Marco Antonio Marques da Silva Talks Career and Personal PhilosophyJuly 3, 2018
Marco Antonio Marques da Silva has enjoyed a long career in both academia as well as the field of law. Born in the city of Itapetininga in 1958, he currently serves as a professor and academic advisor at Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. Having graduated from the university after his undergraduate studies, as well as attaining both his Masters and Doctorate in law from the institution, his connection to the school is enduring. In addition to his work in academics, he also serves as a judge on the Court of Appeals in São Paulo. We had the opportunity to speak with Marco Antonio Marques da Silva on his pursuits in both law and academics, as well as the release of an upcoming book on basic human rights.
What’s a professional failure you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t think of failure as something that needs to be overcome. Failure is always an opportunity, even if it doesn’t seem like that at first. When we fail at something, it sets us up for a larger learning that we can apply to our future endeavors. Keeping this in mind, I don’t fear failure and don’t see it as an obstacle in my life.
What was the inspiration for your book?
My work has focused extensively on the subject of human rights in a globalized society. This book is a natural extension of that work which allowed me to further explore these ideas. To me, these are fundamental questions of how we should act on a global scale (ebc).
What trends interest or excite you?
Interdisciplinary exchange of ideas. The more we engage in these kinds of exchanges and discussions, the more we are able to benefit from a depth of diversity that exists in all aspects of life. Modern technology is certainly helping to facilitate this exchange and I think it will only become more pronounced with time as technology develops and our access to ideas grows. This is the type of work that will help to benefit some of the most vulnerable people in the world who have previously not had as much input into academic thought.
How do you bring your ideas to fruition?
Collaboration is the lifeblood of my work. I travel a great deal so I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a range of people in different universities and other institutions. From these experiences, I am able to learn from others as well as experiencing a diversity of situations and contexts. That’s not only how I formulate my ideas but how I’m able to bring them to others. This fits with my general opinion of life which is that we can in part give rise to an idea, but it is never truly ours. Instead, we hold it for some time then we send it out into the world to have its effect on others.
What’s an opinion you hold that others find controversial?
I highly prefer spending money on travel and experiences over things. I think a lot of people trend towards the opposite since things are so tangible and experiences seem ephemeral. But I really feel that my travels have given me a depth of understanding about world cultures and other people that I would never have otherwise. It’s also a great way to test oneself and see what you’re made of.
What’s a habit that helps you in your career?
I’m always reading. Books, newspapers, you name it. Also, I watch a lot of films and travel a lot. Basically, anything opens me up to new experiences is worthwhile in my opinion.
What advice do you have for your younger self?
Focus on the importance of hard work and faith in God. Understand the importance of the story of Saint Augustine.
What book would you recommend for our readers?
“Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego)” by Fernando Pessoa. It’s a bit on the older side but the ideas it explores are incredibly relevant today. I think he did a great job of capturing certain basic human truths and ideals.
What does your typical day look like?
My day is usually packed with various aspects of my career. I serve as a judge for the Court of Justice in São Paulo, which takes up a large portion of my time. Most of that time is spent hearing cases and also preparing remarks for upcoming decisions. I also serve as a professor at PUC-SP in the faculty of law. In that capacity, I teach classes for undergraduate and postgraduate students and advise masters and doctoral candidate. It’s a lot to pack into a day but I find the intellectual stimulation to be very gratifying.
What’s a piece of technology you find critical to your work?
My iPad is great for writing down ideas in any location. I use powerpoint a lot for lectures. Apps for productivity or taking notes such as Goodnotes of Vademecum are great timesavers.
What’s a recommendation of yours for people seeking to achieve career goals?
Set goals and then work to achieve them with focus and persistence. But always do this in a manner that is responsible towards others.
Can you tell us your favorite quote?
“There are more tides than sailors.” It’s a Portuguese saying that means there are always more opportunities to come. If we miss one, it’s a chance to reflect and learn, but then also turn around and look for the next opportunity on the horizon.
What’s a way you’ve worked to develop your career?
Always be studying and striving towards your goals. By doing this, and surrounding yourself with people who do the same, success is an inevitability.
What’s the best way you’ve recently spent your money?
When I’m spending my money on helping people, I consider it well spent. Alleviating suffering is an intrinsic part of life so we all have to do our part and use our resources to this end.
Tips from Marco Antonio Marques da Silva
- Seek out others in your field who have differing opinions in order to build a fuller base of knowledge and experience
- Balance is key in life. Make time for work, study, and faith as well as other pursuits
- Alleviating human suffering is an important part of what makes us human. Strive to contribute some of your time and resources towards this goal
More about Marco Antonio Marques da Silva at http://www.migalhas.com.br/Quentes/17,MI130219,31047-PUCSP+homenageia+desembargador+do+TJSP