Don’t talk the talk. Walk the walk.

Austerity. It’s amazing to see how many folks are trying, all over the world, in the past few years, to analyze this phenomena.

Everybody has an opinion on the news papers, social media and old-fashioned media. Economists, intellectuals, politicians and all the sort of CEO’s have been giving their views on the actual economic crisis in Portugal and other European southern countries.

They talk the talk. But they don’t walk the walk. All of these opinion makers, from all countries, have not yet achieved the necessary conclusions in order to begin the change Europe needs so desperately.

To worse things up, I think that 98% of these guys have not felt the anguish of not having money to pay the loans, the rent and utterly, food. It’s easy to theorize over a matter that does not affect you personally. It’s like giving relationship advises when you never had one. Of course I’m not diminishing the capabilities, formation and knowledge of most of these men, but sometimes theory need its practice in order to give a clear perspective on the problem.

In Iceland, a group of ordinary people, from all over society ,formed a commission in order to re-write the Iceland constitution. A sacred document that allowed the financial exploitation that led to Iceland’s bankruptcy. They changed it, from a people’s point of view, disregarding the financial interests. That obviously solved a lot of problems in Iceland a few years ago. Now, they’re on the path of recovery.

Is it pure coincidence? I think not. I think that an insight on the problem, the experience of the problem, optimizes the quest for solutions. Not having an empirical view, based on numbers, news and information is crucial to understand the problem fully. That pops up solutions written by those who need them. And this is very important, because they are not theorists trying to figure it out. They felt it in their homes, in their lives. Therefor, they already have the necessary skills to point out what’s wrong and what needs to be changed.

Like Obama’s 2008 political slogan: we want change. And in the past years, nothing has happened, leading us to a point of no return. So I think we need something fresh and new. Not politicians and intellectuals to formulate solutions. We need practical people in order to set straight the enormous list of the Portuguese social, economical and political problems.

A few months ago I discovered in the blogosphere, in my opinion, a truly truthful blog. Jack Monroe conquered me with a wonderful post on a middle-class point of view of extreme poverty. A Girl Called Jack is a blog written by someone who has met the hardships of being a single mom struggling to survive on british social benefits. She took on a challenge of living with 10 british pounds a week. Yes, she bought food in the local supermarket and made breakfast, lunch, dinner and a few extra snacks for her and her child with only that amount of money. So, she earned the right to speak out loud against the system errors.

It’s the difference between talking the talk or walking the walk. The value of Ms. Monroe’s opinions is undeniable and it points out lots of functional problems with the british welfare system and how to survive in such adversities. Most politician’s never spent a day in their lives without being deprived of anything.

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