15 significant phrases by José Mujica,…
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15 significant phrases by José Mujica, the most humble (and poorest) president in the world

April 29, 2018 • By Shirley Marie Bradby

 José "Pepe" Mujica was President of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015. A political activist since 1952, in 2009 he won the presidential elections and held office for a single term, deciding not to seek re-election at the end of it.

 In those five years, Mujica became known all over the world for his political thinking and for his way of behaving that was completely different from the lavish habits of other heads of governments. For example, he donated 90% of his president's salary to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and kept for himself only what he needed to live in dignity. 

Many of his speeches have been heard around the world and some phrases have been extrapolated for their important messages. Here are some that we like to remember.

 The most significant phrases of the 'poorest President of the world'.

  • "Being free means being able to spend most of our life doing something we like."
  • "You do not whimper before the inevitable: the inevitable is faced."
  • "I am not poor, I am sober, free from excess baggage, I live with little because I do not want material things to rob me of my freedom."
  • "I feel anger, I get heated up, I say controversial things ... But I do not cultivate hate: we must learn to respect each other, especially when it hurts the most." 
  • "This money is enough for me and it must suffice because there are those who live with much less than what I have."
  • "The poor are not those who have little, but those who need too much."
  • "There are things whose value we understand only when we lose them." 
  • "If I possessed many things then I would have to deal with them, but the real freedom lies in having little." 
  • "Do not let them rob you of the youth in your heart. Our external youth will be taken away by time. But internal youth dwells within us and is connected to a very simple expression --- solidarity with the human condition."
  • "I prefer not to use the word "austerity" because in Europe it has a negative meaning, so I opt for a personal way of living that I call "sober".
  • "A world with more humanity and solidarity is possible."
  • "It seems that we have been born only to consume and to consume, and when we can no longer consume, we have a feeling of frustration, and we suffer from poverty, and we are auto-marginalized." 
  • "We commit ourselves to a life of waste and squander that, after all, signifies the destruction of nature and a step backward for the future of humanity." 
  • "What is the use of a few ecological commitments if large industries behave as they do?"
  • "Material changes can do very little compared to cultural changes."

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