Brazil, one of the most beautiful places on earth as well as most impoverished, overly populated in areas such as Rio De Janeiro, not to mention the various indigenous people/tribes hidden within the Amazon.

The Pantanal known as the largest swamp in the world, and is great for spotting lots of wildlife.

Coastline of Rio De Janeiro, where it is known for its beautiful people bronzing in the golden sun. Brazil is also known for plastic surgery, so much in fact that in 2003 they actually ran out of silicone right before The Brazilian Carnival.

The Brazilian Carnival is celebrated amongst the entire country bringing together many generations of culture from the Indian tribes to the modern day. Brazilians work all year just for this one event, to celebrate and party for 2 days straight, held the Friday before ash Wednesday.

There isn’t any other country that has won as many world championships and is as passionate about soccer as Brazil.

Brazil is rich in culture, where many of their people spend 5% of their income on traveling to work. When you get past the beautiful people, serene landscapes, and nightlife these are people hidden in make-shift homes, crowded amongst the foothills of a 250 foot tall statue “Jesus-The Redeemer.” In most parts of Brazil, people have to make a living by trade, spending months away from their families in order to care for them. I have had the honor of meeting quite a few Brazilians, while I was living in Japan, and around the country. All of them have opened their homes to me and were caring, easy going, happy people. It seems to me they are able to live more in moment and celebrate today, rather than what’s tomorrow.

We as Americans (in general) take for granted the fact we can think freely, act, and believe in what we want! We are inherently RICH, even those of us that live paycheck to paycheck, or have even less, because it comes down to the fact that we are FREE. Most people in other countries don’t even have that as an option, not to mention there isn’t an abundance of fresh running water, electricity, or proper living arrangements.

My intention wasn’t to make anyone feel bad, guilty, etc, it’s because today I needed to check in and be grateful for my wonderful life. It’s so easy to get caught up in jealousy, self-pity, and too much complaining. When I was playing ball we always nixed any complaining because one complainer can spoil an entire bunch. If you’ve ever played on a team, I’m sure you remember those very teammates, and it is probably followed with “man that person was annoying.” Next time you want to complain, have some self-control and stop yourself, it doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 85, it’s never too late to be humble before God.

Be thankful. Make it an everyday ritual to give thanks to our creator & if this is hard for you, find ONE thing, just one thing that you are grateful for, and celebrate that. Slowly you will start opening your heart to allow in joy and compassion that you may have been missing. So I leave you with this to meditate on…

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:25-34


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