Here is a dose of hard Love….
Last week l wrote about the “Human spirit of landmarks” with people who immigrated here from Portugal and cemented a foundation for a future generation. These true heroes settled in a country that was foreign and cold to their lifestyle and culture. However, many of these immigrants fought through ethnic harassment, segregation and a stereotyping that boxed them into a category that made it very difficult to advance and prosper. But as l wrote in my piece from last week, their courage and perseverance are what made them true pioneers that paved the road for you to succeed.
…. Paved the road for you to succeed
From where I am sitting it doesn’t look like many of you have taken this opportunity and used it to advance your cause in this community. My remarks are with respect and integrity, but l must point out from afar that many in the community have not worked well with each other and have not supported many of the causes. This community does not seem to support our youth inbuilding what our predecessors have built. In fact, many Portuguese youth have lost touch with this community and seem to migrate to other cultural ways of life or seem to not be interested in many of what seems to be happening in the community.
The one sector that seems to dominate the Portuguese community are the unions…. these unions especially Liuna seem to sprinkle a bit of money here and there with no real commitment to the Portuguese way of life. This community has made these unions what they are today and the true commitment and not necessarily with money is very weak at best. Their support needs to be much stronger especially when it comes to long term commitments to such projects as the Magellan Community Charities and other building block areas to encourage and strengthen the movement going forward.
Unions in this community seem to be the dominating power base that keeps fueling their coffers with money through union dues but the reciprocal efforts from them is nothing when you compare what they receive from the hard-working men and women of the Portuguese community. My observations with this matter is that their commitment to helping involve the youth to get much more integrated is only lip service and a much stronger effort should be made by these organizations. Yes, they have helped and yes, they support certain causes, but they need to roll out an organized strategic building plan for this community. These unions should pull together and come up with a long-term plan both in entrepreneurship and to help build the political base for folks within the Portuguese community to get involved. Because they are seen as leader, my recommendation to them is put together a true program with checks and balances that support and encourage the on-going involvement and contributions back to this community. Unions, we appreciate what you do, but you can do more and now is the time to step up to the plate.
We have a tremendous amount of talent in the Portuguese community and we need to encourage them that you know to be proud of their community and giving back is something you will not regret. If you are reading this and you feel that it resonates or makes sense…talk to someone you know that may need that push. Communication is a lost art and just sitting down with someone that will listen is worth the effort. You would be amazed at what a few encouraging words can do to the psyche and help motivate someone to get involved or inform folks as to what’s available to them…programs they may not know exist.
Mentoring is something that is a lost art within the Portuguese community and many of you should consider being a mentor. If you don’t know what this expression means….it simply is taking some of your time and work with a young person. Opening up your experience whether it’s in the business world, the political arena or any sector, there are young people that would love to be mentored and have their minds and horizons opened. Mentoring is such a rewarding thing to do not only for yourself but for the person you are mentoring. Covid-19 has set many programs back and, in many cases, may never recover, but the spirit that a person can do for someone else is very uplifting. The personal encouragement is something you cannot buy, and this is a very important building block to moving this community forward.
I will not pick on existing politicians or former politicians when it comes to supporting the Portuguese community, but you need to do a better job when you are in these positions. Many politicians once elected, seem to forget who got them there and before you know it, you are out of office. Those that are elected or better yet…if you are thinking of getting involved at a possible run for office, when you get elected, here is my advice. Remember that when you are in office, you are there for a short time, but your effort to give back and help the community is very crucial because l believe that the Portuguese community has fallen behind when it comes to appointments and other recognitions. Be aware of your community, and yes support folks that are Portuguese because the other communities do that all day long.
Whether you were born in Portugal or born here, and your roots are of Portuguese decent, be proud of your heritage and do not shy away from it but embrace it and get involved or ask for help if you need it. I love this community and have made personal efforts to support this community over the years and it hurts me immensely when l see fabulous talent just go to waste especially when all it needs is some love, encouragement and yes simple words of support.
Gratitude is something that we should acknowledge that the pioneers that came to this country have paved the road for you…take advantage of these wonderful opportunities and get involved because your future generation will appreciate you just as we appreciate those before us.