Those who choose the DeRose Method are not interested in discovering the palliatives that cover-up the ills of daily life. They are interested in absorbing culture. According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, culture means, among other things: a set of behavioral patterns, beliefs, knowledge, customs etc.. that distinguish a social group. Well, Our Culture is a behavioral rehabilitation that especially contemplates good relationships with others and everything that might be associated with such a proposal (for this reason, we suggest our profession be called life style coaching).
We write about various subjects: behavior, fiction, good manners, short stories, gastronomy, biography, philosophy, etc. Those who read our work and attend our classes seek to improve themselves in order to become better people, more polished, more traveled, more refined, more civilized, more cultured, and even improve their language and manners. We suggest a behavioral revolution, proposing more sensitive and loving relationships with family, with intimate partners, with friends, with subordinates and strangers. We recommend that potential conflicts be resolved elegantly, without confrontation. On top of all this, we teach how to breathe better, how to relax, how to concentrate and cultivate quality of life, providing the cultural and social conditions that encourage youth to stay away from drugs, tobacco and alcohol. All of this, eventually, leads to self-awareness.
This proposal is chosen by those who appreciate culture and alludes to the fact that we don't just teach some neat tricks, like some people may believe, but we teach culture. We are linked to the Ministry of Culture and not the Ministry of Education. In a meeting between Prof. DeRose and Minister Gilberto Gil in Brasilia, Gil he shared a memorable phrase: "Knowledge is with the Ministry of Education. Self is with the Ministry of Culture", which is our case.
If our work didn't serve for any other purpose, if it didn't offer any other contribution to society, it would be valid simply for the sake of keeping thousands of young people away from drugs.
The dream of all mothers and fathers is to know that their son or daughter is in good company and is not going to get mixed up in drugs, or go out to a club in a car driven by a drunken friend bound for a deadly crash.
During one of our classes, a young man turned to me and made a public declaration that touched everyone present.
– Professor DeRose, I want to thank you, because you saved my life.
The professor responded that he too was saving the lives of many people, since he too was a DeRose Method instructor. But Vini explained:
– No. You really saved my life. I had a friend who I would frequently hang out with at night. We would get drunk and go out. Today, after class, I am going to his funeral. He got drunk, got in a car accident and died. I could have been there, but I am here, alive. That is why I say you saved my life.
Parents realize this. Some time ago a father asked me how we were able to achieve what he hadn't been able to: how were we able to keep young people away from drugs, alcohol and even tobacco?
In reality, it's the result of the healthy environment, the good company, and spending time with their peers. They meet healthy, nice, attractive and happy people. She wants to be a part of the tribe. And, the example set by her peer's encouraged her to be clean of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
We are left with the impression that the mothers and fathers have confidence in us, and a sense of responsibility to uphold that privilege. Fortunately, it is more and more common for mothers and fathers to understand and support their children's decision to follow the profession they have chosen. This is documented in the letters from parents published in my book When it's Necessary To Be Strong, 40th edition, Nobel Publishers.
We disapprove of intolerance because it undermines critical thinking, the ability to make good judgment and the individual’s freedom of expression. We encourage our students and readers to be cultured, educated, well read and traveled: in short, mature and lucid people. This is a trustworthy vaccine against intolerance, whether it is religious, political or any other.
Coherently, our First Axiom laconically declares: Do not believe. Don't believe the propaganda, or the news in the newspapers. Don't believe the most honest information, from the most sincere person, because even this information is susceptible to distortion. Don't believe me and don't believe those who criticize me. All "truths" are relative and subject to interpretation, depending on the observer. All statements declared as truths suffer from cultural distortions, neuroses and the special interests of those who accept them as real.
Indoctrination doesn't work with our proposal. People prone to accept catechisms do not normally practice with us. We don't want the black sheep syndrome. We tend to say, not only are we not black sheep, but we are not sheep at all. It is important to know how to think freely. To think freely is not synonymous with compulsive questioning. This is also why we are not sheep, nor black sheep, and, for this reason, we are not disputing anyone's way of life. We favor diversity of options and freedom of choice.
The fact that we don't profess any faith, don't prescribe therapy, and don't offer benefits, protects our cultural proposal from any eventual erroneous tendencies.
The DeRose Method Accredited Entities (schools, cultural spaces, associations, federations) are all autonomous and each one has its own owner, director or president. We do not work with franchising. We use an autonomous entity certification system. These autonomous entities do not pay DeRose anything, and there is no legal, administrative, fiscal, commercial or employment connection with DeRose.
Therefore, what do I, DeRose, get from this? Dignity and a good name are worth more than money. It's a gentlemen's agreement. The accredited entities exhibit professionalism, which contributes to the name; in return they have the right to use the brand on their products, which is recognized and respected internationally. This creates a virtuous cycle that ends up benefiting everyone and encouraging them to look for the DeRose Method in serious establishments and in good books.
Prof. DeRose only has one school, at Alameda Jaú, 2000 , in São Paulo. The entities that carry the name DeRose (schools, associations, cultural spaces, federations) recognize the importance of our work and comply with the methodology we propose. It's like a worldwide network of Montessori Method Schools. There are thousands, but that doesn't lead anyone to believe that they are subsidiaries or franchises of Professor Maria Montessori.
 Over twenty years ago we experimented with the franchising system, but we later verified that it wasn't adequate for our proposal and we decided to never work with franchising again.
Some time ago I had an idea. Our institution would have thousands of students enrolled in our schools or accredited associations, and more than a million informal students at a distance, studying via internet, books, videos and CD's without paying anything, since they can download it all didactic material for free on our website. This represents an army of practitioners that, if well oriented, could provide priceless services to society.
Just considering the students formally enrolled, if each were to donate one dollar a month we could build several basic housing units every month for those in need. We could build a hospital or a school every year! But then I realized that, although nice, this ideal could make me vulnerable to criticism because it involves money. Therefore, I opted for another way to help those in need. I started encouraging our volunteers to get involved in national, state and local welfare drives, such as for clothes or food, programs like Meals on Wheels and other voluntary organizations in their neighborhoods and city. Consequently, we don't deal with money, but we achieve considerable participation in established social efforts. By developing the instinct to help others, our students begin to take the initiative to donate, visit orphanages, healthcare facilities and other institutions to help in whatever way possible.
In Portugal, our schools donate a part of the tuition of each student to UNICEF of the European Union, which led this entity to recognize us with a medal. In 2007, DeRose had the privilege to be recognized as an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club. As a result, with DeRose we will have the opportunity to better serve the community.
In 2008, we were awarded by the Governor of the State of São Paulo with a Diploma Omnium Horarum Homo of Civil Defense. In virtue of our actions in social and humanitarian causes, on December 2, 2008, we received a medal from the Paulista Associated Press. On December 4, 2008, we were awarded with the medal Sentinels of Peace by the UN Blue Berets Joinville, Santa Catarina. On December 5, in the Municipality of São Paulo's we received the Cross of Social and Cultural Recognition. On 9 December 2008, at the Government Palace we received the medal of the Military, of the Civil Defense, in virtue of participating in various Winter Clothing Collection Campaigns of São Paulo and mobilizing to assist the people left homeless as a result of Santa Catarina tragedy. On December 22, 2008, we received another diploma recognition of Civil Defense in the Government Palace.
We mention these public recognitions to simply illustrate the effort and participation of our students and instructors in social and humanitarian causes. Imagine what we have accomplished over fifty years, as well as the honors and decorations with which society demonstrates its support and recognition of our work. Much of this material is documented in Prof. DeRose's blog.
Parallel to the work done by our schools in their facilities, we hold free practices open to everyone in parks, gardens, and beaches in numerous cities throughout the world where our Method is taught.