BJörn Johansson caused a very strong ripple during the summer retreat. As we were having dinner, he asked me: why does it seem so simple for people to have conversations about what they want to get, how to make business or how to find health and develop themselves, but rarely have conversations about what they do to contribute to the world or create meaning for others?
I understood this question as an invitation and shared my stories of things I and others in my direct environment are already doing to make a difference. It caused another strong ripple and Anton Stellamans decided to bring a short presentation about the most dramatic situation, now taking place in East Congo and about how he is involved in a think tank who is trying to find a sustainable solution for the many traumatized victims of the war, especially women that are systematically being raped.
Immediately after his presentation, the Sol Retreaters brought up ideas, collected money and other resources and a lively conversation unfolded at the tables, about what we do or could do to make this world a better place. I was most moved by this shift to Other Centredness. I get more and more convinced that happiness is about contributing to others rather than to the self, (not meaning that self care is not important).
My thoughts immediately went out to my father, who spent a life taking care of others and now can only take of himself, due to different serious illnesses that ruined his health. Peter Musschoot sent me this link, just yesterday (isn't that amazing) and I makes a lot of sense to me.
It's a blog from Kathryn Britton about 'Finding Meaning in a shrinking world'
I trust and am looking forward to keep this focus alive, keep talking about what we do, and invite others to talk about it and I strongly hope that the next summer retreats will keep making useful ripples into the world.