, and civil society representatives from more than 100 countries gathered at the UN for the 2007 High-level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), in which the LGW has general consultative status. The event took place at the Palais des Nations, office of the organization in Geneva (Switzerland), from July 2 to 5.