What can each of us do to make our society better?
Oswaldo Biato Junior, an ambassador of Brazil to Ukraine in a special interview for ALLATRA International Public Movement shares his views on the state of society today and what can be done to build a better society, a world where everyone can be happy and feel safe.
As the ambassador says, the best practice is to just start with yourself, choose to do the right thing, choose to show kindness and openness towards others, choose to help people.
Creative Society project
Antonina, reporter: First of all thank you very much for this opportunity to talk to you today, for your time, for this invitation. We are happy to talk to you in the name of our movement – International Public Movement ALLATRA.
There is a first question about your motivation in your life path, in your work, which brings people together, which helps to find a common language across the globe on an international level. So, what inspires you in your work?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: First of all, thank you for the interview. It is a great pleasure for me to participate in this great Movement.
Even when I was still a teenager, I wanted to do something that would not be strictly based on, you know, finance or banking or private sector, but to...to serve my country. So as soon [as] I could also do the diplomatic academy, I graduated and I have served in many countries and now, finally, I am here in Ukraine, yes.
Antonina, reporter: And this experience of communicating to people around the globe and learning from them. So, what would you share with other people from your experience? What did you learn from this?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: I think it is very enriching for people to have this contact with other countries. How they think, how they work, how they live their lives. It is especially important for people to have this experience overseas, not because… We are now, despite the problems, in the era of globalization. So you learn from other countries. You see how the countries resolve issues, perhaps better than in your own country. It is very interesting to be able to see all these differences and learn from them.
Antonina, reporter: What do you think from your personal opinion, from your experience of communicating to people around the globe: how can we as the society strengthen these values, these positive examples, what unites people and what can help us to evolutionate as humans and to live in a really safe world, the world that we all dream of?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: It is sometimes very tempting, the shortcut, you know. The shortcut towards success. The shortcut towards money, as to do something illegal. And all these countries are going to take a hundred years to get better, so might as well do that. And then everybody does the same, the society is bad. So, we have to… Each one has to see: “I have to do the right thing. I have to behave correctly. I have to do my duty; I have to help those who are poor in more difficulties than I am.” And if everybody starts taking this root, the country gets better, and everything changes, you know. And if everybody thinks the same way, that “Yes, if I do my duty, if I do my part, the whole thing starts to change: people trust each other, they get along much better, they respect each other, and the results are very positive. And you see these countries where for several reasons people are much more honest etc. How do they have the much better standard of living? And there is actually, I think, some investigations about this, you know, about… The cost of dishonesty. If you give me an example of a country that has a very honest government, you can be sure that people are honest among themselves. Because governments represent the society. Then when we do not like the government, we think: “No! They do not represent us” — they do actually! They do, that’s a problem, they do.
Antonina, reporter: Today we as ordinary people can change a lot. So, we can use technologies or information as well as for bad, but also for good. That means that we have a choice. What do you think, how modern technologies can help to find this short way to communicate to each other across all the ocean to see each other? We see each other
also on the screen, but this is again the question of ethics, of a mindset. How do we use these technologies, right?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: This is a crucial issue, because you know everything man has invented has a use in peace and a use in war. Airplanes, cars, trucks, buses…. Everything you can imagine that can be good, can also can be bad: social media, new technologies. They can be very good, they can help people to come closer, people find other people, who think the same, who want to collaborate etc. Now everybody can go to YouTube, Facebook, and say whatever they want. They can lie, they can tell the truth, but everything that we accomplish in terms of technology has a good side and, a bad side, it's inevitable. Almost impossible to think of some advance that has not also a negative use, you know. Like dynamite was invented to make it easier to make tunnels, make tunnels for trains but was used for bombs later.
Antonina, reporter: Everyone has the same need to live in a safe world and today everyone is asking himself: “What can I do to contribute to a better world?” A world of safety, a world of peace, and a world love. And this was a big question at the conference which was held on the 11th of May this year on the ALLATRA platform “Society. The last chance”. Where also the topics such as poverty, wars, and discrimination were also discussed from people to people around the globe without any middleman. But what about the ordinary people?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: If everybody thinks that everyone else is the enemy and we should be very careful because he might steal from this creates a mindset where everything is more difficult, the less trust. You cannot have an honest government, if you don't have an honest population. You have to do your share, you have to act correctly. If people do not respect themselves, respect each other, if they don't act correctly, how can the representatives of these people be different? How can they be honest? I mean it is not possible. So, people have to give up on the cynicism, that it’s never going to change, that nothing can be done. I just have to do what the others do. Okay, if there is an opportunity to steal something, anyways, go ahead! And they have to say: “No, no, no!” – this is not inevitable. It can be different.
Antonina, reporter: What role, do you think, the mass media plays in this question?
Because there is such a phrase that: “If you want to know what society will be tomorrow, you have to look at the information that this society consumes today.”
How important is it, to show positive examples? The examples of people, who really change society for the better, who really inspire people to work on themselves, to help and love each other.
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: I think this is very important, because the problem with the media... is that normally they want to sell newspapers or clicks on the internet, etc. And normally they do this by showing bad things, terrible things: crimes, assassinations, and things that will worry people, you know. And then you get this picture from the media, that everything is very bad, because 90% of the news is about bad things. The problem is that in reality it is very different. The reality is maybe the opposite. Maybe 80% is a normal situation and 20% bad, but to sell the newspapers they do the opposite. So, people become very angry and they feel that the country is in a bad situation, not going... not doing any better. I think the media, they need not to censor or to… In any way, say, what they can or cannot do. But try to get outside of this situation: where the bad news is the news that sells and show good examples too. And I think it is very important. I think that is what you do.
Antonina, reporter: Exactly.
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: What your organization does. Because it is interesting. You have the need to sell. Some people think: “Good news doesn’t sell.” I think it is very important for the media to take up these good stories. And you see that happening, but not enough, not enough, yeah.
Antonina, reporter: The best contribution to the society is your personal example of kindness and humanness. What would you say about this?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: People just have to realize that if they act in a good manner, other people start to act also, because you see: “Hm, he is doing that… Yeah, I should do the same.” It will not be enough to change the society totally, but it all makes a big difference, I think, yes.
Antonina, reporter: It is very interesting! I totally agree with this opinion and we talked to the participants of ALLATRA International Public Movement in Brazil. They are very happy about our interview today. Brazilians are known as very hospitable, friendly, and open people. And what do you think is the most notorious quality of Brazilian people?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: You know, I think Brazilians are very similar to Ukrainians or even Russians, I think, in the sense that they are very hospitable, they like their friends. But it is not enough to be happy, not enough to be soft-hearted and welcoming. You also have to make sure that your country works. Ukrainians and Brazilians, they have the same kind of mindset in that they are very friendly, they are open-hearted people, but they tend to think that nothing can be done about the Nation, nothing can be done about the system, and nothing can be done about the government. And then you have the country that is opposite – maybe like Germany. They follow the rules, and everything works very well. So maybe we should find the system where people can be kind, warm-hearted, welcoming like Brazilians in Ukrainians. And at the same time we have public services and the government like the German’s?
Antonina, reporter: So we have to learn from each other, right?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: We have to learn! I think we have to learn from each other. We have to learn from the Germans, how to organize our country in a good way. Everybody profits from that, everybody gains. The rich people have to understand that they have to give something to the poor. The poor, they also have to make the system work and make their efforts. And at the same time as we do this, we also have to keep our hearts open. And I remember... It was a Europian many years ago. I met him and he was too in Brazil and he came back and said to me: “You know, I don't understand your country. Because I went to this area, people were very poor, but they were happy. How can they be happy, if they are poor? It is impossible, because you have to, you know, to have a car, big apartments, buy things.” So, this is a mindset of somebody who lives in another world. Like this Black Friday, you know. It is funny. People, you know "we have to go, we have to buy.” And maybe you get a 30 percent discount, you buy something you don't need.
Antonina, reporter: Right, it is not the happiness that actually everyone is looking for. Despite any conditions, is it a rich country or not, or do you have a lot of money or not. It is not the condition, that makes you happy. So, there is an internal resource, as a…
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: Yeah, people, they have expectations. And when they live within their expectations, they are happy.
Antonina, reporter: What do you think, is it possible for a person to be happy every day, all the time? And what is needed for it?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: I think you need a loving family and friends, because it is very important. You need to work on something you like. You need to feel that you’re achieving things in your ordinary life, work obviously. If you want to be the richest person in the world, you're going to be very tense, try many things, it is not going to succeed, and you are going to be unhappy. Basically, you have to be content with yourself, with the way you live, the way people are, not try to be what you are not. Obviously, people live at the better standard of living, but their expectations are much higher also.
Antonina, reporter: Actually, the government or the country is… these are people. We see that all these mindsets, as you mentioned before, such egoistic behavior leads to these social problems. This consumer format needs to be changed. How do you see the Society of the future? So how do people live together? How do they communicate? What values do they live by?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: The modern way of work means that people become more separate, and I think this is why, for example, religion is becoming so strong in many countries because it's a way to wake up people, you know. For example, people are living in big cities, in big skyscrapers, they don't know who their neighbours are. People living alone in anonymous way in huge cities, etc. Maybe their families [are] living on another continent. I think this is the big challenge. How to view this metric. On the other side, I think that the new society will be less geared towards goods. You see, now among the young the interest is much more into experience, trips, then buying things. You know, life is not that you own, but what you experienced. So, I think this is a positive thing. People will be able to travel more wider, much more information, much more freedom. But I think the diplomat’s life today will be everybody's life in the future.
Antonina, reporter: My experience in the project “The Universal Grain” was saying that I learnt so much from other people, because we sometimes have these stereotypes that prevent us from communicating and to learn from each other. So, what do you think prevents people to learn from each other, to be open, to be honest? What doesn't let us be so?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: We have examples all over the world, that countries are organized by different principals, much more open principals. The happy person or the person who lets go, when somebody does something wrong or, you know, somebody does something wrong to you, doesn’t pay of that or says bad things about you. And the tendency of some people is to really hold on to that branch, you know, and never let go and... “This person is on my blacklist,” etc., you know. And then what you find out is that these people are much more unhappy than the other people, who say: “Yes, this guy did this, but I just leave it and go forward” and just let the bad things go. These people are much happier and much more successful in life.
Antonina, reporter: Concentrated on good.
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: Yes, and if you hold on the difficult, bad things, etc. It, kind of, poisons, you know. Nobody wants to be with an unhappy cynical person.
Antonina, reporter: What do you think, what unites all people around the globe regardless of their nationality, regardless of their social status, their religions and so on. So, what unites us internally, what do we have inside so common?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: I think that almost everywhere you go it's very much the same – people, they love their families, the family is very important, they want their families to have a good future, they love their children, the children love their parents. And this is a basis of society, you know. And besides that, I think people want the same thing – they want a good education, they want a good standard of living, they want to be successful, I don't think they're interested in wars. I think wars are… The governments, you know, want to achieve certain aims, and they are ready to use war. But of course, we must remember that you can also take a population and manipulate this population with social media, and also with newspapers and speeches. People, at heart, they want good things, but they are always in danger of being manipulated by the dark side. You know, know, the politicians are doing this for a reason, you know. And we have to say they're doing this for a reason, but this is not in our interest. This is… People are fundamentally good, but you can always manipulate them to do bad things. So, it’s always a big... a big effort to keep on the good side, I think.
Antonina, reporter: And this is what we are actually trying to do as we..
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: Exactly, and that’s why I congratulate you.
Antonina, reporter: So, to strengthen this human values that unites all of people and to show it around the globe. Because our interview will also be watched by people in Brazil and in other countries. And to show that also people in such important positions and which work among the countries and that we all humans are the same, and we want to live in peace and be happy, first of all. What would you like to wish to all the audience of ALLATRA TV, to all the people around the globe, the whole world who will watch our interview?
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: I want to wish them happiness, but also for them to think really what they want. And about what happiness is. It's not necessary to have a lot of money, a lot of products and goods, it's more happiness to be with your family and friends. And to be careful that they are not manipulated by the government, social media and not to do things that they do not really want to do.
Antonina, reporter: Thank you very much. We're so happy and we have a little present for you. Book “AllatRa”. This is a book that inspired us to initiate all the projects. And unite around the globe. Thanks to the book “AllatRa” we've learnt so much about our world, about our essence, about our good site. We know that you made a research on the China-Brazil Partnership. This is a global partnership agreement ALLATRA. And seven foundations which are based on human values.
Antonina, reporter: I would like to greet you from all the people of ALLATRA International Public Movement, from all the participants for your openness and kindness and our conversation today and we learnt a lot from you today too. So, thank you very much.
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: Thank you! It's a pleasure for me to be with you. This wonderful organization ALLATRA, which brings good things to people. Thank you. And thank you for the gifts. I will take a look at them. And I hope we meet again sometime.
Antonina, reporter: We too! We will be glad to see you again.
Oswaldo Biato Jr.: Ok, thank you!
Antonina, reporter: Thank you very much!