By Mário de Andrade
I counted my years and discovered that I have less time to live than I have lived so far!
I feel like that child who won a tin of sweets: he ate the first few with pleasure, but when he
realised that there were only a few left, he began to savour them fully.
I no longer have time for endless meetings, where statutes, rules, procedures and internal
regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.
I no longer have time for absurd people who, regardless of their age, have not grown up.
I no longer have time to deal with mediocrity.
I don’t want to be in meetings where inflated egos are paraded.
I don’t tolerate manipulators and opportunists.
I resent the envious, who discredit the capable to take their place, talents and achievements.
People do not discuss meaning, only the headlines.
My time is too short for being preoccupied with titles.
I want the essence; my soul is in a hurry!
Without many sweets in my tin!
I want to live next to humans, …the real people.
Who know how to laugh at their mistake.
Who don’t get puffed up by their own success.
Who do not consider themselves elected before their time.
Who take responsibility for their actions.
In this way, human dignity is defended
And we live in truth and honesty.
The bottom line is what makes life worth living.
I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard
strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.
I am in a hurry… – to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.
I am not going to waste any sweets I have left!
I’m sure they’ll be more delicious than the ones I’ve eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.
We have two lives, and the second one begins when you realise that you only have one….
Mário Raul de Morais Andrade (1893 – 1945) was the central figure in the avant-garde movement of São Paulo for twenty years. Trained as a musician and best known as a poet and novelist, Andrade was personally involved in virtually every discipline that was connected with São Paulo modernism, and became Brazil’s national polymath. His photography and essays on a wide variety of subjects, from history to literature and music, were widely published. He was the driving force behind the Week of Modern Art, the 1922 event that reshaped both literature and the visual arts in Brazil, and a member of the avant-garde ‘Group of Five.’ The ideas behind the Week were further explored in the preface to his poetry collection Pauliceia Desvairada (Hallucinated City) and in the poems themselves. His influence has reached far beyond Brazil.