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It may seem strange and eSe queres viver, prepara-te para morrerven melancholic, but that’s it: a year LESS of life. Strictly speaking, it would not be today, but as I do not know the day of my departure, I consider the day of my arrival. The Austrian neurologist of Jewish origin, creator of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud discerned wisely the secret of life: “If you want to endure life, prepare yourself for death”. This Freudian concept is not so far away, nor is it very different from the Judeo-Christian concept of life. The psalmist cries out to the Lord: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). In his prayer the psalmist reveals that to attain insight of finitude of life and to consider with naturalness the ephemerality of it, is to achieve true wisdom. Alienated are those who live as if the earthly life is endless, as if there was not a deadline to fulfill our mission on earth. The insanes waste their lives with banalities, feelings petty, seeking ephemeral trivialities. The prophet Amos, in Chapter 4, strongly condemns the banalities and the foolishness of the people of Israel, concluding with a stern warning: “… prepare to meet your God.” (V.12). Today I am turning 56, a year LESS of my life, that’s it. It is very likely that with 56 years, I have lived more than which I still will live. It is a folly to ignore that there will be an end to this our ephemeral earthly journey. Time is short for frivolities; I have no time to lose, wasting my time with trivialities. I conclude by making my own the words of unforgettable thinker Rubem Alves, in his magnificent article entitled “The time and the jabuticabas[1]”:

“I counted my years and found out that I will have less time to live going forward than I have lived so far. I feel like that girl who won a jabuticabas basin. The first ones, she sucked fecklessly, but realizing that there were only a few, she gnawed down to the stone of the fruit. I do not have time to deal with mediocrities. I do not want to be in meetings with a parade of inflated egos. I do not tolerate fanfaronade. I get uneasy with those envious people that try to destroy those they admire, coveting their seats, talent, and luck. I do not have time for megalomaniacal projects..  I do not have time for megalomaniacal projects. I do not have time for megalomaniacal projects. I will not attend the conferences establishing fixed deadlines to reverse the misery of the world. I don’t want to be invited to events of a weekend with the proposal to shake the millennium. I have no time for endless meetings to discuss statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations. I have no time to deal with piques of people, who despite the chronological age are immature. I do not want to see the clock hands advancing in meetings of ‘confrontation’, where ‘we try get to the bottom of something’. I hate to do face-to-face of contenders, who fought for majestic post of general secretary of the choir. I remembered how Mario de Andrade that affirmed: ‘people do not debate content, only the labels’. My time has become scarce to debate labels. I want the essence, my soul is in a hurry… Without many jabuticabas in the basin, I want to live beside of human people, very human; folks that know laugh at his blunders; folks that do not dazzle themselves by triumphs; folks who do not consider oneself elected ahead of time; folks that who do not run away from their mortality; folks that defend the dignity of the marginalized, and who desires just walk beside of what is righteous. Walk close to things and real people, enjoying that love absolutely without fraud, will never be a waste of time. ‘The essential makes life worthwhile, and for me the essential is enough.

[1] Jabuticaba is a fruit of the jabuticabeira tree in the family Myrtaceae native to Minas Gerais and São Paulo states in southeastern Brazil. Related species in the genus Myrciaria, often referred to by the same common name, are native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia. It looks like a black grape, but with a very unique taste.