I used to study in a Catholic school. My brother and I had scholarships because of my father’s work with another Catholic educational institution. Note that, my father was agnostic, in spite of the fact he was a law professor in a private Catholic University throughout the 1970s. Nobody ever questioned his capabilities because he stood proud of his lack of faith. They respected him. Anyway,

The schools in Brazil are mostly modeled after European educational institutions, which usually follow a system in which the students are grouped together in fixed classrooms. Kids are usually required to wear uniforms, which was what happened to me. I have plenty of memories of my days as a Catholic school-girl but one in particular stands out and makes me think of what brought me here today.

Every day, I would walk down the hallway from the main stairway toward the classroom in my navy blue and white uniform. I stepped carefully and attempted to draw as little attention to myself as I possibly could; given the fact I was often treated as the odd bird of odd birds, the nerd without a cause in a school of abnormally healthy and gorgeous little jerks.

As soon as I stepped into the main hallway, which was about 40 meters long, my eyes immediately landed on a poster hanging between the 4th A group and the B group classrooms. There was an awfully cheesy picture of a flower in the very center of it and at the bottom of the poster, the words “violence generates violence, peace generates peace”.

I kept my eyes focused on that image and quote for as long as I could. I would even get to the point of looking over my shoulder as I forced myself to stare at it until the point I couldn’t hold my head in that position any longer. I never really knew why I was so obsessed with that thing but as I sit here and remember the little girl walking slowly down the hallway, all I can think of is that poster: the cheesy flower in its center, the faded colors and crappy font.

All I can think of is that it was always so obvious to me. That quote did not have to be on a poster to make me understand the meaning behind it.

I guess all that I’m struggling to understand is: isn’t it always obvious? ~