Recently there has been a lot of discussion on and offline regarding the rumours that Cristiano Ronaldo supposedly spent 12,300,000 USD on the exclusive Bugatti car La Voiture Noire. The only one built car is styled after the legendary Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic model, and it was made to mark the 11th anniversary of the founding of the car manufacturer.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a professional footballer, and he is at the top end on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. In the period 2013-1015, he earned about 152 million USD.
How much the athletes, pop stars or head found managers are earning these days is not their fault, and how they spend their earnings is not our business. What may be subject of questioning is if the difference between 50 million and an average of 47 thousand per year is justifiable. One earns about 138.000 USD per day, the other 130 USD. One earns one day almost three times as much than the other in one year.
It is easy to blame the rich for the misfortune of the poor.
However, Ronaldo was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Cristiano Ronaldo was born in São Pedro, Funchal, on the island of Madeira, Portugal, and grew up in Santo António, Funchal.
Portugal is one of the smallest and poorest Western European counties with a net average monthly salary under 1,000 Euro, approximatively 1,120 USD.
Ronaldo is the fourth and youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener and a part-time kit man.
He grew up in a Catholic and impoverished home, sharing a room with all his siblings. Ronaldo started playing football as a child and in 1997, aged 12, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who signed him for a fee of about 2,000 USD. Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart at age 15, a condition that could have forced him to give up playing football. He underwent heart surgery where a laser was used to cauterise multiple cardiac pathways into one, altering his resting heart rate. Ronaldo was discharged from the hospital hours after the procedure and resumed training a few days later. Everything Ronaldo achieved, a record-tying five Ballon d’Or awards – the most for a European player, four European Golden Shoes, and twenty-eight trophies, was due to his talent and hard work. Ronaldo has scored over seven hundred senior career goals for club and country.
It is easy to hate the rich, but it is not Ronaldo’s fault that he earns one thousand times more than an average person, and it is not his fault that our scales of values are crooked.
On the one hand, the system is corrupted; on the other, our mentalities are erroneous, based on misconception and false beliefs. Moreover, it is a vicious circle – a catch 22 – because the system can not be changed until we do not change ourselves and our mentalities, but we can not change ourselves because the system ‘cultivate’ us to believe it is the right way, moreover, the only way. That is the result of either a deviously concerted effort or of an unfortunate failure of diligence.
The inequalities of our social system have its roots in the good-old dualistic division of things in good and evil, and the artificial pattern of association. One is white, and the other is black; one is male, and the other is female; one is good, and one is evil; one is the light, the other is darkness; one is poor, and one is rich and so on. The dualistic model that was artificially created and subtly cultivated for – at least – centuries, is a poisonous tree. It creates and perpetuate division, and put each other in constant opposition. Right is not automatically ‘good’, and left is not ultimately ‘wrong’ – as we might discern by default. These automatic, mechanical associations rooted in our individual and collective subconscious are artificially created, inaccurate and misleading.
In order to preserve the status-quo, poverty is presented as a virtue with the promise of richness in the heavenly afterlife. On the one hand, it is a matter of education, respectively ‘cultivation’, on the other, moral and social values were set to establish and preserve these false patterns.
In my opinion, our education is corrupted at its core. We are cultivated to compete with each other instead of being educated to collaborate. The key to individual and collective evolution is the collaboration, not the competition. Competition set one against the other. One is cultivated to be better than the other, and subsequently, one will envy and hate the other. One should be educated to be the best version of itself. It is not relevant how good or how bad one is compared to another. The only thing that matter is to overcome ourselves and our shortcomings and weaknesses. Collaboration, helping each other and supporting each other, makes us stronger both individually and collectively. It is a basic team mentality; you only move as fast as the slowest member of your team. So, if one supports the slowest member to improve, the whole team will improve. However, for centuries, we have been cultivated to compete with each other, and it makes us all only weaker and vulnerable. Together we stand, divided we fall.
There is another side of the division based upon the dualistic model. It is the unnatural limitation of our primordial options. It is always one against the other, where one is ultimately good, and the other is evil. There is no room left for negotiation and finding compromises. When one’s option is limited between only two possibilities, respectively ‘the better of two evil’, it is false liberty to choose. Without real alternatives and a third option, freedom is only illusory and simulated.
Thinking in black and white will implacably lead to – violent – conflicts. While, generally speaking, major conflicts generate profit and spectacular technological development, conflicts also act as brakes and cause involution, respectively the destruction of the civilisation.
Although we indulge ourselves calling the human species and our society civilised, at a closer look, we lost our humanity along the way a long time ago. While one lives in a four-bedroom mansion and another, sometimes on the same street, sleeps on cardboard, we can not call ourselves civilised.
There is nothing civilised and nothing spiritual about the ‘modern man’. The modern man is a slave of desires and a prisoner of misconceptions.
Society, in general, hides behind artificial concepts such as ethics, moral and social values, respectively behind the confusion that surrounds these notions.
One will argue that ethics refer to a set of standards of behaviour expected by a group of people to which an individual has subscribed, while moral values stress one’s personal choices sometimes identified as a moral code. However, it is not entirely true. Most of the social and religious communities may, and generally have, a collective moral code to which they comply.
Subsequently, moral and social values are often the same.
The moral values are based on perceptions of right and wrong, whereas social values may also include ideas about things being socially acceptable. While moral values are usually based on religious and philosophical bodies of belief, social values are often based on things like majority rule and tradition.
However, unlike general misconception, morality is not universal and perpetual, but subjective and subject of constant change. What one may consider moral, another may consider immoral. What is acceptable for one might be considered unacceptable for another. What is considered moral at one time and point, may be considered immoral at another.
Gurdjieff noted: “There is no general morality. What is moral in China is immoral in Europe and what is moral in Europe is immoral in China. What is moral in Petersburg is immoral in the Caucasus. And what is moral in the Caucasus is immoral in Petersburg. What is moral in one class of society is immoral in another and vice versa. Morality is always and everywhere an artificial phenomenon. It consists of various ‘taboos,’ that is, restrictions, and various demands, sometimes sensible in their basis and sometimes having lost all meaning or never even having had any meaning, and having been created on a false basis, on a soil of superstition and false fears.”[i]
Change is hard, nearly impossible and only very few are capable of making real changes by themselves. Change must start from the inside, on the subconscious and the individual level then to extended the outside and the collective consciousness. However, we tend to be ‘the man in the mirror’ and start with ‘changing the world’ instead, and failure is guaranteed.
[i] Ouspensky, P.D.; In Search of the Miraculous; Chapter Eight; page 163.