My fifties...

Yes, that's right, I'm getting to my #fifties!

OK! And why does that matter?

Well, it does really matter because there are things going on that I don't understand... This thing of “being human” is raising some serious #questions and I wonder if there's someone out there in the possession of the right #answers.

During these 50 years, during which I've had the pleasure of teaching myself to learn and of allowing others to teach me and to help me evolve as a human being, I've developed this inquisitive mind of mine, which loves posing new questions and finding out their answers. Learning new things.

I believe I've grown to become a better man, a better husband, a better father, a better person.

But there are many things to better still and many fights to be had and...

At a general level, I don't understand #humanity as a whole! Am I even supposed to? Well... At least I'd like to!

People have studied human history since ancient times. We know quite a lot and this knowledge has never been so easily accessible as today! So, why don't people learn anything from these studies?

Why do we see wars and terrorism all around the world? Why do we keep killing each other when we ought to be helping each other to evolve? Haven't people understood that peace brings more prosperity than war? Haven't they understood yet that war only brings wealth for those that don't fight them, for those that never die and never get wounded?! For all the others there's always death, misery, pain, suffering. And everything in very generous quantities!

Lately, there's been a general cry for help regarding the preservation of nature. Yes, we're destroying the whole ecosystem! Greta Thunberg, a Swedish young girl, has been the voice of the planet. Many listen, many don't, many don't care... The problem is that she is only crying out loud what we already know for true for many years. Scientists have been saying that for many years now. Some have been doing so for decades! So, we should listen! Why don't we?! I do and I've been doing my share for many years. I've always done so. But, in several situations, I've seen that I'm alone. Even among friends! I don't get this!

People's greed is really something! Selfishness is probably the worst and most motivating force that moves the world today! No, it's not love; nor hate. It's selfishness! — “I want more!” — “I don't care!” — “I don't think!” — “I don't use my brain!” — Do people really think that we can continue having and doing everything and going everywhere just “because we can”?! No, we can't! There's a price to pay... And no one is willing to pay it! But we will! And no money will be enough to pay for it! When will people understand? What will it take?

We're living in make-believe societies where everything is fine, beautiful, glamorous, sexy and attractive. Everything that is real, true, and everything that's ugly as a result of imperfection or of our reckless action is swept under the carpet! The giant piles of garbage that we make, the enormous difficult challenges that life brings don't fit in the 6 inch screens that we hold in front of our noses! Poverty, famine, disease and violence are not being eradicated. They are simply being swept under the carpet, kept away from our social conscience. I know that there are many good people working on this. But, what are the others doing? Why are we turning a blind eye to this?

One of these days I said something to a student and I immediately thought that I shouldn't have used that Portuguese expression. I corrected myself. But, nonetheless, some students thought that I was/am a racist! I had to explain them that I love them because they are black, white and some colour in between! I love people, good people, friendly and funny people. I don't like violence, prejudice, lies, mistrust. So, I don't like people who are violent, people who have racial or gender prejudices, people who lie nor people I can't trust. But this doesn't mean that I hate them. No. I simply do like them and I protect myself against them by staying away. Why can't we simply like good people and be good people? Is the world supposed to be black and white? I'm sure it's not so!

Another thing that has been intriguing me is the ability that humans have to use religion as an excuse for their greed. How come that religion can be imposed upon others by means of violence? How is it possible to justify violence with faith?! Do people even care and think about this? Do people try to think about how they are treating others based on their religion? Do they even dare questioning themselves?

There's this value that some of us seem to cherish quite a bit: freedom. Do we know the meaning of this word? I get this idea that people think that freedom is a synonym for selfishness! No, freedom doesn't allow us to do whatever we feel like! No, sorry, it doesn't mean that. Freedom means that we can do what we want in a society, which means that we must care for the outcome of out deeds on the other members of the society we live in. And, if we don't like the society where we're living in, we're free to go, to move into one that might be more similar to the values that we stand for. This is freedom. Freedom doesn't allow us to use violence to impose our values and it prevents societies to use it against their members. Why haven't so many people understood this? Many more advanced societies have already understood this. And they function well as societies. They are so good at it that some are facing the risk of being spoiled by those people that haven't understood this yet and that seek them to improve their living standards but carry with them their bad habits, refusing to change and to accept the new ways of living that lead them to choose this new society in first place. Does this make sense? — “I like “this”, I want it, I got it and now I'll ruin it!” seems to be the motto of so many people today!

Over the course of my life I've developed the ability of thinking. I understand much better now what wisdom and being wiser means. I've seen that, through use, my brain has developed its ability to think, in a good way, let me tell you. Our brains are like muscles: they need to be used in order to keep working properly. What I don't understand is the reason why some other people don't put their brains to some good use! Does that make sense? Not to me...

Another thing that I don't understand is the reason why people, today, use technology the way they do. Why do people use tech as a means to harass others and to spread absolutely meaningless content? Why aren't people trying to use the Internet and other tech resources to evolve, to learn more about important subjects? Why are people using these great tools to become numb regarding knowledge? I just don't get it! It seems to me that the generalization and spread of the Internet has allowed the development of a certain type of laziness that usually characterizes the type of behaviour shown by that majority of people who like the easy side of life... That's probably the reason why, lately, some movements have emerged, movements that fight the generalization of this sense of lack of security/privacy on the Internet, movements that try to gather those who would like to recover the control over what they do, share and say on the Internet. The Internet can and should be a place where people would find/share information/knowledge that would help people and humanity to evolve as a whole and not a place to spread hatred/racial and radical ideas.

Professionally, it's sad to notice that in some professional environments, mine is a good example, it doesn't matter whether you're good or bad, it doesn't matter if you work hard or not because the only award you'll receive for your hard work and dedication is more work. It's also strange that you have to put up with colleagues of yours that the only thing they can contribute to your growth is in the field of negativity and suspicion! I simply can't find a good way to find my way through this type of obstacles... The lack of humility and respect for other people's work is something that really makes me sick!

At a personal level I'm going through a strange period... Parents and in-laws are getting old and illness and age is making them pay their tolls. It's not easy to see how age takes away people's energy and wisdom. It's not pain free to watch the deeds of time on people's lives and bodies...

Children becoming adults are also another problem. It is obvious that they are growing independent and that they are entitled the right to fly away. What is strange is when you see that your kids are doing everything, or many things, in a completely opposite way from the one they were taught! And they can't even explain you the reason why they make such choices! They are doing that like if they weren't thinking about what they are doing! It's really strange and, at the same time, very sad because you taught them good values and it looks like they are rejecting all (again, not everything) that good information they were given!

Well, this text is getting a little long and I really appreciate the fact that you have been reading these thoughts of mine. Perhaps you can see some of your questions about life in these lines. Perhaps you have the answers for many of the questions I've raised here. The point is that, – I'm positive about this –, these are questions and problems that most part of humanity has been facing through the various centuries of human history. For those who believe, only God will put an end to all problems that humanity faces. Humans haven't been able to do so for centuries and they are not going to be able to find the solution, ever! For those who don't believe, I wonder how you reconcile yourselves with the questions I raise here... Is there a solution?