More than just managing to get by

Whether it's moving mountains or juggling molehills, how do we find a way when there doesn't seem to be one?

Original in Portuguese

We hear about these things everywhere: inflation is uncontrollable; jobs are impossible to find; bills have to be paid; children need attention; people are doing all they can to cope—but it's hard to keep up with the demands. My own country isn't, of course, the only one that makes headlines because of such challenges. In Brazil we even have a saying that's shared by many: Dê um jeitinho, por favor? This phrase essentially means "Surely you can find a way, please?" And it conveys the idea of finding a way to get around, or to sidestep, formal requirements or rules.

When complexities, shortages, and challenges permeate even the most routine activities of daily life, it's not so difficult to understand how such adaptation develops. Nor is it difficult to see that the plea itself and the discouragement that it may reflect can affect people quite a lot.

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April 27, 1992

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