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To close this two-day event of great celebration and learning, we invited someone who, for us, is an example of both coherence and integrity in everything she does. Fernanda Montenegro, an actress over 80 years old, shared the stage with Abilio Diniz and, reading the preface to one of his books, she touched and honored the life of our host. The lecture was almost a talk between two friends, who shared with everyone their ideas and feelings about the privilege of becoming part of the 80 year-old club with plenitude and pleasure.

WE ARE WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BE

For Fernanda Montenegro, a very important element for a happier and longer life is to follow the path of aptitude. We receive a genetic and social inheritance from our families and, based on that, we create our history, make our choices in each battle and get there. It is possible to go beyond different types of inheritance and social levels, build a path to the other side, and survive. However, we can only perform all these things if we have a strong aptitude and live according to it.

One person may even show excellent economic, social, and political results in their life. But if he/she has followed their real aptitude, then this person has failed. So we should always focus on the big question, which is: “Am I doing what I want to do?” or “Am I really inserted in what I feel I should be doing in my life?” When we follow our aptitude, we achieve success and fulfillment, along with the glory of having friends.

Starting a new decade is always scary. The sense of finitude comes with many questions. What will the rest of my life be like? To illustrate this point, Fernanda shared a prayer of Pope John XXIII, which says “Live every day and every night. When you wake up, if you slept and woke up, give thanks. If you went through the day and survived, give thanks. And again, the next day, when you wake up in the morning, give thanks for another day.” If we think too much about what will happen at this stage of life, we will become depressed. And it’s no use, you’d better think about how to live each day to the fullest.

At 80, one should no longer think about the future. It’s time to live and thank for everything that life has given and everything life has avoided. We celebrate life, which is a natural act itself, a human encounter, a rare and difficult thing in today’s electronic world. Finally, a little contemplation and faith in life are very good as well. We should thank and face each day with faith, because every second is unique. And for now, this is life as we know it.