By Diego Nascimento
I was invited to talk about international relations to a group of graduates at a traditional Brazilian university. I accepted on the spot. I could not hide my pleasure in talking about this issue. I deal with this at work every day, and I believe strongly in the benefits of globalization and English as a second language. I confess good college memories washed over me when I entered the room. I made found a seat under the watchful and curious stares of those future managers.
The fact that I also work as a university professor afforded an extremely pleasant participation. Unlike a lecture where there is a time of explanation and a time to answer questions, my entire talk was fielding questions from students about the benefits and challenges of working internationally.
The fourth question came from a very nice lady. With a smile on her face, she asked what was the main tip in regard to the success of external relations. I immediately said, “The secret begins with an R.” Whatever the language, geography, political system or religion, I pointed out that RESPECT does not single out a continent. The absence of this attribute has been and continues to be responsible for numerous troubles around the world. I made it clear that this attitude starts at home and is directly reflected in our professional daily work. RESPECT fits every situation.
You may be thinking, “Today Diego is talking about something that is not news to anyone.” Yes, if that was your reasoning, congratulations! It is entirely correct. My warning is not about the meaning of the word but of its practice. We live in a society where being educated is a virtue. This is not normal. Education is a basic part of life, and from the moment it is considered a differential, something is wrong.
After a good time sharing experiences with international relations and connections with different people, I emphasized that the fight against individualism is one of the great challenges of our time. To think about yourself and forget each other explains why so many companies face internal problems and some groups still lose opportunities for cultural, business and social exchanges. After nearly sixty minutes with those students, I realized that in an age where the Internet has redefined the meaning of distance, we need to open our eyes to the attitudes that can transform our thinking.
I conclude by asking you to reflect with me. The exercise of RESPECT begins with those who live under the same roof with you, expands to work relations, studies, lines at the bank, lottery sales, and even at church. Next time someone asks you if there is a path to success, say, “The secret begins with R.”