United World Project


Elections, social network and the ability to interact with who thinks differently

15 November 2022   |   Brazil, brazilian elections, Dialogue
Foto de Pixabay httpswww.pexels.comes-esfotoicono-de-aplicacion-de-facebook-147413

In times of algorithms, heated spirits and (symbolic and physical) political violence, is it still possible to promote spaces of dialogue and reflections on social network?

This article comes from a personal experience. I returned in Brazil, my native country, at the end of 2021, after almost 3 years of living abroad. Apart from the social and political aspects, the country I found at my return really impressed me. 2022 started and, with the arrival of the election period, the division became gradually clear. During the months before the elections, everyday, upon waking up, I used to open the window of my room of the condominium in Rio de Janeiro and would realize that the opposite neighbor’s balcony had chosen a party and had decided to clearly show it.

There were balconies that flaunted a Brazilian flag (national symbol used by the extreme right as an element of identification) and others would keep a red flag with the ex-president’s, Lula’s face, candidate at the reelections and present winner of last presidential race of the country. The divisions, though, would go beyond politics and represented, above all, a better world project. Each of the two parts proposes their desire to respond to the present necessities with a value prospective and a clear narration. And each of the two prospective is put into strong discussion by the other “part”.

The second round of elections came about, and the victory was very risky. The candidate from the left party, Luís Inácio Lula from Silva, resulted as the winner with 50,9% of the valid votes. 1% more with respect to the present president, Jair Messias Bolsonaro. A result that is an x – ray of the population. The two halves are constantly in contact within the families, in the work environments, in the schools, universities, and especially on the social networks, where opinions and false news (or partially true) generate a river of hate and discord that threaten to remove the most beautiful thing of the Brazilian population: unity amongst the different.

Foto de Kindel Media httpswww.pexels.comes-esfotobanco-gente-navegando-sentado-7688667

In this scenario, I decided to put in act the idea that, where there is no dialogue, creating a favorable space is all that it takes. And I decided to do it where I felt it was most needed: on my personal Instagram profile.

There are many good people from both sides

I started from the idea that it is impossible to eliminate half the population of an entire country. It is impossible that half of a whole population doesn’t have interesting, intelligent people and people with values. Even though occupying a very defined political position, I understand that the disinformation can bring one to make discussible choices. With the awareness that the elections pass, that even the political parties and governments are passengers, but with the hope that the quality of the relations that we build can be something long lasting, I decided to contribute through something that I believe I know to do well: to write.

I wrote an open letter to my friends, offering a reflection on the present moment that tried not to attack any of the two sides. It tried to unite. I published it on Instagram and, to my surprise, in less than a day the post reached more than a thousand people. And the numbers did not stop growing. Hours later, the writing was shared on the Whatsapp groups and today, a few weeks later, it’s difficult to say as to where that idea may have reached. The ten comments on my Instagram post circulate around the word “Thank you”.

Resolving the situation, first of all, inside oneself

This writing was born following a meeting with some friends, with whom, with great enthusiasm, I listened to their life story and the point of view of extraordinary people, some closer to the ideas of the left side, others to the right, but all deeply hurt, thirsty for some peace. In the writing, I tried transmitting the pain of each of them, but I felt that I couldn’t do it if I couldn’t first contain those two groups inside me.

I had to try to resolve my interior division, to cure my way of seeing my wounds and, only like this, I was able to recognize other’s wounds. Dialogue, peace, in this sense, started from within. If it’s true that “each one donates what he/she has”, I tried to plant a seed of hope within myself. It wasn’t easy. And even if it may seem little, seeing this seed sprout on the social networks, in the conversations between people I know and those whom I don’t, made me strongly feel that I did my part.

“We really have only what we donate”: this is another phrase in which I truly believe and that I could experiment in this occasion. The more the idea would spread, the more it would strengthen me. There is still a lot to do, and one Instagram post isn’t enough to change the world. But the big changes can also start like this. Why not? My way of looking a 100% of the Brazilians has changed! I do not agree with everything, often some news saddens me, but little by little I see people behind the idea. And so, I ask: in this moment, is there something better than this?