7/23/19

Where there is a will, there is a way


The journalist put her microphone just a few millimeters from the seasoned minister’s mouth. He hoped the sweat he felt on his forehead didn’t make him glisten on TV. The question was about the homeless. What he planned to do about the growing number of people who had nowhere to live, not enough to eat.  He put on his serious face, nodded slowly and said that it was unfortunate that the economy had put many people on the street. Then he mentioned how much money the government had already invested in different initiatives, and he said that unfortunately there were no more resources available. The taxpayers were already under too much pressure.  

Lack of money.  Lack of time. Lack of resources in general. There are many reasons - or shall we be direct and call them excuses? - for not being compassionate. For not even trying to find a way.

Massimo Bottura didn’t hide behind any excuses when he decided to serve creative meals for those in need. He didn’t let “lack of resources” stop him.
He uses food that would otherwise go to waste.
He agreed with the church La Madeleine in Paris that he could borrow their basement.
And so many were inspired by his initiative that he has thousands of people volunteering to be part of the staff that serves food to homeless people and refugees.

Part of a Photo by Valentina Sommariva – published in TIME April 29 - May 6, 2019.

Whenever you are about to say “I don’t have time / I don’t have the money / we don’t have enough resources”; stop yourself.
Think again.If you really want it, if it is important enough, you will find a way.  

Just like Massimo Bottura.




7/9/19

How to become as wise as a dwarf


Is life too short to learn how to live?

Not if you are a dwarf.

In Honey-Bee by Anatole France, a dwarf explains that the shortness of life for humans, is the cause of our ignorance and cruelty.

 “Their life is too short for them to learn how to live.”


One of my friends once said:

”Det är svårt att leva. Tur att vi har hela livet på oss att lära oss det.”(“It is hard to live. Luckily we have our whole lives to learn how to do it.”)
When I was twenty, I had figured it all out. I had learned a lot in school and even more during the sabbatical year before university. I had travelled the world, met a lot of interesting people, widened my perspectives. I knew how this thing called life worked.

It has only gone downhill since then in that regard.

The more I understand, the more I understand how little I know. The youthful certainty has made way for humble wisdom, with an awe about everything left to learn.

Is old age a guarantee of wisdom and knowledge?

Unfortunately not. I have met old people with minds so narrow they have not learned anything new in decades. You probably have too.

As Indiana Jones said in the Raiders of the lost ark:
 “It’s not the years honey, it’s the mileage.”
If you want to learn how to live, long before you die, make good use of every day of your life. Increase the mileage - your experience – instead of letting the years just go by.

Turn off the auto pilot.

Do something you don't do everyday. 

Take another road than the one you normally travel.

Dare to deviate, to explore.

Then you may become just as wise as a dwarf, despite your shorter life.