Why Poverty?


Earlier this week I landed on the Arte TV-channel here in Germany that had dedicated that day’s programmes to the theme ‘Why Poverty?’ Having studied economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, I guess I could answer this question using economic theories and would probably come up with some kind of an accepted answer. But watching young Chinese adults reluctantly engaging in a struggle for survival, either by trying to get accepted by some top university (thereby ruining their family’s monetary reserves to cover for the cost) or by trying to find whatever job that is available amidst countless competitors, made me sick. And those are considered the lucky ones.

Continue reading “Why Poverty?”


The Language of Mattering

Hi y’all out there!

Again I came across an interesting post by Umair Haque (I guess you might think by now I’m following him or something) , here it is: http://bitly.com/PIZdeh He makes a point of finding out the meaning of our life or better: of allowing meaning to find us. And to be open to Love. Big love not small love. It seems we have become deaf to the language of mattering, numb to the real meaningful things (which most of the time aren’t things anyway) blind to the meaning of our life, closed off from a life with meaning. And why? Is it the overload of stimuli telling us to care about having stuff, to see the world around us in terms of stuff and stuff only? It must be why most people I know are dissatisfied, whether they are regarded successful or not.  Constantly living in a state of profound exhaustion, perpetually fuelled by fear. Fear of being hurt, disappointed, turned down, fear for showing up as who we really are, imbued by the fear of not being good enough. Well, if it helps, let me tell you: you are good enough just the way you are. We all are.

It takes courage to see and more so to embrace what our life is about. Too often we get caught up in a complex structure of rules and supposed expectations we think we need to fulfill. letting go of that feels like giving something up, without us being able to see how it holds us back, how it limits our talents, how it prevents us from living wholeheartedly. Freedom is more than just an academic notion, being born in a discussion to which none of the participants are really present. It comes from disciplined action based on self-knowledge and with detachment from the results. So the invitation is to go out there and get dented, bruised scratched in allowing meaning to find you. And in that process to love and be loved. Love yourself for starters and see what comes from that, see how different the world becomes when you do so. Have conversations that matter, with anyone that matters. We think we’re alone but once we dare to step out from under our glass dome, we quickly find out we’re not. Initiate these conversations, go out and seek the experiences that are meaningful to you and not necessarily to others. Experiences that bring you closer to who you are and what it is that you, and only you, are here for. All are craving for contact, for sharing experiences, for having conversations that matter. For being open to the language of mattering. Allow those conversations to happen so you can help others on their way as they help you continue your journey.

Love and Blessings,





I’m just wondering


I’m just wondering these days as I read about politicians and civil servants, doing their best to erode the system they are depending on, if they are actually aware about what they’re doing. Or is it that they just play a predetermined role as puppets on a string or as pawns in an ancient Greek drama? I find it rather funny (well, is that really the word here) to see how supposedly grown-ups around the world are fighting to be the leader (ahem) of the pack and regardless whether they succeed in becoming so, the least they will do is to secure their own private interests. Sometimes by securing the economic future of an entire family dynasty, sometimes far more petty by claiming a few euros too many for their expenses. But also, like right now in Holland, by putting together a coalition agreement after the elections without having properly thought it through. And then, in an act of utmost disrespect for parliament (and all of society for that matter) kind of toss it over the fence in order for it to be discussed in parliament. (where the majority belongs to those parties having put the agreement together, so guess what the outcome of the discussions will be) To me it makes the case that we’re basically done with the old-fashioned way our institutions are run. (Umair Haque wrote an interesting post about it as well: http://bit.ly/PIZdeh) How long do they think we’re going to put up with that nonsense? How long are we still going to?

It seems to fit a larger picture as we’re moving into a new era. A new era that will eventually be characterised by global consciousness, people living their life, to which they’re called, in individual freedom, with a sense of belonging (and contributing) to a local or regional community. So it is clear that in this society there is no need for the malfunctioning institutions of our day. There’s this dialogue in my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (http://www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome) between the elderly Italian gentleman Romano and Peter Woudenberg, the main character following an accident Peter had been involved in. They talk about the upcoming changes.

“Do you have any idea what is awaiting us?” Peter wanted to know.

“As I said before, current structures and practises will fall apart and new ones of a different nature will emerge. I believe that the secrecy, which has governed us for a long time will subside in order for transparency and openness to prevail.”

“What would happen if the way forward would not be taken? For instance because the current establishment manages to stay in power.”

Romano smiled and continued in his characteristic calm way.

“It just won’t be possible.”

“That’s what you hope,” Peter countered.

“It’s what I hope and also what I choose to believe to be true,” he sighed, seemingly getting somewhat agitated.

“A critical mass is growing around the world, bringing this energy to the tipping point. I’m not saying we’re there yet but for me it’s clear that a growing number of people are questioning the way they live their lives.”

“Isn’t that a bit of a luxury?”

“At face value it may seem a luxury. But what I see is that they want to have a meaningful and fulfilling life based on their calling or personal destiny. Your unique identity and personal destiny form a totally different driver for human evolution than a supposed need for endlessly fulfilling material desires do. Amongst others because it leads to us viewing our individual existence as non-conflicting with that of all others.”

“So what you’re trying to say is that when more people start living, how shall I put it, their authentical life, human life on the planet will start changing because of that,” Peter rephrased.

“That’s a way of putting it,” Romano reflected. “But of course, first parties on all sides will take up their positions and fight each other about this until the bitter end. Therewith only helping the process of de-institutionalising or disintegrating the current system to speed up.”

So yeah, I choose to believe that our society as we know it has begun to change in a radical way. Its very roots will change.  Interesting to see how the institutions get help from the inside in being dismantled and interesting to see what comes in their place as some coordination of us living together seems desirable.  And also: what institutions will be affected by it….. Any thoughts?

Love & Blessings,