Archive for June 2012

Summit Brazil

BRAZIL

I am in Rio since the United Nations summit on Sustainability is taking place over there. My husband will be very busy, attending one presentation after the other and I ……… I will be very busy as well exploring Rio de Janeiro.

I am in a hotel in Ipanema, which is one of the most beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro. I feel very grateful to be her.

I am looking around and enjoying what I observe. Beautiful women and being honest, very attractive men. “How is it possible that Brazil seemsto have such incredibly beautiful and handsome people”, I ask myself.

The weather is beautiful, nice temperatures and I am showered with a lot of sunshine. They call this winter? What about their summers?

I am aware that in this amazing country and in this city one of my most favourite authors Paulo Coelho is born. I am thinking of him and smile.

I was born in The Netherlands and I love Amsterdam. If anybody would ask me to come up with a word that represents Amsterdam I would say without any hesitation: “FREEDOM”. The breath of fresh air that is filling each and every cell with what I would call FREEDOM. Amsterdam is the best place for the development of what I would call SOUL.

The word for Rio de Janeiro would be: “SENSUAL” or is it “SEXUAL” and what does it mean? I walk on the beaches and enjoy watching the sceneries. I talk to people that I cannot understand. Even my few words of Spanish that I still know do not help me to communicate. It does not mean that I cannot do anything, of course I can, I smile, smile and smile.

The days that Walter (my husband) can spend with me we rent a bike and cycle on our way to Copacabana between skateboarders, runners, walkers and other bikes and God knows what else.

I am drinking fresh coconut and in the evenings the Brazilian speciality Caipirinha. I feel drunk after one class but who cares? I am in Rio. I want to express myself very clearly: I LOVE RIO.

I think I ordered some specific food but for one or the other reason I always get something different. I do not bother at all. I enjoy and think of what I might have said and know that it is completely unimportant. I visit some of the tourist attractions.

Since I am unable to have profound dialogues with people I am reflecting on some insights and thoughts. It seems that there are still undiscovered tribes deep in the rainforest of Brazil. I am thinking that it might be the best thing that could happen not to discover them as Columbus did. Why not? I am asking myself. I am reflecting on what has happened in the past. We discover something, or we think we do, and from the perspective of superiority we influence immediately other people habitats and behaviour. It might be that we bring our illnesses and diseases into their environment and their civilizations will not last. Is this a problem? I ask myself. Since I am not having the answer, it is a problem. What would I tell them? It must be even more difficult than trying to make myself understandable in Portuguese. Are they talking a language? What if we would be able to communicate with them, what do I share with them. Is it possible for me to explain about the Netherlands? That our capital is Amsterdam for instance.

 If they ask me what is special in Amsterdam, would it be possible for me to explain that we had famous painters, that we have the Rijksmuseum, the van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank house?

If they would ask me: Who is Anne? What do I tell them? How can I ever explain what caused her death? Every reason seems to be unreasonable. Who is willing to kill a young girl? I do not have an idea!

 

I still know that I read for the first time her famous diary. I still know the unbearable pain that caused what I read in my heart. I still know that I locked myself up in my own fantasies. I still know how many possibilities I created to let her escape. It seems that Anne never left me. She is very alive next to me in Brazil. I am not Jewish but the imprint of what happened to her and so many others could not be bigger or deeper. I firmly believe that from that moment on I decided never to “belong” to something. That from that moment on, I, on a (un) conscious level, never, ever committed myself completely to an idea, ideology, religion, or political party.

How much I wanted and I am sure we all would like to have the magic stick to bring Anne again alive. “Anne, please wake up. Anne it was just a nightmare. Anne do not be afraid, it is not true, nobody would ever do this to you or to anybody else. Anne, please listen, we all love you and we will always protect you. Anne come, wake up. Anne you know, it never happened”.

I will never fully understand what happened inside me. I am crying now and I do not know why. Pain, unbearable pain, tears are running while writing this. Nothing changed inside me. After all the meditation courses, the books I read, the best teachers I had classes from. Inside me the unbearable pain of evil still exist.

Paulo Coelho is telling us to say no to evil and I agree. I spend many days, weeks, and months in life to accept everything as it is and I have to admit that I am (still) not very successful. It is not about acceptance, it is about what our next steps will be. I always wanted to be a kind of new Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi or the Dalai Lama but I am not. My path is different. I know that deep, deep inside me is a voice, that wants to express the pain. There is a part in me that represents the warrior, the rebellion, the voice of the ones that are not heard. Wherever I go the forgotten people are on my side. They are part of me. I can dress up in the most expensive dresses, being surrounded with the most intelligent, creative, great people but I know and I am surrounded with the circumstances of many other people. I know of mothers that tried to save their babies while trying to reach the beach of Gran Canarias but died due to unsafe overloaded boats full of refugees. I am aware of the people that have burn marks all over their bodies due to the fact that they have no electricity and use paraffin for cooking and how dangerous this is, since it can explode. I know that there is human trafficking. Young children are forced into prostitution. I will never be able to neglect this. I will never be able to say: I did not know. I just know. It has nothing to do with fear, nothing to do with guilt. It is not the addiction to drama. It is not. It is just the other part of me. If you shake hands with me, you touch the hands of the people that live in shelters. If you tell me my eyes are beautiful, just know you see the beauty of yourself and of all the people that live in horrible circumstances.

I remember a song that I always liked since I could have been this girl. Even when I would be surrounded with glamour I would be still the gypsy, the hermit, the nobody.

Where do you go to my lovely

My life was full of surprises and miracles. I was never able to be focussed on just one aspect of life. Some of us know that they will be great politicians, authors, painters, musicians and I ??? I am alive. I never wanted to be somebody, since I felt I was. I always knew I am. I am an observer who observes, knowing that I observe. I know I live my own fantasies wherever I go. I do not belong. I do not desire. Anne is walking next to me in Brazil. She is smiling. Anne you are free. Dance Anne, dance, this is Brazil.  Anne, I will celebrate Carnival in Rio, with you. We will dance. You will be the dancing queen. Anne we are free.

 

 

NATIONALITY

My attention was brought to a YouTube conversation with Donald Trump about the birth certificate of President Obama. I thought that I could not believe my ears. I felt that I had to respond to the interview. I found the discussion completely out of place, while in the opinions of many there is a world crisis.  A majority of people lives in horrible living conditions, health delivery functions badly in many places or does not even exist and many people have little or no access to education. People are killed in many parts of the world for bizarre reasons (if any) and the discussion during the elections in the US is about the birth certificate of the President.

I thought: Who the heck is interested in this?

I think it is very disrespectful for all of us who are concerned with the world to talk about this kind of non-issues in the world. I can imagine that people have different worldviews on how to approach them but a birth certificate has nothing to do with it. This is indeed a kind of old-fashioned tea party conversation of people that have no clue what is going on.

I spoke last week with some students from the Netherlands that did their internship in a hospital in South Africa. I listened carefully to their stories and experiences. Some of what they went trough was very difficult for them. A child had serious burn marks since the parents threw hot water over its face. The bandage was very dirty and this is as you can imagine very dangerous with this kind of injuries. The bandage was still not renewed after 4 days, since doctors and nurses simply do not have the time to change it, due to other serious accidents and “stuff” that they have to deal with on a daily basis.

Indeed after listening to these youngsters trying to understand and to come up with some kind of solutions, it is absurd to hear the discussion of a birth certificate of the President of the USA.

Donald Trump said something about the Chinese that take over all the important activities in the US and I was wondered: Who is responsible for this? I mean: I really never asked companies to have their products made in China. I asked my husband, children, relatives, friends and random people in the streets. Did you ask organizations to have their “stuff” produced in China? Nobody, and I really mean nobody, responded with YES.

The reason that corporations went to China is due to the fact that the production processes of their products were much cheaper. The production processes are cheaper due to low “salaries”. Many of us would call this modern (legal?) slavery.

It seems that many organization do not have a problem with the exploitation of people especially when it is far from home.

The so-called challenges we are confronted with are caused by unsustainable decisions of many corporations and in particular in the financial world. When the communist countries “collapsed“, the capitalistic view over-emphasized on shareholder value only. The “normal” fundaments for serious (financial) government were and are still completely ruled out.  Essentials of risk management are neglected.

The world challenges nowadays are caused by the enormous economical and social differences between rich and poor. The causes of the main problems in the world are due to the modern world religion: the Capitalistic World View, every man for himself, and God for us all.

Before you think that I am a communist, I am not. Not that I have anything against Marxism, which is different from what was practiced in most communist countries anyway. Oh yes, I ignore China here that is still a communist country. I was able to observe many times the consequences of unlimited self-enrichment. The heroes in our modern world are soccer players, rugby players, baseball players, movie stars and some other celebrities. Successful is defined as: being rich and famous. Is that what we want?

I do not have anything against Donald Trump and I respect him in many ways.  I do not know him personally and from what I learned about him by stories in newspapers and television it seems to be a hard working and disciplined person. My children even thought it was hilarious that I could forecast all his decisions in a television program “the Apprentice”.    Nevertheless, I would like to send him on a well-deserved holiday/retirement.

I am always flabbergasted by the “profound” knowledge of the Republicans. Rick Santorum was warning the US citizens for situations like in the Netherlands, since he “knows” that our elderly people are forced into euthanasia. The fact is that Rick Santorum has a lot of money but obviously very little brains. I ask myself who is paying him? Who believes that this illiterate person could ever be able to lead a nation? I know that this is not a great example of non-violent communication but my need for respect and truth is not fulfilled.

After the whole issue of the birth certificate of President Obama I was puzzled with the deeper meaning of “nationality”. Why is Donald Trump convinced that he is an American? Does he belong to the Indigenous Americans? We learned that in 1492 Columbus discovered America, what I think is very strange, since it existed before that “discovery” and Indigenous Native Americans lived already in what we now call the US.

Many of them died due to illnesses brought by the European immigrants and due to their murderess violence and aggression. Are the Native Americans talking about the birth certificate of President Obama? Is in their eyes Donald Trump an American?

I was as well surprised by the fact that Nicolas Sarkozy in his position as president spoke about the fact that France had too many immigrants. Excuse me? Was he not born out of Hungarian Immigrants? And I thought his wife is from Italian origin. I am not trying to make them ridiculous. I just try to understand why and how people can be completely BLIND? Why is it that people take their own situations for granted and refuse to recognize the needs of others? Do they feel superior?

The world is in need of great leaders, conscious leaders; those who are able to change the prevailing paradigm. We need visionaries that speak the truth, are honest and have a high level of integrity. Leaders who listen to others, who like to include others, who are willing to learn from others and who are able to understand that each and every country is interconnected on planet earth.

I wish and hope that President Obama will be able to continue his work since it is impossible in such short period of time to deal with the disastrous heritage from the former political (Republican) leaders.

 

I hope and wish that every child will have a (WORLD) birth-certificate which means that it will feel protected (by all of us), has food, clean drinking water, shelter, and will experience our universal unconditional love.

Heal the HEART from pain.  Snatam Kaur