Caio Moussalem was born in a town called Cuiaba in the country side of Brazil, but now lives and studies in Rio de Janeiro. I stayed at his house for a few days through Couchsurfing and found him to be a very intelligent and motivated person, who I hope will soon be one of the world’s future leaders. I met him only a day before his 23rd birthday, which coincidentally is also my birthday, and I soon found out that is not all we have in common.
Like myself, Caio tried out many different career paths until he finally found one that he loves. He tried five colleges and studied law, journalism, marketing, law for the second time, and then architecture and urbanism. He is now studying social sciences which involves anthropology, sociology and political science. He is doing this course to find an effective way to help people. Within every study path he had previously tried he was always trying to go political, until one day he just snapped, woke up, and really asked himself what he was doing with his life… he decided he wanted to go for what he really wanted to do. He already felt he was a politician in someway, so he got into social sciences only to instruct himself to know how to effectively change the world around him for the better.
¨People focus too much on what is happening; it’s not that these things are not important, but they are just a mere consequence of how things are being treated.¨ says Caio. ¨More important than what is the reason for something, is why it is… this is the only way to effectively change things.¨
Caio gave me the example of a tree to explain things in further clarity. He said that to be able to stop a tree from growing you can’t just prune it, you need to go for the root. He mentioned that organisations that try to fight corruption in Brazil are surely trying to improve things, but the source will not die this way and there will always be new snakes and new people to corrupt. He believes that this is a makeup system only and that Brazil needs a deeper change… a social change. If the people of Brazil work on the source of things, on the reasons of why things work a certain way, on why they happen, and then act on those things, then a decrease in corruption is sure to take place as the root of the issue is no longer being ignored.
Caio is only in his second semester in his studies, but he has always felt like he wanted to do something purposeful with his life, and not just live for his own purposes… his own things. This was never broad enough for him… he always felt that there was something wider for him to do. Caio is not only intelligent, but also very musically talented as I found out later when he played the guitar and sang a song about why his life is the way it is. The song is called “My Bedroom Door”, and refers to his need to do something for other people, and not just think about himself within his own space and comfort zone. He also told me that his memory under 14 years of age is pretty much a blank! He just remembers thinking how to get out of his room, his temple. He only used to read books, listen to CDs and think. But he says he can’t curse this period of his life because the experience, however solitary it may have been, brought him a lot of knowledge.
It is now a goal of Caio to one day be the president of Brazil. He doesn’t want to step over anybody, he wants to do it well, and he also wants to enjoy his life while doing so. He says that we are living in a construction society- you are constructed by your family, environment, culture, country and by yourself. He thinks it is silly for people to ignore politics and believe that they are politically neutral, want no part in it and that the decisions they make has nothing to do with being constructed. “Even if you spend all the days of your life sitting on your couch, you are still being constructed day by day. The options you’ve got are if you are either going to be conscious or not conscious in this construction process”.
Caio traveled and lived alone, out of his comfort zone, to try and stop being a product of his environment for a while. He found it hard to change his thinking and his habits when he was surrounded by people who knew him. He gave me an example of the difficulties associated with someone who wants to change, but can’t because of the surrounding environment; ¨Let’s just say I wanted to stop eating chips, I try, but everyone around me who knows me so well and knows that I like eating chips keeps saying ‘Oh, come on, just have some chips, I know you like them”‘. But if you are in a different environment where no one knows you very well, you can easily change the habits that you would like to – you can change what you want in your life.¨
Caio finished with a few words that I believe everyone in this world should take note of and remember. He said “Choose to be conscious about what you want to be and do, putting both your mind and feelings into everything”.
Rio de Janeiro