(54) Christmas 2014 & New Year 2015

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It’s the period of Christmas and New Year again.

It’s time to rethink what happened to us this year. We should make sure that we need to learn from the errors we made and we also should remember the good things that happened to us.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2015,

Hans Fransen

(53) News and… Schoolchildren in Africa

During the period following my blog of 23 October 2014 I have received much support. I would like to thank everyone who phoned or emailed me from the depth of my heart.

In 2015 I will continue with posting my blogs and the activities of the Mourn & Grief Foundation. This time not every week, but every 15th of the month at 19:00 hours CET.

 

I would like to draw your attention to the following initiative:

Please, help my son Mervyn Fransen and the AfrikaPAK’t Foundation for supporting local school on their route through Africa!

For more information see: Giving Schoolchildren Means To Go Forward.

 

I do hope to see you in the near future.

Yours sincerely,
Hans

(52) Dear Readers,

A few things have happened lately in my private life that have a major impact. The impacts of these are such that I don’t have the energy nor the will to maintain this site for a while.

Hope to meet you again sometime in the future. Until then, your emails will always be answered.

Best regards,

Hans

(50) True Peace

Let’s start at the beginning; “We can never have peace if you don’t find peace within yourself”.

“Peace can only become true peace when every individual makes peace within him or herself”.
Translated from;  ‘Het verstoorde leven’ van Etty Hillesum, June 20, 1942

Etty Hillesum was Jewish and 27 years old when she wrote the above in her diary. She lived in a room in Amsterdam and experienced all that a Jewish woman under the German occupation had to suffer.

Actually, everyone should read her journals. The courage and the peace that radiate from her journals put everything I have experienced in my life in perspective. About the occupying forces she only writes with understanding and that while she hardly had anything to eat, had to carry out hard labour, had to carry a Jewish star and her friends were deported one by one to the concentration camps.

“We can never have true peace if you have no peace within yourself.”

Another example is the 16 year old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai. Two years ago she was shot in the head by the Talban because she was – despite her young age – a supporter for the right of education for girls. In the UK, Malala recovered from her severe injuries and has now become an international figurehead for the right to education for women. In 2013 she spoke to the United Nations. “Books and pens are our most powerful weapons,” she said,

These beautiful women have peace within themselves and the courage to defy the biggest dramas you can imagine. They give me hope, because if they can do this we all can do this.

But how many people do experience peace within themselves and in particular after the loss of a loved one? Wouldn’t it be fantastic when we all, after a loss, can find peace within ourselves and be able to extend this peace to others. Wouldn’t it be great when we do not condemn each other anymore; because we understand each other. Wouldn’t it be beautiful when we all, just like the above women, can carry our destiny proudly and have the courage to stand up for the weaker members of our society.

But let’s start at the beginning; “We can never have peace if you don’t find peace within yourself”.

(49) ‘There Is No Way To Happiness, Happiness Is The Way’ (The Buddha)

It’s about the road and the way, it’s there where it happens. Those beautiful flowers, or that naughty child, or the smile by just anyone. That’s what it’s about.

El CaminoI was visiting a friend who just returned from her two-month pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. The hike to Santiago is also called ‘el camino de Santiago’ which translates as ‘the road to Santiago’.

In 2008 I hiked ‘el camino’ myself, and while talking with my friend and looking at the pictures I was engulfed by the memories of my own Camino. I expect that anyone who hikes the Camino enjoys the simplicity and love that is there for the picking. You don’t even need to collect this because you can’t escape it. Life is about food, sleeping, walking, and communicating with your fellow pilgrims. Inevitably you run into inconveniences and confrontations but those are also easily and quickly resolved. I strongly experienced that I felt being carried by everything around me. No one wonders what your origin or position is. But what is important: what motivates you, what brings you here, what do you want to experience and what you do experience. To ask for help or support is not needed, it’s all around you. Life flows all by itself.

It’s about the way, where it happens. The colour of the earth and the landscape is changing while you walk and every day there are new encounters and challenges. Every encounter gives you something new inspired by each other and the surroundings of that moment; there’s so much recognition. That there is so much recognition, I think, is because we walk in the same direction.

Everyday’s life is no different, we all actually walk in the same direction. We all do it on our own way, but when you really communicate with each other than those different ways turn out to be very recognizable, they appear to be based on the same reasons.

The Camino taught me the simplicity of life. During two months the content of my backpack were my only possessions. And I was lacking nothing. Well, sometimes I longed for a hot bath, but then I promptly found one on my path.

Actually we all have the same goal and that is to be happy. Happiness is not in finding money, position or status or power. Wouldn’t it be great that we all would come to understand that life is actually quite simple. That there are no differences at all and that we all can be happy in a very simple way on the way to where we are travelling to. Listen carefully to the other, he may have a hidden message for you which exactly could be what you need at that moment. Live in simplicity, full with respect and love for each other without any distinction in status or origin.

It’s about the road and the way, it’s there where it happens. Those beautiful flowers, or that naughty child, or the smile by just anyone. That’s what it’s about.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.