Worshiping with Popcorn

popcorn“Worshiping with popcorn?Has Alex run out of worthy blog topics?”

Nope, this may just be one of my best yet…

The country is Brazil. The protagonist is 36-year-old Valdir Novaki—used to be an itinerant farm laborer, a newsagent, then a car park driver. Now he’s a
Popcorn Entrepreneur.

Hey, Alex, what about the “worshiping”?

Worshiping?

Oh, yeah, in just a second…

On the site I discovered him, GlobalVoices, they say:

“Despite the fact that Valdir only had the opportunity to finish elementary school, he now coaches students and business people of all ranks. For just over a year, Valdir has travelled around Brazil giving motivational lectures, entrepreneurship tips, and maybe some inspiration.”

Vladir even has a website, PipocadoValdir. Check it out! This is no mere popcorn man. He even gives his customers a “hygiene kit” with a napkin, a toothpick and a mint candy.
hygiene_kit
You can also watch the five news videos about his business by clicking the Valdir na Mídia link; and, the real kicker is the slowmotion video of popcorn popping!!

Here’s my favorite quote from Valdir:

“Oh, every day I’m in a good mood. And the key thing is to look back in hindsight. If we look back in hindsight, you will see that there are people [living in] much worse [conditions] than us. I’m healthy, I’m working, my family is not in need… So, it is only joy! Thus we overcome difficulties! I have always a smile on my face because, as I always say, the smile is the shortest distance between two people. And for me to be a popcorn seller, I have to be happy.”

O.K., Alex, he’s a great guy who’s conquered many obstacles in life and maintained a happy attitude, he’s an innovative entrepreneur and respects his larger social responsibilities… What about “Worshiping”?!

Oh, right. Check out this quote…

Spiritual Quote:

“The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 176

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A Little Help Can Go A Long Way

Not much of my own comment in this particular post. I’ll let the news sources and websites inform you about this Wonderful concept. As always, though, there will be a spiritual quote at the end…

From OneWorld.Net: Microloans Pay Off for Planet, Investors
“Mohammed Yunus, an economics professor from Bangladesh, is considered the father of microfinance. In 1983, Yunus founded the Grameen Bank to make small loans to impoverished entrepreneurs. Grameen Bank now has over 7 million borrowers. Yunus and the Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.”

From Wikipedia: Microcredit “Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to the unemployed, to poor entrepreneurs and to others living in poverty who are not considered bankable….Microcredit is a part of microfinance, which is the provision of a wider range of financial services to the very poor.”

From Business Week: Micro Loans, Solid Returns “With about $200 of his own money and a $1,500 loan, Vahid Hujdur rented space in the old section of Sarajevo and started repairing, then reselling discarded industrial sewing machines. Eight years and several loans later, Hujdur now has 10 employees building, installing, and fixing industrial machinery.”

From the KIVA website: We Let You Loan to the Working Poor “Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. The people you see on Kiva’s site are real individuals in need of funding – not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs’ profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.”

“The increasing disparity between the rich and the poor is a major destabilizing influence in the world. It produces or exacerbates regional and national conflicts, environmental degradation, crime and violence, and the increasing use of illicit drugs. These consequences of extreme poverty affect all individuals and nations. Increasingly we are becoming aware that we are all members of a single human family. In a family the suffering of any member is felt by all, and until that suffering is alleviated, no member of the family can be fully happy or at ease. Few are able to look at starvation and extreme poverty without feeling a sense of failure….

“A new economic order can be founded only on an unshakable conviction of the oneness of mankind. Discussions aimed at solving problems related to extreme poverty based on the premise that we are one human family rapidly expand beyond the current vocabulary of economics. They demand a wider context, one which anticipates the emergence of a global system of relationships resting on the principles of equity and justice.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Feb 12, Human Rights And Extreme Poverty

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Business . . . (as usual?)

I’ve recently begun a business that makes me an entrepreneur. The linked article from Wikipedia says, “Entrepreneurs often have strong beliefs about a market opportunity and organize their resources effectively to accomplish an outcome that changes existing interactions.”

Marketing? And, you call yourself a spiritual person, Mr. Zoltai?”

Well…

Howard Rheingold said, “Markets are as old as the crossroads.”

And, tonight, in a business training seminar, Brett Rademacher said, “Life is a moving market.”

Nothing happens without someone selling something.

“What?”

Consider this:

Did you ever pursue someone for a date?

Did you have the date?

You must have sold them on the idea . . .