by Henry M. Holden
In a small, very readable and well thought out book, author Victor Das DeSousa presents a war that very few people remember, and his personal philosophy on living life. The book made it to number one on Amazon.
DeSousa was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and raised in Mozambique
“I haven’t read anything that tells the story of the years during the Carnation Revolution, and beyond and I thought it would be a good idea for me to do something like that.”
The Carnation Revolution was a military coup that took place on April 25, 1974. It toppled an authoritarian government, ended fascism in Portugal and Portugal’s colonization of Africa.
“If you go through an experience such as I did, there is a certain point in your life when you are presented with circumstances that are beyond your control. You get uprooted from them and you start over,” said DeSousa.
“Our teenage years traditionally help shape us for the rest of our lives. My experience growing up during the revolution stayed with me my whole life.”
“Africa carries a special mystique for many people. There are different aromas, and the climate and atmosphere are different. I did not have television until I was in my teen years, so we were socialized by each other. Our survival was not distracted by television or radio. Going to the movies was an event of the day for us.”
“The revolution eventually came to us, and we were part of the experience.
I left Mozambique when I was 17 years old, and in spite of the events I still have fond memories of my days in Mozambique.”
DeSousa tells his story in the first person because there are many important details he wanted to share. “I tried to make it a story that I could sit down in front of the fireplace and tell it to my grandchildren.”
The title of De Sousa’s book comes from Ecclesiastes. There have been a number of interpretations of Ecclesiastes 1-14.
I have seen all things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
“That is exactly true,” said DeSousa. “Everything is meaningless without God (in the picture.) One of the things that sustains me is my faith. I don’t see the need to go to church every Sunday, but I do see the need to have God in my life.”
“Ecclesiastes teaches us an important lesson. We keep chasing happiness by looking for material things in small and large creature comforts.”
“We are confusing happiness with moments of joy.” DeSousa says, “There is a point in life where you feel happy and circumstances are beyond your control. We keep looking for things because everything under the sun passes which is the only common denominator. The sun symbolizes God.”
“I think that we have to practice happiness. Every time I look at the title of my book, I think of Alexander the Great. When he died, all he wanted was to have his hands exposed above the earth for a short time to symbolize that he took nothing with him. That is the reality we constantly miss.”
DeSousa came to America 35 years ago. “We had to uproot our family and everything we were familiar with. We came to a strange new land. I had this perspective. We need to preserve our good soul and our virtue intact because everything else passes.”
“I want the readers to understand that now, in the climate that we are living in, this quarreling affects our families and friends. We are losing the ability to talk to friends and family.”
“We are constantly chasing these superfluous things and forgetting what is important. We waste our time with something we know is going to pass, and we are allowing the worst in us to come alive. We don’t know if what we are saying today will be here tomorrow. We should keep our virtue and our character, who we are; a good person, a good citizen, compassionate, and kind. That is all that should matter. Everything else will pass.”
“There is something in our lives we can look at every day and be grateful for. Gratefulness is a humbling factor because when you are grateful the notion of entitlement that we have gets diluted. We need to learn to be grateful about who we are today, and tomorrow try and be better than we are today.”
DeSousa’s book is available for purchase on Amazon.