He gives 90 percent of his wages to charity, lives in his original home and shirks the luxury available to someone in his position. He has legalised abortion and gay marriage.
Meanwhile the process to legalise marijuana is underway in his government – not because President Mujica believes addiction or drugs are beneficial. But because he seeks to find a new way to fight addiction, identify and direct medical help to those need it and reduce the drug industry in his country. He seeks a new way because the old ways aren’t working.
More recently, the president spoke at the United Nations on reducing excess. He believes passionately that we have become a globe obsessed with consumption for the sake of it. But he also believes ‘we have to produce food for the hungry, roofs for those who need a home.’
President Mujica is a former Marxist guerilla kept in solitary confinement for seven years. He has taken up arms against those he believed were oppressors. These days he is an atheist who seeks to collaborate with the Pope, a man he greatly respects, to find new ways to address and bring peace to Columbia.
He is a man who has lived a full life and now seeks to bring positive change to his region and his people.
He believes ‘The only good addiction is love. Forget everything else.’
President Mujica is a man our leaders could learn from and, in a time when violence and repression in some parts of the world makes us fear that some have lost all their humanity, he shows us there is always hope and the possibility of a better way. I wish there were more leaders like him.
You can find the full interview here: http://goo.gl/AaVKsd