Friday, April 27, 2007

World @ Feet

Recent studies in the European Union have brought to light that the Portuguese are the Europeans with less self-esteem (among other lesses). That may only come as a surprise to anyone not living in Portugal. In fact, the only surprise is how come a small country which has managed to exist for nearly 900 years within the same borders, language and culture, and has exported that same culture and language around the globe, how come these people feel like they're the most wretched?

I tend to believe that there is more than one answer to that. Many scholars have dedicated their time to this bewildering conundrum, and I have made my choice of the best possible explanations; my favorite is Geography. The same Geography that was immensely responsible for our greatness in the past, the launch pad for our Discoveries, is also an obstacle to the winds of different thinking, open-mindness and progressive ideas. The isolation on the western-most coast of Europe made it easy for sinister politicians and some clergy to hold the country back by blocking or chasing away the brightest and most gifted people.
Our greatest enemies are ourselves. Modern technology is helping to change that. Finally we will be able to stand out in the crowd again; and like our neighbors the Spanish, or the French or the English, we may start to be cocky and feel superior, because we had an empire too, we had servants and exploited foreign resources for centuries as well - only and again, considerably less than others...
Therefore, it always makes me laugh when people, especially in Britain, call Mourinho "arrogant"- when, they of all the people, coined the term "snob", sing "Britannia rules the world" and have Simon Cowell.
For a Portuguese fellow, he does have a huge ego, yes; but compared to a central European, he is quite mild.
After all, when someone promises to win and then delivers, he can't be smug - he is doing he's job. Millions or no millions, he his good and has proved it in smaller, poorer teams and even this season, with a mangled team. Love him or hate him, he's also the luckiest man I know, so make way indeed to the Special One...

No comments: