Archives for April 2014

#somostodosmacacos

(abaixo a análise feita pela Loducca a respeito da hashtag. Uma análise pertinente e lúcida)

Como toda manifestaí§í£o, o #somostodosmacacos – mesmo atingindo dimensí£o mundial e provocando uma discussí£o honesta sobre um tema, infelizmente, mais atual do que gostarí­amos – gerou algumas dúvidas sobre ele mesmo, sobre a forma e também sobre a participaí§í£o de uma empresa de comunicaí§í£o nele, nós. Por isso, estamos nos manifestando oficialmente sobre cada um dos principais temas levantados, alguns bastante pertinentes, outros, nem tanto ao nosso ver. Felizmente a maioria compreendeu a importí¢ncia e soube ver a maneira irí´nica e icí´nica (banana) que foi usada e, por isso mesmo, fez sucesso tí£o rápida e espontaneamente.

Como nasceu o #somostodosmacacos. Fatos.

Segundo o Daniel Alves em entrevista para a revista Placar após o incidente no jogo de 29/3, no jogo contra o Espanyol, onde alguns “torcedores” jogaram bananas no campo para os jogadores brasileiros do Barcelona, mas que tanto o Neymar Jr. quanto o Daniel Alves, ní£o viram na hora só tendo conhecimento do que aconteceu, mais tarde, pela imprensa. Quando souberam, ainda segundo Daniel Alves, Neymar teria comentado em tom de brincadeira que, “se tivesse visto a banana, teria comido”. Na volta para Barcelona, depois da derrota para o Granada, torcedores imitaram macacos quando Neymar Jr. estava chegando ao Camp Nou. Nesse momento, Neymar Jr., sabendo da responsabilidade mundial que tem, quis se manifestar contra o racismo e nos pediu, junto com Sr. Neymar e Eduardo Musa, que pensássemos em algo que pudesse ser feito nas redes sociais.
Por que nós? Há anos a Loducca orienta parte das aí§íµes de comunicaí§í£o do Neymar Jr., do Instituto etc. O natural seria conversar conosco.
Nos pareceu (e ainda nos parece) que fazer algo bem-humorado, irí´nico e que ridicularizasse as atitudes racistas teria maior capacidade de levantar a discussí£o, seria mais eficiente em tocar o coraí§í£o das pessoas do que algo que reclamasse, chorasse ou ficasse tentando reforí§ar um papel de ví­tima (caminhos que já foram seguidos em momentos diferentes, tíªm seus méritos, mas que ní£o tiveram a mesma repercussí£o). Ainda mais para uma pessoa com a personalidade alegre, brilhante e divertida como a do Neymar Jr. Tinha que ser algo como ele.
O que fizemos?
Criamos a hashtag “somos todos macacos” e a ideia de “mandar uma banana” para todos os racistas através de uma foto do Neymar comendo uma banana. E também um ví­deo onde explicamos a manifestaí§í£o do Neymar Jr.
Entí£o aconteceu de jogarem a banana para o Daniel Alves no jogo do Barcelona contra o Villareal, dia 27/4 , que imediatamente ” traí§ou a banana”.
Poucos devem duvidar que era o momento correto para iniciarmos o movimento que o Neymar Jr. queria, independentemente de ter acontecido com ele ou com o Daniel Alves.
Imediatamente Neymar Jr., que estava com seu filho naquele momento, bateu a foto (a que ficou conhecida mundialmente) e postou no twitter . Logo após o ví­deo.
Qual seria o erro do Neymar Jr. fazer uma manifestaí§í£o pública pensada e de maneira profissional? Ainda ní£o conseguimos descobrir.
Saber colocar um pensamento, uma ideia, no momento mais adequado e propí­cio para que ele tenha um impacto maior e melhor é oportunismo? Desde quando?

#somostodosmacacos é racista

Colocado como foi, ironicamente, na situaí§í£o (logo após a maravilhosa atitude do Daniel Alves), a hashtag, mais a imagem de Neymar com seu filho, ní£o chama os negros de macacos, mas LEMBRA OU ALERTA AOS BRANCOS que somos todos iguais, vindos “do mesmo macaco”. Este é um fato cientí­fico provado e comprovado (salvo alguns fanáticos que ainda questionam Darwin), ní£o uma opinií£o. Achamos que isso fica bastante claro no post do Neymar Jr. com o seu filho e no ví­deo que fizemos para esclarecer as motivaí§íµes e intení§íµes do movimento. Achamos 100% válido quem questiona se a hashtag do movimento é a melhor ou ní£o para alertar as pessoas contra o racismo (alguns acham que deveria ser #somostodoshumanos). Respeitamos e estamos abertos a discutir, ouvir e aprender. Mas nos parece desinformaí§í£o, má-fé ou algo pior quando alguns querem tentar dizer que estamos chamando exclusivamente os negros de macacos: somos todos macacos!

Se tem agíªncia de propaganda, ní£o deve ser coisa boa, ní£o vale.

O que é isso além de puro preconceito? O que é isso além de “atirar” bananas nos profissionais de comunicaí§í£o, em sua esmagadora maioria sí£o sérios, engajados pessoal ou profissionalmente em causas importantes. Engenheiros, médicos, jornalistas, TODOS podem querer usar seu expertise por um mundo melhor, menos os publicitários?! Faz sentido isso?

A agíªncia se aproveitou para aparecer ou, ao contrário, estava escondendo que tinha participaí§í£o

A agíªncia ní£o tinha nenhuma intení§í£o de assumir a paternidade da aí§í£o, já que a causa era é infinitamente maior do que isso. E também ní£o tivemos nenhuma restrií§í£o em assumir nossa participaí§í£o quando o repórter do Meio & Mensagem nos procurou dizendo que tinha informaí§íµes de que nós haví­amos participado. Ní£o havia do que se aproveitar, nem a esconder.

Celso Loducca

The two drops of oil

(Standing above the little town of Tarifa is an old fort built by the Moors. I remember sitting here with my wife, Christina, in 1982, and for the first time looking at a continent from across a narrow stretch of water: Africa. At that time I could not dream that such a lazy moment in the late afternoon would inspire a scene in my best-known book, “The Alchemist”. Nor could I have dreamed that the story that follows, heard in the car, would serve as an excellent example for all of us who are searching for some balance between discipline and compassion.)

A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain. There lived the sage that the young man was looking for.

However, instead of finding a holy man, our hero entered a room and saw a great deal of activity; merchants coming and going, people chatting in the corners, a small orchestra playing sweet melodies, and there was a table laden with the most delectable dishes of that part of the world.

The wise man talked to everybody, and the young man had to wait for two hours until it was time for his audience.

With considerable patience, he listened attentively to the reason for the boy’s visit, but told him that at that moment he did not have the time to explain to him the Secret of Happiness.

He suggested that the young man take a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours’ time.

“However, I want to ask you a favor,” he added, handing the boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. “While you walk, carry this spoon and don’t let the oil spill.”

The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.

“So,” asked the sage, “did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“So, go back and see the wonders of my world,” said the wise man. “You can’t trust a man if you don’t know his house.”

Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen.

“But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?” asked the sage.

Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.

“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,” said the sage of sages. “The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

Alice’s quotes


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EN ESPANOL AQUI>>> Alicia
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I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!

If it had grown up, it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.

If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

You are old, Father William, your hair has become very white. And yet you incessantly stand on your head – do you think, at your age, it is right?

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.

The adventures first… explanations take such a dreadful time.

We are all mad here ( The Cat)

Alice is a magistral character, created by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll

Don’t scold the Lover

Moses heard a shepherd on the road praying:
“Lord, where are you? I want to help you, to fix your shoes and comb your hair. I want to wash your clothes and pick the lice off.
“I want to bring you milk to kiss your little hands and feet when it’s time for you to go to bed.
“I want to sweep your room and keep it neat. God, my sheep and goats are yours. “

“Who are you talking to?” Moses could stand it no longer.
“Only something that grows needs milk. Only some one with feet needs shoes. Not G’d!”

The shepherd repented and tore his clothes and sighed and wandered out into the desert.

A sudden revelation came then to Moses.

“You have separated me from one of my own.
“Did you come as a Prophet to unite, or to sever?
“I have given each being a separate and unique way of seeing and knowing and saying that knowledge.
“What seems wrong to you is right for him.

“What is poison to one is honey to someone else.
“Purity and impurity, sloth and diligence in worship, these mean nothing to me.
“I am apart from all that. Ways of worshiping are not to be ranked as better or worse than one another.
“It’s not me that’s glorified in acts of worship. It’s the worshipers!
“I don’t hear the words they say. I look inside at the humility.

“Forget phraseology. I want burning, burning. Be friends with your burning.
“Burn up your thinking and your forms of expression!
“Lovers who burn are another.

“Don’t scold the Lover. The “wrong” way he talks is better than a hundred “right” ways of others.
“When you look in a mirror, you see yourself, not the state of the mirror.
“The flute player puts breath into a flute, and who makes the music?
“Not the flute. The flute player!

“Whenever you speak praise or thanksgiving to Me, it’s always like this dear shepherd’s simplicity.”
 
from Rumi’s “Moses and the Sheperd”, translated by Coleman Barks
 
 

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Kindle (four languages) HERE

 

The code of hospitality

Two men were crossing the desert when they saw a Bedouin’s tent and asked him for shelter.

Even though he did not know them, he welcomed them in the way that the conduct of nomads dictates: a camel was killed and its meat served in a sumptuous dinner.

The next day, as the guests were still there, the Bedouin had another camel killed.

Astonished, they protested they had not yet finished eating the one killed the day before.

“It would be a disgrace to serve old meat to my guests,” was the answer.

On the third day, the two strangers woke early and decided to continue on their journey.

As the Bedouin was not at home, they gave his wife a hundred dinars, apologising for not being able to wait, because if they spent any more time there, the sun would become too strong for them to travel.

They had travelled for four hours when they heard a voice calling out to them. They looked back and saw the Bedouin following them.

As soon as he caught up with them, he threw the money to the ground.

“I gave you such a warm welcome! Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?” In surprise, the strangers said that the camels were surely worth far more than that, but that they did not have much money.

“I am not talking about the amount,” was the answer.

“The desert welcomes Bedouins wherever they go, and never asks anything in return. If we had to pay, how could we live? Welcoming you to my tent is like paying back a fraction of what life has given us.”

Alleluia!


“If I Should Die,” Emily Dickinson

lone-cross

If I should die,
And you should live,
And time should gurgle on,
And morn should beam,
And noon should burn,
As it has usual done;
If birds should build as early,
And bees as bustling go,-
One might depart at option
From enterprise below!
‘Tis sweet to know that stocks will stand
When we with daisies lie,
That commerce will continue,
And trades as briskly fly.
It make the parting tranquil
And keeps the soul serene,
That gentlemen so sprightly
Conduct the pleasing scene!

The power of the prayer

I have have asked my readers to reflect upon “prayer” and write to my blog.

Amanto: The only true prayer is the one in which our heart burns with the presence of God. If you have prayed in this way, perfect! If you have prayed because you want something, or because of financial difficulties, you are just wasting your energies.

Marie: Lord, I just want to say “thank you”. That is enough to connect me to Your presence.

Warrior of running water: May all of you find happiness, and the reason for happiness. May all of you manage to shake off sadness, and the reason for sadness.

Florence: I always use the prayer of the third step of the Alcoholics Anonymous: “God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy Will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help.”

Nitoo: Being a Hindu, I use the universal prayer: from ignorance to blessing, from darkness to light, from mortal to immortal. Let peace come, let there come peace.

Salma: I am a Moslem, and I should pray five times a day, but I don’t. I believe that God is in everything I have received, in the faith I have, in the happiness that I can feel.
God is a secret garden where I sit down to talk about life, and prayer may be just a chat with someone, although we don’t always have the immediate answers.
We have the signs, and that is enough.

Pramado Kureel:
Prayer is no more than sending an SMS (mobile telephone message) to God. It isn’t necessary to say a great deal, and it’s worth remembering: the message is free – as long as the intention is good.

Annamaria: This morning I received a message from a friend who lives thousands of kilometers away. I hadn’t heard from him for over a year, and all of a sudden there he was, right there in my electronic mail box: “I want you to know that you are loved, and that you are not alone”.
That was the prayer that illuminated my day.

Naved Shoaib: My favorite prayer is to climb onto the roof of my house and look at the sky. The firmament calms the mind and the soul, and it gives me the sensation that a superior power exists and that it is there for my sake, and that it loves me and knows that it is loved by me.

Smaragdus: Oh! mysterious and indescribable Presence, first and last in this Universe, kindle the flames of my soul and burn whatever is wrong. Clean my soul. Let me wash in Your brilliant light.
Free me from my past, cut my shackles. Let Unity be manifest in my life, because therein lies my strength.
Fill my chalice with Your presence, let me see through Your eyes, allow me to penetrate Your Mind.

Mari Raphael: Lord God, thank You for the grace of this new day! I don’t know what it has in store for me, but trustfully I deliver myself into Your hands. Let no harm come to me, to my family and my friends.
Watch over my steps. Illuminate my thoughts, my decisions and my attitudes. May all who come today to meet me leave with the comfort of a friendly word, the comfort of a smile and a gesture of affection, for these are the signs of Your presence in me. Amen.

Paulo Coelho: My favorite prayer is from Matthew 7;7: “Ask, and what you ask will be given you. Search, and you will find what you search for. Knock, and the door will open to you.”

PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE POWER OF THE PRAYER

Father and Daughter (Oscar 2000 short animation)


6:36 min beautiful video.

4 Things I Learned About Life

By Wan Muhammad Zulfikri

haven’t read The Alchemist.

Yeah, I know. For someone who writes an article about Paulo Coelho AT LEAST I should read the book that made him a success.

But the only book I read was Aleph and it was really good. After reading it, I had an image of him as a very spiritual and calm person.

To learn more about Paulo Coelho, I read his authorized biography, “The Warrior’s Life,” which was written by Fernando Morais.

The most interesting parts of the book were the stories of his youth, which were far from what I had imagined. They were inspiring and made me reflect upon my life.

Read further to know the four life lessons you can learn from Paulo Coelho’s youth. Trust me – it’s worth it.

1. If you have a weakness, learn to compensate for it with your strength.

Paulo was weak physically.

According to his biography he was “very thin, frail and short.” He had a nickname – Pele – which means ‘skin. It was given only to those who were always being bullied by their classmates.

Considering his physical weakness, it was hard for Paulo to gain the respect of his peers. Yet he found out that despite his weakness, he managed to gain their respect.

How?

I quote: “By knowing things no one else knew and reading stories none of his peers had read was one way of gaining respect.”

The lesson: If you think you have a weakness, you don’t necessary need to remove that weakness. Some weaknesses, especially physical ones, are hard to get rid of. A more effective way would be to find your strengths and work on them until you are at least above average.

Or better yet: Be so good they can’t ignore you.

2. Rejection doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do after being rejected.

Paulo believed in himself. He believed that he was a good poet and that his poems were not suitable for small magazines. So he sent his poems to the ‘Escritores e Livros,’ a reputable literary column in a newspaper called Correio da Manha.

After a week, Paulo looked at the newspaper and read the following:

“To all young show-offs who are desperate to get themselves a name and publish books, it would be worthwhile recalling the example of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, who only published three volumes totalling 144 poems in 15 years.”

Like any normal person, he took it personally, but managed to regain his confidence and write his own version of Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “If…”.

If you ask your friends and enemies for a chance.

If you can hear a ‘no’ and take it as a ‘maybe,’

If you can start from the bottom and yet still value the little that you have.

If you can improve yourself each moment and reach heights without succumbing to vanity.

Then you’ll be a writer.

The lesson: Rejection always hurts. Some say that rejection shouldn’t be taken personally, but honestly, I don’t think that advice helps. We value ourselves and the things we create, thus rejection brings a cognitive dissonance inside our minds.

Two conflicting thoughts, self-belief and self-doubt, wage wars to determine who will stay and rule the kingdoms inside our heads.

When there are two conflicting thoughts, we need something to guide us on what to do after the rejection. If you don’t know what to do or what to believe in, most of the time the evil side will win the war.

In the case of Paulo, his self-belief won and this is because of a certain obsession of his.

Paulo Coelho quotes

3. Be obsessed with your dream

Paulo was obsessed with the idea of becoming a famous writer. Yet, it was funny that the obsession only bore fruit in his later years.

This is because he was always changing his art: from poetry to acting, directing, writing about the occult, and lyric writing.

Although he gained success in some of his ventures, he kept reminding himself that he wanted to be a famous writer. That obsession made him what he is today.

The lesson: Sometimes, we think our dream lies buried under a pile of work or studies. I’m the same. I am going to a medical school, but I know being a doctor is not my dream. I want to be an entrepreneur.

For several reasons, I can’t cancel my entry to medical school. It looks like I don’t have a choice, but I actually have one: to choose to stick with my dream no matter what or to succumb to the path people ‘forced’ me to go on.

The same thing goes for you. Be obsessed with your dream and don’t let it die easily.

4. Your ‘horrible’ past doesn’t make you a failure in the future

One word sprung up inside my mind when I read about Paulo’s past – horrible.

Paulo failed in his studies, almost killed a boy because of his driving, was forced to stay in a psychiatry clinic because of his escalating problems, took drugs, was kidnapped by a secret organization and embraced Satanism.

There was more, but you get the picture.

Looking at his past, I was amused by the stark difference between his past and future selves. It shows how someone’s past is not a good predictor of his future because he is capable of changing it if he is willing.

The lesson: The problem with most of us is we focus on things we can’t change. It is true that our past can influence our future, but we don’t want to let that influence spread too much and work of its own accord.

We should stop doing that: Stop letting the past be our fortune-teller. What we need to do is to focus on the present and take control of our future.

Why?

We are the fortune-teller.

Conclusion

Let me leave you with a quote from the man, Paulo Coelho, himself:

“At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

Thanks for reading.

The atheist and the lion

An atheist is going through a forest in Africa, filled with admiration for everything created by that “accident of evolution”.

“But what majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals! And all this happened by chance, without anyone interfering! Only the weak and ignorant, afraid they cannot explain their own lives and the universe, feel the need to attribute all these marvels to a superior entity!”

There is a noise in the bushes behind him; a lion is about to pounce on him. He tries to flee, but the animal knocks him over.

With nothing else to lose, he shouts out: “My God!”

And a miracle happens: time stops, the atmosphere is drenched in a strange light, and a voice is heard:
“What do you want? You have denied my existence for all these years, you have taught others that I do not exist, and you reduced Creation to a “cosmic accident”.

Quite confused, the man exclaims:
“It would be hypocritical of me to change my mind just because I am about to die. All my life I have preached that You do not exist.”

“So, what do you expect me to do?”

The atheist reflected for a moment, knowing that the discussion could not last forever. Finally he says:
“I can’t change, but the lion can. So, I ask the Lord to change this wild, murderous beast into a Christian animal!”

Right there and then, the light disappears, the birds in the forest renew their singing, and the river begins to flow again. T

The lion climbs off the man, pauses, lowers its head, and says very earnestly:
“Lord, I am ever so grateful for Your generosity, for this food that I am about to eat…”

What is a miracle?

For a few months I have stimulated my readers to write in my blog on seven words that I consider fundamental to our world today: miracle, torture, prayer, suffering, advice, xenophobia (fear of the unfamiliar), and marriage.
Below some comments on miracles

Radu: I don’t talk to God every day, and He has never invited me to have a coffee with Him.
But I know that I am close to His Energy, and I try to take my steps in such a way that I am never ashamed of what I do.
And I have managed to do so, not only thanks to my efforts, but also to His vigilance at each and every moment.
This is a miracle.

Mirjam: A miracle is re-discovering oneself as a child.
Finding a reason for fighting, managing to protect oneself without losing one’s innocence.
Miracle is communicating with others, and finding oneself.

Jesse King: To be like a flower, and to understand that everything passes.
To look at the wind and to become the wind, because you are capable of loving enough to change reality.

C.L.: Don’t fool yourself, the problems facing you aren’t just going to disappear in the air. Keep trying to solve them; if you do so, you will discover that everything ends up being easier than you think.
As the darkness disappears, the light appears, but don’t stop – try to become this light.

Neel Potgieter: I was walking down the beach the other day, and when I was about to cross the street I saw a girl talking on her mobile phone.
She was about to cross the street too, but from where I was positioned I could see that a car was coming in her direction.
I shouted to her to be careful, but she did not hear me.
She stepped into the street and just at the moment I expected a tragedy to happen, she stooped to remove a little stone from her shoe.
The car passed by, just missing her.
Miracles are what happens every day!

Paulo Coelho: I am sitting here in a bar, one of the many bars in many cities all over the world, writing this column.
Ever since I was a child I have dreamed of living moments like this, and I only managed to do so when I was almost forty years old.
The sun’s out, it’s springtime, people are happy, and although the world is not as perfect as we would all like it to be, nobody seems indifferent, everyone tries to make something better.
At this very moment I am doing what I most like, and that is the miracle that I try to work every day.


AND FOR YOU, WHAT IS A MIRACLE?
PLEASE SHARE YOUR OPINION WITH US, USING THE COMMENT BOX BELOW

10 sec reading: the laundry is not very clean

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

“That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looks on, remaining silent. Every time her neighbor hangs her wash to dry, the young woman makes the same comments.

A month later, the woman is surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband:
“Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this? ”

The husband replies, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life… What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look

sent by Buzz-Inn Community

On marriage

I just finished writing a book called “Adultery”. It will be published in Brasil on April 15, then France, and then world wide between May and August this year.

Some time ago, I decided to ask my blog readers about marriage. Here are some opinions

Stella: I am condemned to love you, and that is my salvation. I shall have to live for ever in the shadow of your eyes, accept the fact that everything your hand touches arouses the best in me. All that I know is your love, nothing else interests me.

Prajakta: Two people join together, love provokes more love. Two imperfect beings unite, and perfection becomes possible.

Leila: In my religion (Islam), marriage amounts to many ways of worshipping God. I cannot understand religions that preach celibacy and asceticism, which severs human beings from their natural condition.

Nadia: I need love. I need someone to tell me that he is in love with me, and that’s all. I have no need for a white dress and a church blessing, but I seem to be the only one among my friends to think this way. They are all afraid of loneliness; if I don’t find someone who understands me deeply, what’s wrong about being alone? But the pressure is so great that I think that I am gong to have to accept it sooner or later, or else my self-esteem will be seriously damaged.

Liz: I’m going to get married in two weeks, and I’ve been talking compulsively about it. What conclusion have I reached? With or without a formal ceremony, a couple will always be what they can be. The only thing that changes is that we will have to disguise our fighting with one another.

Neel P.: I believe that a couple that puts God at the center of their lives will also know where to put marriage where it belongs. Being with another person doesn’t mean making a god of them, this should be seen as part of the divine blessings that affect our lives every day – like love, sex, music, solitude, and even suffering. Marriage is by no means destiny, but rather part of our path, and I am sure that God uses this union for a reason that goes far beyond perpetuating the species.

POST YOUR COMMENTS ON MARRIAGE BELOW