Life is not that serious

When this Greek guy named Tassos came to take lessons with me, he already spoke a little Portuguese, but he wanted to be a carioca. Our classes were on Saturday morning. I always amazed by how he put into practice all the things he learned, until he started teaching me about Rio.

He always worked hard, but I never saw him stressed. He said that people took life very seriously and life was not meant to be like that. Being professional does not mean that life needs to be so serious. I followed his results at work and his progress with his goal of being a carioca. But even still, I could not understand what he meant by “not taking life so seriously.”

On the eve of the Olympic Games, some pre-events had media coverage. He was working at the water arena and, during the event, there was a lack of light. The audience was crowded and all the athletes and staff were there. They could expect all manner of technical problem, but lacking light, something so basic, really? The next day I imagined he had been tense about it, but again he surprised me with a huge smile.

He said:

“You always tried to explain to me what it’s like to be a carioca, and now more than ever it makes sense to me. There was no light yesterday. What do you expect from a director’s attitude in this case? The director was Brazilian and in a very good mood, he made the whole team feel calm so that everyone could give their best.”

“If that happened during the London Olympics the whole audience would either go away or at least it would boo. Which would leave the technical staff working in an incredibly tense atmosphere. The audience grew calm, waiting for the light to return, and then applauded. We all felt victorious.”

Thank you, Tassos, for showing me that being a carioca is also knowing that life can be led much more efficiently if it is not taken so seriously.


Writer: Marcelle, Brazilian, is the founder of the Fala Brasil School, which offers an innovative teaching model based on the individual needs of foreigners trying to establish themselves in Brazil, and is part of a growing movement in favor of more sustainable and socially responsible companies. She believes that a better world begins with how to do business and how to trade between different cultures.