Lounging About – The Next Brazilian Export?

An article from The Huffington Post says more Americans should learn to be more Brazilian…by lounging.

“Is there no way to reconcile progress and productivity with balanced, healthy living? What if there was a product that promised to slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, increase blood flow to major muscles, reduce muscle tension and chronic pain, improve concentration and reduce anger? What if this product could balance and even catalyze our productivity and entrepreneurship? What if this product was free?

An inspired answer shines from the land of samba, Paulo Coelho, Carnival, açaí and Pelé. The Brazilian culture has achieved true mastery of the art of doing nothing, or as they phrase it “vadiar.”

vadiar: to lounge about (não trabalhar), to idle about (não estudar), to skive (perambular), to wander

Rather than spending their lives striving to be able to one day relax, the Brazilians build mechanisms for relaxation into their everyday lives. As a local Brazilian tale illustrates:

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish. The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.” “Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished. This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said. The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?” The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. “I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, recruit more fishermen and lead a team of your own. You can set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, and finally to New York City, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?” The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.” The fisherman asks, “And after that?” The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!” The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?” – Source

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