Here’s another inspirational video from a man who seems to possess some real intelligence – a knowledge of what’s really important in life. Jon Jandai founded PunPun, the centre for self-reliance http://www.punpunthailand.org/?page_id=34 near Chiang Mai in Thailand. He is a farmer, natural home builder and one of an increasing number of people who are turning away from the rat-race that is Westernized culture.
At this juncture in my own life, I am reaching the point where a veil is being lifted and I’m seeing the many alternative ways of living that focus on mutually beneficial production, conservation, and sustainability. It seems that in order to achieve this, we must strip away so many preconceived ideas about the world, ideas which have been instilled in us throughout our own upbringing by our nearest and dearest. And this is tough. Afterall, if the cautions handed down to us from our care-givers turn out to be false, then we might actually have to man up and decide for ourselves whether to take risks in life, or strive to place ourselves in that more positive, trusting and harmonious environment.
Jon touched on something hugely important to modern society – the idea that we need to have certain things in order to be happy. Many such possessions must be equal to if not better than our neighbour’s things. Yet, once you travel the world, you see that people live extraordinarily different lives and compete to possess completely different things. As an Irish man, property and land jump out as being the holy grail of our existence. Yet, in Germany, it doesn’t matter if you own or rent a flat or a palace as long as you drive a better car than the Jone’s.
Therefore, this whole competition is completely relative and a complete illusion. I know this. You know this. Yet we persist in this game. Madness. We ignore the truth and persevere working thirty odd years for a house when we could be building a modest natural home and seriously reducing the amount of time we spend in a job we grow to resent. Instead, we could be lying in a hammock somewhere pondering the truths about our existence and what it is we really want to do with our lives.
Fundamentally, what needs to occur is an examination of our lifestyle, what we need, what we desire, and what it is we don’t really want but feel pressurized to possess. Then, we must begin to evaluate the sacrifice. What are we giving up to have such things in our lives? And is it worth it? When I lived in Thailand, I would look at those people lying on top of their bamboo stalls snoozing in the sunshine, I felt impatient at their lack of ambition. It’s only now I begin to see how clever they are. This is a fictitious marathon we’re in, and frankly, I’m a bit tired of running around in circles.
Take it easy!