Before leaving Brazil to my journey in the United States I never imagined that being far from my country would be crucial in changing my perception and opinion about my own home land.
Around my departure to the US and at the peak of the global economic crisis I witnessed a wave of optimism across my entire country, from businessmen to politicians, all convinced that South America’s sleeping giant is finally waking up. Brazil has long been known as the “país do futuro” (country of the future). Nonetheless, series of economic and political crises and more than 20 years of military dictatorship made me somehow believe that this future will never come.
Now things seem to be changing. Brazil’s currency recently hit a nine-year-high against the dollar, inflation is under control and millions of Brazilians are being propelled towards a new middle class.
Once in the United States, I had the chance to see my country being featured in many important and recognized magazines and newspapers, and more then that, I was approached by many people interested in me for the simple fact that I was from Brazil, the country “immune to the world crisis” and “host of the next Olympic games and World Cup”.
Being here was a good opportunity to reaffirm my pride for being a Brazilian and also gave me the chance to have an outsider perspective, remain critical and reflexive.
It is very important to highlight that I am fortunate to be the first generation to see Brazil active on the world stage, an important topic in the foreign press, and host of major events such as the World Cup and Olympics, among other developments. I am part of the first generation born and raised during a time of economic prosperity, with personal growth rates and development opportunities never before seen in the country.
Above all, being here in the US was important to remind me that I am the generation responsible for maintaining Brazil’s improving performance in a world suffering harder times. Our role is to guarantee that the economic advancement will also bring a drastic improvement in the social area, rescuing the huge population that is still victim of social inequality, illiteracy and lack of infrastructure.
This is a great responsibility!
I know it can sound too positive and naïve but I am surrounded by examples that lead me to think that this new generation of Brazilians is ready to guide the country to a way of prosperity and equality. Just to give an idea, only in 2010 around 31 million people has improved their social level, having more access to goods, technologies, etc. It means that more people are being able to express their ideas and proactively participate in the society.
Corroborating with my optimism, I recently read a study called “The Brazilian Dream”. This research was a major project lead by a Brazilian research agency called Box1824 to better understand who is this generation of young Brazilians and what are their believes.
The main findings of the research are summed up in this very cool video:
The Brazilian Dream (click here to watch the video) – I strongly advice everybody to watch this video!
In general, the results of the research are very inspiring and motivating:
- 89% of young people are proud to be Brazilian.
- 76% believe Brazil is changing for the better.
- 87% believe Brazil has an important role in the world stage.
More than just optimistic, this new generation has another feature that sets them apart from previous cohorts: they’re more generous!
Fifty percent of young Brazilians tend towards more collective behavior, are less individualistic, and care more about the welfare of society as a whole. They believe their own personal development should go hand in hand with the development of the people around them.
There is still much to be done but there is an overall feeling in the country that this generation of this “new Brazil” has chances to transform the national social landscape forever.