“Young people, you may want to fight for the poor, for animals, for those who are thirsty and hungry. Your heart may want to fight for the sick, for discredited and invisible youth, for the dissemination of ideas that transform, whatever your struggle. When we put it all together, each of us doing our best in what we believe in, from small drops we become an ocean, a great wave.”

Carol Oliveira

Young people: Spiritism on the move.

Carol Oliveira – São Paulo, Brasil.

When is it time to decide to fight?

It was a hot Saturday, the sun was shining, almost 2pm in the afternoon. It was time to go to the youth group at my Spiritist Center. I, at the age of 15, didn’t feel like getting out of bed at all – yes, I was still in my pajamas. Get up? Even more so, to go to youth group? There was almost zero chance of that. I remember that day well, because I knew I had an assignment: we were putting together our end-of-term get-together, so there was a lot of work to do, and I was totally unmotivated, as if a limp had taken over my whole body. Yes, I wasn’t a young girl who loved going to youth clubs and taking part in everything. I liked to stay to myself, in my room with my CDs playing loudly, writing lyrics and thinking about life. Isolated from everything. In the back of my mind there was that dialogue: “I’m going, but come to think of it, it’s already too late, I’ll be late, so I’m not going, no one will notice or miss me”. In the midst of these thoughts, a call came through on my cell phone.

– Hello?

He was my youth leader, my teacher, and I thought: “Now it’s over, I’m going to get scolded because it’s time, and I’m not there, I’m lying in bed in my pajamas.” I answered the phone, and he asked me where I was. I said I was at home. On the other end of the line, in a caring voice as if to say that he understood, he said: “Get ready, I’m coming to pick you up”.

That phrase “I’m coming to get you” wasn’t just a simple carpooling. At that moment, I understood that my presence was important, that day my leader didn’t come to pick me up at home, he went to rescue my heart, he went to get a moment that I would no longer have if I continued to lie in my bed. He went to find a story, and there I understood. That act changed a lot of things in my heart. This was just one of the gifts and lessons that youth group gave me, in fact, I say it was the most important time of my life, when I saw real transformations in my way of being, from a shy girl who didn’t open her mouth for anything to a woman who has a reason to exist, to be here being the protagonist of my life and in addition this path led me to the opportunity to be a speaker who travels Brazil, trying (in my own way) to enlighten hearts. Now I’m the one looking for young people at home, because one day someone came to me and I opened my heart to them.

And why am I telling this story, anyway? Because there’s a lot of talk about lost youth, who want nothing to do with anything, the famous “whining” generation, but many young people today are crying out for help in the most varied ways, isolating themselves (as I liked to do), consuming alcohol too early, using drugs to achieve an unreal and momentary sense of pleasure and happiness. There are also those who suffer such deep pain that they cut themselves, mutilate themselves in an attempt to silence the pain of the cut, or, even worse, kill themselves as if they weren’t important, as if they weren’t seen, in the idea that they won’t be missed.

So this text is about the importance of keeping Spiritism on the move and especially within the hearts of young people, because the time to generate this movement is not in a big event, in a super radical change, in something big. The simple decision to get out of bed to be useful is fighting the worst enemy we have: ourselves. We need – and it’s entirely possible – to identify and fight those internal enemies, those voices that say “you can’t do it”, “there are already people who do it”, “if you don’t go, no one will miss it”. You know those voices? They talk to us all the time, and it’s up to us to decide whether we listen to them or not.

I’m sure that, at the same time as those voices that sabotage us speak, there’s a spark in your heart that tells you otherwise. It’s that questioning that makes you restless, that makes you feel uncomfortable, that makes you feel you have something to do, but you don’t know what or how, that’s your sage. If you concentrate, I’m sure you’ll be able to identify him. His voice may be very quiet while your saboteur’s is shouting, but that’s a choice to fight, stand up and act!

This reminds me of Léon Denis, who was a young man who got an early start in Spiritism. At the age of 18 he read The Spirits’ Book, and it made so much sense that from then on he never dared to stop spreading the doctrine. In an article, he says the following:

At all times in the history of the world, having received great gifts, young people have always had the obligation to carry out great tasks. At the present time, their responsibilities increase in proportion to the seriousness of the circumstances”*

I didn’t want to put pressure on you by bringing this excerpt here, or I did, but it’s very true. If we analyze history, all the political transformations and all the changes were basically initiated by youth movements, in other words, the force is with us.

And how did we begin this transformation? There’s a song by Cartas de Bordeaux* that sums up what I wanted to say:

I change the world when I change my home, when I embrace the good, the good embraces me.”

Change begins from the inside out. Do you want to change the world? Start by tidying up your room, getting out of bed, organizing your drawers, because the way we look at and lead our lives is how we look at everything else, everything is in sync. Everything is in motion.

You decide when it’s time to start fighting, and can I tell you something? The world needs urgent change and I need you in this fight, just as you need me and each one of us needs each other, because each one of us is going to have a fight. You may want to fight for the poor, for animals, for those who are thirsty and hungry. Your heart may want to fight for the sick, for discredited and invisible youth, for the dissemination of ideas that transform, whatever your struggle. When we put it all together, each of us doing our best in what we believe in, from small drops we become an ocean, a great wave.

I hope you’re part of this wave of good and keep fighting. Some days will be more difficult, it will be hard to get out of your pajamas and get out of bed, but remember that we are never alone. When things get really tough, there will always be someone there to pick you up. Even if you don’t see them, these friends are around us all the time to help us. And if one day or another you want to stay in bed, that’s fine too, respect your time, but let it not be every day, let it be a few, because the fight for a better world needs people moving now. You have your role to play and, however confused you may be at the moment, you are important, and I hope I can count on you.

A Spiritist from childhood and a native of São Paulo, where she lives, Caroline Oliveira Souza Silva, better known as Carol, has a degree and works in advertising and publicity. At the Mansão da Esperança Spiritist Center, Carol works with the Youth and is also responsible for the channel “Meninas Espíritas” (Spiritist Girls).

 * Um Olhar Sobre o Tempo Presente, Léon Denis, 1st. ed., publisher CELD. Translation by Elena Gaidano, year of 2018.

** Spiritist rock band of the youth movement in Brazil

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