The Big Decision...
I'm aware that my last blog came across a bit unclear and mysterious to say the least - it was intended to be, it was just that I wasn't in a place to say exactly what was going on. Last week was very heavy and tough to say the least.
It all seemed to start last Sunday as we were trying to get out of the port of Dover. Everyone we spoke to was enthused by what we were attempting to do, but given it was a Sunday and that all management were off, no one had any power to do anything about it. The assistants in one company even give us some food as Eric cleaned their counter, but the ability to use their own discretion had been taken away from them in the rush towards corporate policy. We also learned that the ferry companies there had to really cut back on free tickets last year as they were – and still are - being killed by the cheap fare airlines. Cheap, that is, in the short term.
But the day seemed really synchronised none the less, for reasons I still am unclear about. Six hours after we were meant to have left the country, a mother and daughter who had been on the hunt for pilgrims heard my tin whistle playing and miraculously found us. The daughter, Katie, wanted to come on the pilgrimage, and for three hours we debated it.
It wasn't such a big decision in itself, but the questions it posed struck at the core of what the whole pilgrimage was about. My head was saying a definite no, that it was insane. My heart was saying yes. And that was what it came down to - Heart Vrs. Head. Having made a resolution to always follow the former a year ago, Katie was coming with us.
Sitting mentally exhausted from the emotions of fear and joy and pressure the whole discussion brought up, my thoughts turned to getting across to France. Just then Katie's mum, the other half of this crazy afternoon, said that she would love to contribute to the journey. And after a few minutes thinking about whether this gift fitted in with our belief of doing everything unconditionally, we decided to accept the universe's offer and we were on our way. To what we had no idea, and it was probably good we didn't as we most likely would have decided against it.
After spending a night sleeping in a French toilet we arose full of spirit. The world was our oyster and we were ready to commit as many random acts of kindness as they could handle. That was our raison d'etre. We decided it best to wait around and get a map first, and in doing so ran in to a couple of Ethiopians who told us about a refugee settlement nearby. And so we decided to sacrifice an afternoons walking to go and talk with them.
On my way over to them I felt a huge sense of apprehension. When they ask me what I am doing, what am I going to tell them? Can I say that we are walking to the countries that they've just spent 6 months trying to escape from - Afghanistan and Iraq - for peace? I decided my message was irrelevant for them, that their main concern was survival, and so we decided to dance with them for a while and then just listen.
What we heard was horrific, though all stories were told with a smile on their life-beaten faces, hiding the pain in their voices. More friendly, beautiful people I have never met and there they were, sleeping in plastic bags in the freezing cold eating food from a Christian charity organisation, with no country wanting to look after them.
They had nothing and they even offered us food. As ours was running out and quick, it was tempting, but we decided that as these guys didn't even have enough for themselves and that our situation - however tough - was chosen, it would be wrong to do so. And so we moved on with emotional hearts, speaking little, trying to absorb what we just heard and what it meant for us.
The rest of the afternoon was a write off. It really shook me. I felt I was bringing a message to the east which it didn't need, and leaving a part of the world where it was needed. It hurt. Slightly tired and hungry, we decided to lie low for the night and pick it up again in the morning.
So the next day we decide to talk to as many people as possible. This immediately highlighted a huge problem for us - not only did no one not speak the language, they also seen us as just a bunch of freeloading backpackers, which is the complete opposite of what the pilgrimage is really about.
That really scared us, and given that we now were pretty much out of food, hadn't slept in days and were really cold, we had to reassess the whole situation. We spoke to a few people who were willing to talk and they said that France would not go for this unless we could speak fluent French, which none of us could. The advice was to make a bee line for Belgium as folk said they would be more likely to want to speak some English.
The only trouble was the first decent sized town in Belgium was 170km away, and all we had was three tins of soup, a bag of trail mix and a chocolate bar to sustain us. As it was unlikely that we would get a chance to help or be helped by French people in the journey getting there, the task looked daunting to say the least, especially as Katie and Eric had very little time to prepare for this.
But we decided to go for it. Ten minutes later though, I got an interview with a French radio station. The trouble was it was the next day, and so if we wanted the publicity we were going to have to wait. Which meant a toss up between another cold night with even less food, and some great publicity with a translator. We decided that the interview could turn things around, so we had to give it a shot.
The interview went great, and we were really pleased until I found out it could be a week before it went on air. We could be dead by that stage was the general feeling. Deflated, we sat down and thought about what on earth we were going to do. Head off on the three day hike to Bruges with practically no food and hope the situation there got better, or to call it all off.
For me I knew I could make the journey. I just didn't feel like it would get any better there, and mixed with the fact I was wondering why I was bringing my message to countries torn by war waged by the west, I was extremely confused and on the edge.
Eric decided that given his lack of training and the critical food situation that to go to Belgium would have been a suicide mission, and I tended to agree. Katie was the most optimistic of the three of us, my only concern was that she didn't fully understand how hard it would be given her lack of training to that point too.
So Eric made a really brave decision - to go home. As strange as that sounds, it’s the truth. At that moment in time it would have been easier on our souls to keep walking. But what for? What would be achieved by our exhaustion? Which now left me and Katie. Katie was still well up for it, but only if I was. Her enthusiasm amazed me, though the realist in me was wondering whether it would be enough to get her through.
Sitting in the station, I decided to make a decision. It was the following, but bear with me because it quickly evolves -
I decided to go back home and to continue the pilgrimage in my own community in a sense; in other words to spend every free second helping others, friends, strangers, the natural environment and the community at large. Katie, who was only coming along for a part of the pilgrimage anyway, decided the same and she kindly offered to get me and Eric tickets home.
The disappointment I felt at making that decision is something I cannot explain fully in words, you have to believe me. It felt like the dream was over. But to the day I die I know that was the best decision I could have made with what I knew and felt.
So Eric made his way to Bristol and I decided to stay and think with some Freeconomists I met in Brighton, and amazing bunch of folk. I got there, got some food, got warm and had a great nights sleep. The pain of stopping the pilgrimage was overwhelming, so sleep came easy.
The next day I awoke to tell my friends at home the news. The universe and they, it seemed, had other ideas. Expecting a 'Come on we'll help you get back on your feet' response, I was jolted in a new headspace. Chris, the definition of a true friend, reminded me that no pilgrimage ever went without a major hiccup, and he relayed messages from one of my own heroes, Satish Kumar, as he had just spent a week working with him. That gave me strength Olivia and Dawn, two other true friends, did the same, and if I didn't know better I would have suspected they didn't want to see me ever again!
So I logged onto the site for the first time in almost a week and seen all the amazing acts of kindness you guys were doing and all the beautiful messages you sent me, and tears came to my eyes. I could not stop now. I can never stop. The message behind this community is my truth, it's what I believe can get to the root cause of many of the symptoms of our society, and I cannot give up on making that happen.
So there and then I decided that this doesn't end. I must keep going. If my refusal to give up when things get really tough can inspire just one other person, it will have been worth it.
I can only apologise for letting all you guys down by coming back to the UK. I have touched money to get back here and I want you all to know that. But that has happened and I can't change that now. All I can do is make a resolution to not be so weak in the future. I hope you can forgive me my slip up and believe me that I will do everything I can at every moment of every day to keep going. I promise you all.
The plan forward has changed accordingly. Those off you who joined this from the start will know that I had originally planned to do a lap of the UK before hitting the continent in order to build up this movement where it’s needed most. The hope was that it would gather such momentum here that by the time I made it to Western Europe a movement would be formed.
That has now become the case again. It's funny how we often forget the original plans but so equally often revert to them.
What we are going to do is walk from town to town asking people "Can I help you?", with the intention of planting seeds, helping both individuals and local projects and raising awareness of both the message behind this site and the site itself. Whilst walking in the UK I intend to learn French and to hit the continent again as soon as we feel we are ready.
So here is what we are asking you guys in the UK - can we help you, can we help any projects you are working on, do you want to meet up and talk about what can be done to make this world more beautiful. The offer is unconditional as always, and we would dearly love to be off help in any way we can, from the bigger picture stuff right down to cleaning your bath tub.
This week has been one of the toughest of my young life. I hope you understand the decision I had to make and accept my apology for letting you all down. I promise you with all my heart though that I will leave Brighton, on the south coast of the UK, tomorrow on foot with the same passion I had the day I left Bristol. If anything, I think I have more. If you guys forgive me my lapse, I will go for it.
If you want to help me, see every interaction every day as an opportunity to bring peace to the world. And contact us and let us know how we can help you – by receiving you are giving us a gift.
Lots of love to you all, if it was for your messages and the strength of my dear friends in Bristol, this pilgrimage would have ended, in it's truest sense anyway.
The journey continues, and with more belief than ever. We can make it, its just going to be longer and tougher...I hope we still have your support.
I love you all xxx
Comment on this Post:
oueeza comments ...
Hey, if you travel through Puglia (the heel of Italy) stay in my house outside Martina Franca. Contact Lucia and Michael to get in. Or just let me know on the blog and I’ll put you in touch privately (via email, not blog!)
As for the UK, you can stay in Witney ... :))
Cathy comments ...
Aw no. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience, and what must have been a very hard decision to make. But hooray that you’re back in the UK, and lucky for us to have you for longer.
And when you try again in the future, we can all help more. I had so much confidence in you that I didn’t even think how much you would actually need help and a safety net... but I think you will and that is a good thing because we all need it. When you start again you could give us an idea of your route, and we can contact friends who can contact friends who can look out for you. I am kicking myself because I know French people who I am sure would have been so happy to help you if they had understood what you were doing.
I’m happy to hear you are back in Brighton, and hope you are being kind to yourself and not regretting... I
would still love to write about you, and Freeconomy, any time.
Jack comments ...
No need to apologise to anyone - you’ve made a lot of people aware of the concept of freeconomy and been open and honest in your ideals and objectives - If anyone has a problem with your plans changing, then maybe they should try doing what you have done.
Keep on doing what you’re doing
CeliaW comments ...
In my humble opinion - it takes more courage to admit to a need to change a plan, review the options, take a short-term physical step back than it does to carry on regardless cos that’s what you had said you were doing.
The message will still get across, many will still benefit even if not in the way you thought immediately.
Good luck to you, I hope you have safe and enlightening travels around the UK and share your ideas with many. Reading your blog and people’s various comments has certainly given me much food for thought.
I would just like to end by sharing an Apache blessing to speed you on your journey - one I find inspiring and comforting.
May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty
All the days of your life.
avellana comments ...
Please don’t feel like you have let us down. I feel it took strength for you to return to England and as the lady above said, it’s nice to have you back, which might be a bit of a strange thing for me to say because I’ve never met you. I’m really sorry to hear that things didn’t work out in France this time round :-/ But I guess everything happens for a reason and maybe now wasn’t the right time for the journey to progress across Europe. I’ve got a "Teaching-You French" CD ROM which I was going to freecycle but I’ll see if I can get it to you somehow. Take care and thank you for all the kind acts you’ve inspired :-)
Fleassy comments ...
you are stronger than you know.
right now i have no words and truely silence says so much more.... i dont know where you are right now but your message is spreading further afield than you :) i too intend to hit the road again in a few months hopefully our traveling feet will cross paths.
Love and light to you friend.
Jane in Bristol comments ...
You can’t possibly think that you’ve let anyone down. Perhaps it was not an accident that you bumped into the Ethiopians. Perhaps you were meant to ask yourselves those questions before your journey. You tuned into the universe and you did ask the questions and I believe you have arrived at the right place as a result. That’s the biggest success of your journey to date, isn’t it? So you’re back in the UK and have touched money...in a sense, that doesn’t matter because this is where your journey is meant to begin. This is where the momentum will grow. Next time you set out beyond the UK (and that could be several years from now) you will have a whole band of people emailing radio stations, radical groups, TV channels etc ahead of you and by that time you will be well known in the UK for the stuff you are doing now and the journey you are just beginning. This is where the Great Divine and the whole universe has lead you. You listened and arrived. That is no failure, it’s outstanding success. Keep walking. Keep spreading the message.
Shane Mc Grath comments ...
Well Ozzie!! I think what you doing is wonderful. Off to Africa myself in the quest for freedom..
Shane Mc Grath comments ...
Well Ozzie!! I think what you doing is wonderful. Off to Africa myself in the quest for freedom..
Nadia comments ...
Please don’t apologise -you have not let anyone down and you are not weak!
I think the decision you made needed lot’s of courage and I for one am glad you chose to stay alive.
Maybe you will do more good this way-Britain and the west really needs to be woken up and you guys doing the trip round the UK will go a long way to doing that.
Be kind to yourself -love yourself unconditionally ,
Emma comments ...
The pilgrimage has only just become. As long as there are people to support the reason for Freeconomy, it is far from over. You’ve not disappointed anyone, if anything, you’ve become more determined to raise awareness.
Travelling around the UK first seems the better option considering all your recent experiences, which I think like others were meant to happen. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and can spread the wonderful benefits of freeconomy to France and beyond before you reach there again.
Love to everyone x
PipD Believer comments ...
Please don’t ever feel that you need to apologise to any of us. Would that we had half your strength of character.
You are a pilgrim. When was that ever easy. Take courage from your inspirations, especially Ghandi. Know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of us who are with you in spirit. We Love You
susanh comments ...
Balin (hero/renunciate) and the other folks occupying Parliament Square might enjoy a visit, if you’re in London.
Joyful comments ...
Things always happen for a reason. I agree with everyone else. Perhaps you were so caught up in enthusiasm that there were questions you should have answered before you set out. Now that you have touched base again you can put things in place before continuing further afield. If you ever come up north to Scotland you have a place to stay. Because of your vision here in Edinburgh we have quite a few Free economists. I’m sure in the coming days you’ll get confirmation you took the right path.
Alison comments ...
can’t fault your decision.....the pilgrimage is no less meaningful in the UK than overseas.
The message has plenty of mileage (sorry!) in this country, so why move on just yet?
selina comments ...
Blessed Be Saorise.
Peace begins with unconditional love for all so do not judge yourself so harshly. The universe supports your dreams and visions and is wiser than we are...... As a beloved of the universe you have been guided to be in the right place at the right time, Always.
Ghandi said "My commitment is to truth not to consistency"
All is well.
In unconditional Love,
Heather (harmonyk) comments ...
You know, we all have a different path to follow and we don’t have maps or sat-nav. We get lost, take a wrong turn and find ourself back where we started. Your path is not the one you expected and you will learn to follow another one, it may be right and it may be wrong but it’s YOUR path and YOUR right to decide which way to go. Please don’t feel you have let anyone down or need to apologise because your route has changed. You are a wonderful person with wonderful vision, keep on doing your thing, you inspire more than you can ever know.
Love and strength from Heather.
Realist comments ...
I’m sorry but this is now so irresistibly hilarious I am beginning to think it is just a very clever piece of satire.
The grand tour by which a bloke from Bristol was to bring enlightenment to the poor benighted people of the Third World runs into trouble even before he gets out of Dover.
Guess what – the ferry company refused to give our intrepid traveller a free ticket. Who’d have thunk it?
Mission over – or almost. Luckily Katie’s mum - who clearly has no more sense than her daughter – coughs up the moolah for what turns out to be little more than a day trip to France.
But then disaster strikes. Once across the channel Saoirse (does it rhyme with arse?) discovers something that had clearly not occurred to him in all the meticulous planning for his trip - astonishingly the people in France speak French!
Wow, who knew?
So Saoirse heads back to the UK – courtesy of Katie’s mum - tail between his legs but determined to learn this thing called “French”.
Tremendous fun, although I’m not sure what has been achieved here.
Saoirse is clearly learning valuable lessons – such as not everyone in the world speaks English.
And Katie’s mum has found a new and innovative way of emptying her bank account.
But I suppose world enlightenment is going to have to wait a little while.
But please Saoirse don’t give up.
The comedy value is simply too precious.
If Saoirse manages to get across the Channel again I am looking forward to his reaction if he ever reaches Italy or Germany.
Guess what – they don’t speak English either!
jammms6 comments ...
Now that you are back and want to travel the UK first I would have a request. There are quite a few members who joined in my area in the last few months but I feel that the whole idea of community is not likely to gain any momentum unless we know each other first.
I now thought it would be great if you would be the focal point around which we could organise a get-together. Let me know if and when your journey brings you anywhere near St Albans/Hemel Hempstead/ Harpenden
I wish you all the best (and a lot of patience) in this re-orientation period
Marjolijn from Holland comments ...
The thing you are doing is so inspiring, it doesn’t matter what route you take, my slogan is “it’s enough to be on your way”
Last autum when I was in a monastry in France I met two brothers from Hungary who are walking the world.
A part of their blog is in English, you can read it and maybe you can learn from their stories.
They make very funny pictures and youtube contributions.They are in Spain now.
This text is a part of their blog: We concentrate on the peace of the small communities. You don’t bother about wars if you can live in harmony with your family, neighbors, colleagues, the postman and the salesgirl in the supermarket. If you try to accept the differences of people in your environment, they will accept you too, and you can live together, support and help each other etc. And this is the way to the global peace.
http://worldwalk.blogol.hu/ Click the English flag
Enjoy the journey, I wish you strength
Rebecca comments ...
I also came to the realisation, whilst living overseas for an extended period, that it was the UK that really, really needed all the help it could get to sort itself out.
We always want to meddle in someone else’s affairs in another part of the world, but if only we concentrated such efforts to our own backyard.
So, your opportunities and possibilities are boundless here! Welcome back!
Hey, if you want to help out, we’re having a community tree planting here in Oxford early March, trying to create a ring of woodland around our city and also involve local community groups in the ’transition’ concept. Your presence would offer a fabulous beacon of positivity in this direction!
ameliamillie comments ...
I just wanted to second (or third or fourth....!) what everyone has been saying. In no way does this decision lessen all that you have already done. Before I heard about this, I never knew there were so many people out there who care, who want to help make even just one persons life better! It’s truly amazing and has gone a long way to restoring my faith in humanity. And that’s the beauty of it. If we work together, there’s nothing we can’t achieve.
By the way, how are you planning on learning French?
Caroline comments ...
Turning away from a goal you have set yourself has got to be one of the hardest and one of the most important things you can do in such a goal orientated society. Its an achievement that you did it, especially when your U turn is so public! A fantastic challenge for you ego.
Unless you have done this kind of journey before you could not possibly imagine what you would need to do it - and now you have a clue so now you can build what you need to sustain you.
If you want to call in on an organic farm 1/2 hour outside of Bristol and join us as we build our community then I am sure we could do with your help. Enjoy your decision. Be Proud. Caroline (ela chia’s mum). x
stephen comments ...
well lad, great to hear you’re well and back closer to home!! we were just saying this week that it was a pity you left the UK when this thing was just taking off...so i’m sure you’ll be able to continue the good work where you left off. best of luck again
E=mc² comments ...
Realist, I’m glad there is some sanity left in this world. Possibly we could produce a comedy show based around this tour de farce?
Mark, you are a complete egotist. This ’crusade’ has been pathetic from start to end, and reflects your whole concept of ’freeconomy’. ie, the ideas sound just oh so great on paper, but do not work in reality. Get a grip, you tool. No matter what you, or any others may say, you failed. You did not barter, nor work for your passage, you freeloaded. When you were faced with a situation where you could not freeload, you failed. Ghandi would have not been troubled by your previous plight, nor would have had, nor wanted, your convenient, oh so smells of capitalism, safety net.
Thank you all for this short month of entertainment. May Mark set off on another grand crusade soon. Possibly Katie’s mum could fly them out to Dehli, and cut out all that blasted hardship?
Lewis Bassett comments ...
In my eyes you made a wise descion.
despratelly; we need people like yourself here. I’m tired of the good souls dispearing east.
Take care brother I hope you can buil love real
shantiatma comments ...
I think saoirse has good intentions and recent events showed him he wasnt prepared for what he had undetaken to do, but comments from people like realist and e=mc2 are interesting to me. They had been reading along and following the progress and as soon as he turned back for the UK they were ready, as if they’d bee waiting, to write this whole thing off as a failure and a joke, entertainment they called it.
I dont think that’s very funny. Saoirse is doing this because he is one ofthe poeple that realizes things are terribly wrong in this world and something has to be done soon. He is one of the people becoming desparate to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING that might ward off helplessness, apathy and cynisicm. He is not alone, there are many in this world that want change SO BAD, but just dont know what to do. Realist and E=mc2 dont help at all, what help is it to sit at a computer and ridicule the efforts of people doing more than you, trying harder than you(whether successful or not, at least there is effort!) But I wish to also reach out to all of you who pay attention to this site. There is an important message that has been completely absent on this site. I see so many people quoting Ghandi and talking about moving forward with this movement on the wings of hope. More than hope is needed. It is not enough to promote the freeconomy, because the freeconomy has it’s antithesis, it’s deadly opponent, the economy. Growth of the freeconomy is directly proportional to the dismantling of the economy. And that is what is NEVER discussed on this site, to my dismay. I wonder of anybody here is aware of another movement that is occurring simultaneously and is mutually beneficial to the freeconomy movement. This may sound radical, even horrific if you are a dogmatic pacifist and could never imagine violence being of any use. Think about it this way, when you’re locked in a room(planet) with an unreachable madman(corporate-military-industrial-megacomplex) that is perfectly willing to destroy the room and kill you in the process, is it wrong to do everything in your power to stop that madman? Reverse the argument, if all the life on the planet is at the mercy of civilization, and humanity(indeed all life) is at the mercy of the natural world for it’s survival, then is it not our responsibility to gang up on this madman bully and put a stop to his destructiveness. Pacifist ideas were appropriate for Ghandi in his time and situation, but pacifism is just that, something that works in the right time and the right place. IT WONT WORK AGAINST THE PROPONENTS OF THE DOMINANT PARADIGM. They will never relent their quest to gobble up the world and transform it into green paper. So we should never relent. Starting up freeconomies is NOT ENOUGH, that noble effort needs to be supplimented with efforts to stop the global economy, first it’s growth and expansion, then its existence altogether. Disrupting business as usual is never acceptable, so don’t take this mission lightly, it will have dire consequences but it is absolutely necessary in light of the level of insanity, sociopathology of the corporate elite and all their connected strings. Corporations are legal individuals and analysis of their personality reveals them to be insane criminals, IT IS OUR DUTY TO STOP THEM WITH OR WITHOUT THE LAW. Oh excuse me, I just realized it is the law’s job to protect them and the governments while business as usual continues to the bitter end. The peaceful movements of the world MUST be supplimented with less peaceful means, less peaceful campaigns aimed at the governing elite. This is sad but true, as much as I love peace and peaceful resolution, passive resistence is always met with aggressive violence and it’s getting worse and worse as the vale of lies comes further down and is exposed to the light of day, global powers are no longer shamed by their shameful acts but continuing them out in the open, making them less and less appalling as days go by until we are all doled into passively accepting the death of the biosphere(or an intolerable extent thereof) No way, that wont do. So I really hope pessimistic people like realist and e-mc2 might shut up and pick up a tool to dismantle the economy. Please understand that this doesnt simply involve outright warfare, not yet at least. For now it means undermining the activity and movement of resources of the big corporations. Sabotage, interdiction, covert operations and more. Again, this may seem radical, but you might not think so once peak oil starts to gain as much attention as global warming recently has. Again this is no laughing matter, we should be getting ready to take into our own hands the responsibility of true stewardship, thus far has been a complete joke. The environmental movement, animal rights movements, human rights movements, they have slowed the destruction only marginally and have made the corporations etc work harder and more secretly and craftily. There’s no more denying in, they must be stopped, and that effort will need help from the freeconomy and the freeconomy will need help from the resistence movement. These two movements are going to be increasingly reciprocal and interdependant in the mutual goal of returning the course of the earth to one that is sustainable. If you are interested in learning more, please find information about Daniel Quinn, Theo Grutter, Derrick Jensen(particularly his recent book Endgame) and just for good measure the book, "WTF" ie When Technology Fails by Matthew Stein this list should be longer but I dont know everything...
Sephy comments ...
Having read your latest blog entry, and the comments that followed it, I think it has become clear how big this really is, and perhaps you didn’t realise that until you got on the road. As others have said, that is no bad thing, and having the courage and the insight to reassess your journey is actually something to be proud of.
I will concede that perhaps this trip needed to be better planned, certainly once you had left the UK. Communication is vital, and you need to think beyond just learning French to the other countries you will be visiting - it will be a challenge to convince people that you’re not a freeloading backpacker. Unlike others, I believe with a little bit of ingenuity these challenges can be overcome.
There will always be those who will be negative about what you’re doing, find it amusing, write lengthly ’oh so sarcastic’ comments on your blog and go off to congratulate themselves on the fact that they knew it would fail anyway. Well, perhaps it is easier to be cynical and sarcastic, than it is to be hopeful. After all, if you did succeed in spreading your message successfully perhaps they would have a lot less to be bitter and negative about, and that seems to be their ’modus operandi’.
There will also be others who believe that not enough is being done, or who will disagree with your methods. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that every movement that has adopted a way of thinking that challenges the status quo has faced these problems. I’d advise you not to worry about them.
What has become abundantly clear on this blog is that there are many people who have concerns about the way we live in the west. And there seem to be a great many people on here who are keen to find a way to opt out of it.
I’d say: take your time, meet these people, learn what you can from them. Plan your journey, think about how you will convey your message when you are overseas. Yes, perhaps this journey is going to be longer and tougher than though originally thought. Don’t let that daunt you. Draw on the hope and the belief of the people who support you.
Approach it with the wisdom of an old man, and the hope of a youth.
CeliaW comments ...
I think the one thing I would say to Realist and E=mc² is - what exactly are YOU doing to try to make this world a better place? It’s all too easy to sneer. However, it is useful to see comments from both sides - it would just be so much more insightful if they were well written and didn’t include personal insults.
susanh comments ...
Thinking a bit more about the gap between intentions and reality... I recall a previous blog in which you referred to an INNER way of getting through difficulties, yet in the latest blog, you seem to have forgotten this, and went for outer solutions - worrying about where your next meal was coming from, etc.
Also, and I think importantly, there seem to be 2 possibly conflicting purposes - one your personal spiritual or quasi spiritual pilgrimage to a place you consider "holy" - the second, which really came up in this last blog, the desire to publicise and promote freeconomy.
I was also very surprised to learn you were taking other people along with you - picturing the first, a spiritual pilgrimage, I imagined you alone with a begging bowl. Obviously, finding free food or a place to stay when you are with others is going to be vastly more difficult, and it’s no wonder people took you for a bunch of free-loading hippies.
I was also, I have to say, surprised that you carried a tent and sleeping bag - I really thought the premise was to go without possessions, without safety net - so you would just HAVE to interact with people, one on one. When you’re one of three or more, it’s just not the same thing. The solitary part of it was, to me, very much of the essence - and the key, I thought, to your success.
A traveler comments ...
I understand the situation was tough and you saw no hope in achieving your goal. And you might have been deeply concerned about your companions; it’s easy to take up risk when you are the only one that would have to pay for the failure, but you were to decide not only for yourself.
The thing I want to say is that, you should have more trust in the Universe. When you do ’crazy’ things like that, the Universe always works for your cause. If you had taken up the risk and walked further, I’m sure everything would have ended up fine. Maybe you would have thought of it as of your sheer luck, but in fact this is how the Universe helps those going for good goals with (rationally thinking) small chance of success.
Please don’t take these words as criticising your decision. It’s just my kind advice. Don’t be afraid to make a step over the edge. If you believe in your goal, the wind will take you up and will teach you how to fly :) Also know that you didn’t lose in my eyes; you just lost one of the chances for a great success. But don’t worry, there will be plenty of them.
carlobosa comments ...
WHAAAAAAAT?.... that was my first reaction to reading the above post. So let me get this straight.... as you know i have been following the growth of the free economy idea from the begining...you decided that to promote your idea you would attempt to walk to India... mmm sound a bit ambitious i thought... but still off you went and then i read that your feet were covered in blisters.... why?.... you werent travelling on a deadline to reach somewhere so why not just take it easy... anyway thats up to you!
Then the national press coverage comes in and it all sounds good... getting the message out to the wider audience.... fellow pilgrims join in and you leave the UK.... the regular flow of updates slows up and the next thing we hear is that you have all turned back... FEEBLE... you seem to have succeeded in turning from positive, inspiring, thoughtful to become the latest failure in a long line of idealists. SUCH A SHAME... all this does is reinforce the belief that the "hippy" ideals are bound to fail and we must remain doomed to continue living lifestyles leading to "consumerist" extinction.
Anyway... good luck...
Realist comments ...
OK I’ve finally stopped laughing, and withdraw and apologise for the gratuitous personal insult. My only excuse is that you were asking for it. But …sorry nonetheless.
But this episode encapsulates the troubling and irritating thing about the hippy movement.
Self indulgent, self important, self obsessed, self congratulatory – self, self, self, self.
Guess what guys? - the world doesn’t revolve around you and your ideas.
I can think of lots of things the people of the Third World need, but your opinion isn’t one of them.
You want enlightenment? Then take my simple and infallible three step guide to a higher state of consciousness:
1. Do travel – it really does broaden the mind – but don’t expect to be subsidised by people far poorer than yourself.
2. Listen, observe and learn. Be quiet, patient and above all humble. Stop incessantly drawing attention to yourself. Eschew vanity. That means no radio interviews, profiles in the Guardian and (admittedly hilarious) blog entries. You are just setting yourself up for a fall.
3. Do carry out random acts of kindness – but don’t shout about them from the rooftops. That is not the point. You do them for their own sake, not so you can pat yourself on the back.
Follow this path strictly and a strange, wonderful and almost miraculous change will come about - you’ll start to grow up.
berlinerin comments ...
So sorry to read that you’r feeling so down.I’ve learned in my life, that there is a Reason for everything, even if we can not see it the Moment it happens. I’ve joined the Movement, inspired by the Idea and your Dedication to it.
Please do not burden yourself with looking back. I’ve teached my Children, the Moment they’ve learned to walk, not to look back,but look forward, so you want fall. Hope it makes sense to you and others reading it. Keep looking forward and don’t ever feel defeated. Sometimes our Journeys are not as straight forward, but forward they are!
Brett comments ...
Thank you for your honesty Sairose, I think the only way you can learn is through experience and you threw yourself into the fire. I think people show a lot more weakness in their immediate willingness to critise and deride people. If anything I think this detour has made you and your whole journey more truthful. Please keep working towards what you beleive in Sairose and I will try my best to follow your example. Best wishes and much love my friend!!
Jane in Bristol comments ...
“Do carry out random acts of kindness”
I wonder how the nasty attitude of mockery and sneering derision prevalent in both his/her postings to this blog can possibly be in accord with that advice?
My opinion on the pilgrimage so far, for what it is worth, is this:
Saoirse is willing to give and help. He is serious about this freeconomy thing and is willing to put it into practice. He is basically a good person who is willing to live what he believes.
I also have to say that this pilgrimage was planned and executed with way too much haste and with a good deal of underestimation regarding the possible difficulties ahead.
If I’m going to be honest here, I could foresee this happening once he left the UK.
Saoirse I have to say that you need to look beyond a ‘linguaphone’ solution to what you see as an immediate problem. The barriers you will experience will be not just of language, but the fact that the Freeconomy Movement is just finding it’s footing here in England and you can’t expect people from Europe and beyond into Iran, Afghanistan etc to have heard of it and be making it their own any time soon without more of a momentum building here first.
I believe, although it may not feel like it to Saoirse right now, that his returning to England is just the right thing to have happened and that far from it being a glitch in the plan, it is ultimately part of the plan and it will have an extremely positive outcome.
Because you are here Saoirse, where there are more connections and people know about this, there will be far more possibilities for people to spread the word and for you to be invited to do what is in your heart to do and be of service to others unconditionally.
The problem of trying to trek across continents with no strong itinerary, is that you will be travelling in a vulnerable state for miles and miles and you will therefore be in need rather than in a position to help those in need. This will then put you in a position where you are forced only to take rather than give as well. That is not what your intention was, but to cynical people like ‘Realist’ (I have seen this moniker before and it always makes me giggle) it will be seen as failure and freeloading.
My feeling is that this new England, Scotland, Wales and Eire pilgrimage could really be the start of something great. Don’t see it as plan B, but THE plan. Can you imagine Freeconomists from far and wide joining you as you help community groups and individuals to realise their dreams? Communities and people from far and wide being descended on by bands of local helpers to help them with projects? It is about to start happening because you are back.
And the journey to India? It might happen, but only when this movement has gained more of a foothold here. It can happen if you have a strong plan as to where you are going and are making your way towards projects you can help on and people in those places who know you are on your way to them. Random acts of kindness? Yes. Random itinerary? No.
Good luck, you are doing something great. Glad you are back and safe. Don’t let the ‘Realist’ types get you down!
Martin comments ...
We love you Ozzy
Dev comments ...
I’m an Indian living in Delhi, and I must tell you that amongst all Indians that I’ve seen, I’ve rarely come across such as true Gandhian as yourself. It takes great courage to do what you’re doing, a courage that Gandhiji himself would have admired.
Every such difficult mission as yours is bound to face hiccups, and you don’t have to apologise for what circumstance throws at you. It is the will to overcome those circumstances that counts, a will that you’ve displayed in ample.
Of course, the best that I can do in this situation is to send you my goodwill, but if you happen to be in Delhi en route to Porbandar, please feel free to stay at my place. I would also like to walk some distance with you, if you’d be fine with it.
Although it is true that your message is already known to the East, many of the inhabitants of the East are forgetting it in a blind aping of Western economic ethics. Given the present scenario, where most Indian youth do not consider Gandhian ideals relevant any more, your pilgrimage is of great significance, additionally so as it is coming from the West. Sad to say, many Indians still regard something coming from the West as superior to their own Indian beliefs and ideals. I hope you’ve had opportunity to think about this, as I’m sure you’d have come across many Indians in the UK.
Your message is even more relevant in the West, since the West has probably never known this way of life for the past few hundred years. You might be interested in the life of Swami Satyananda Saraswati of Rikhia, Deoghar District, Jharkhand, India. He has single-handedly brought up his rural community by providing them with means to livelihood. As per his definition, prosperity is not mere wealth, but the ability to create wealth. He believes in creating means for livelihood a major means to alleviate rural poverty in India. When you’re in India, you might like to visit his ashram at Munger, Bihar. They have a tradition of sannyasins, and what you’re essentially doing is part of the training that sannyasins have to undergo. They must be entirely on their own for a certain period of time, possibly years. They cannot stay at one place more than 24 hours and cannot eat more than once daily, and that too off alms. It is perhaps the most difficult part of sannyasa training, and not all aspirants are instructed to pursue it. Your pilgrimage reminds me of this tradition.
All the best, and God bless!!
weidendorn comments ...
Thank you for your Braveness!
Peace and Light
carlyan2 comments ...
Saoirse - I am even more amazed and humbled by you. This has given me the lift I needed to inspire me to do more than I was before - a truly amazing story - you have let no one down but inspired us even further. I look forward to welcoming you in Dundee. Lots of love and as always Sunshine and Smiles to you all xx
chris comments ...
I like the freeconomy idea and think it could work to an extent here in the UK but I find it a little hard to see why that would lead to peace or happiness in other lands. For one thing,countries that are not so consumer lead,wish that they were and are unlikely to see a westerner who tells them they should not indulge in consumerism, as a friend with their best interests at heart. I can see that it would be marvellous if we could all be friends to each other worldwide like the family of man that we really are but people are suspicious animals and that has to be allowed for too.
All the people that are mentioned on these pages as inspirational have written books ,become politicians or started off life with plenty and still they did not become successful overnight or in a few weeks. They had to work away at the stone with little drops of water until they made an impression.
That is how I see this becoming strong too.
SilviaR comments ...
I’d like to quote my mentor, here, Daisaku Ikeda, from his book: ’Buddhism Day by Day: Wisdom for Modern Life’:
\"Mahatma Gandhi said, ’Good travels at a snail’s pace’. The peace movement cannot accomplish things radically and all at once. Often, it can only advance by gradual and protracted means. Gradualism does not, however, imply negative compromise or merely passing time. It means truly reforming our times by sowing seeds of peace in individual minds through sincere dialogue and, in this way, cultivating consensus.\"
Chanting for you to keep steady, to keep focused, to draw forth wisdom from your life and to be strong in the face of adversity and criticism.
Take great care of yourself,
Anjelina comments ...
hope it goes even better for you this time around.if you are in Belfast then give us a msg and we will have a place for you to stay.don’t be so hard on yourself...it’s better to do what your heart tells you and only wonderful things will come from listening.
CityBoy comments ...
I’m sorry, i’m with realist on this one- this must be a joke, you literally could not write it! not sure i’ve ever been so amused over the past few weeks, thank god its over, us London city boys were worried about our jobs! please tell me its still going to air on the BBC....
Mr. C. Sense comments ...
At last! Reality kicked in for this egotistical gap-year student as he realised this ridiculous façade was as misguided as it was arrogant. I am fascinated to know what a white-middle-class-never-had-a-day-of-grief-in-my-life bloke thought he could have to say of any real importance to those people who really are suffering? It must have been tough growing up in a loving home in middle-class Bristol. Get off the cross honey – someone needs the wood.
Your ‘pilgrimage’ (no less) was a blatant publicity attempt and amounted to little more than an exercise in self-delusion and narcissism. If you want to get on ‘Loose Women’ and look good, why don’t you just go and work on a summer camp for disabled people like the rest of us?
What you need to understand is that the days of a learned white god wading into native parts and teaching the natives a thing or two about how to live in harmony and civilisation is long long gone. The arrogance attached to this sentiment defies words. Don’t you think they perhaps understand the message of peace already? That is after all why refugee camps exist in the first place! Those people are leaving war and poverty to come to a peaceful safehaven. It’s ironic you hate capitalism, yet these people crave it. How odd.
To put this ‘pilgrimage’ in perspective: a patient I know sold all of his possessions and went to Morocco. On landing, someone realised he was nuts and he was deported back to England post haste where he was admitted to a psychiatric ward. Now I see, all he had to do was don a pair of thai fisherman trousers/Guantanamo bay jumpsuit bottoms, declare himself as the next Ghandi and everyone would not only have been happy for him, they would have egged him on with these ridiculous blogs. (PS – orange bottoms? Through Afghanistan?!?! Are you mad!!)
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. This really proves that point. Mr ‘Freedom’ (oh please, get a job) is not only to blame here, partial responsibility has to be taken by those other fellow mung bean eaters who insist on cheering this poor chap on and his attempts to tame the savages in the east..
For someone who is so spiritually evolved and ‘free’, I find it amazing he needs such input and approval from everyone around him. Again, anyone who writes a regular blog and expects people to read it clearly overestimates their significance in the word.
I’ve noted there are a lot of spiritual ‘buzzwords’ flying about, but with all of this spirituality you are forgetting something. On a spiritual level people choose where they will be born and what experiences they will have in this life. Therefore no-one really needs saving do they? That said, there would be no fun in that now would there.
Take heart, I’m sure you’ll find many people who will benefit from your socially acceptable bumming around here in England. If it’s not as glam as Calcutta mind, you could always work your way up to Bradford. If that is still proving fruitless, you should try psychotherapy.
RAB comments ...
I’ve put Michel Thomas’ complete french on an MP3 player and it’s yours if you manage to make it as far as the North (Sheffield).
I was really surprised to hear you’d failed at the first hurdle and disappointed too. It does unfortunately bring into question the whole integrity of the enterprise and weaken the site’s potential for bringing about change.
The above blog does also read like a satire. I just hope it, and you are for real.
I backpacked coast to coast across South America without any knowledge of Spanish to begin with, you just pick it up as you progress, and communicate in other ways.
The idea that someone who is resourceful enough to set up this blog and who will have learned at least a rudimentary French at school tis then put off after a day over the channel is absurd.
Helen comments ...
We are really close to finishing our film and would love to follow it up - and give you a chance to see it. I’m happy you are still planning to spread your words (although by now I think I know not to doubt your passion)
If you speak they will listen, perhaps language will play an important role in this pilgrimage.
Best Wishes, we hope to see you soon.
All our love
Helen, Pete and Dom
Mauricio comments ...
There’s a chinese saying that fits perfectly into this situation, and goes something like this: before atempting to change the world, walk around your own house three times.
Even though I was cheering for you on your pilgrimage, to propagate such noble ideas, now your (tough, no doubt) decision made much more sense. It’s still a huge task, to walk around an entire country helping others, but now it’s more grounded. And it could be easier to disseminate: maybe you could find souls like yours on each country, on each state, on each city or street, willing to help on their own neighborhoods. That "post your random act of kindness" initiative can become bigger, the whole idea could be brought to public in multiple languages via internet, i’m sure there will be a lot of people willing to help translating and spreading the word.
What did Gandhi do? He made the best of his efforts wherever he was. That gave him plenty to do throughout his entire life, and set a powerful example for the whole world.
Mauricio comments ...
@ Mr C. Sense
That was really interesting: "I am fascinated to know what a white-middle-class-never-had-a-day-of-grief-in-my-life bloke thought he could have to say of any real importance to those people who really are suffering?"
Well, change ’white-middle-class’ by ’noble-prince’ (which sounds even worse, doesn’t it?), go back more than 2,000 years, and who would be a perfect match? Siddharta Gautama, anyone? :-D
kARMA comments ...
\"And I have noticed a couple of folk believe I am wrong to go to poor countries without money, and hence placing a burden on them. It’s a very valid point and one I obviously thought a lot about before embarking on this. My take on it is this. The so called ’poorer’ nations - the word ‘poor’ always being used to describe financial status and not a level of happiness - are being told by the institutions of the west that they must go down the same route as us and that financial gain equals happiness. This then gets backed up by a media structure controlled by a few very powerful people with very definite agendas.
What I want to relay to these people is that somebody in the west, who has had a fair bit of the wealth that they desire, has chosen to give it all up and walk across the world to tell them that financial wealth does not equal happiness. And if the trends in the rates of suicide, depression and addictions are anything to go by, it probably has the opposite effect.
But not only that. If you have ever travelled Asia, you will know that to even offer most people in that continent money for hospitality received is a huge insult, as for them ’paying-it-forward’ is still a way of life. It’s only us brainwashed westerners who think that everyone thinks like we do about ’giving’ and money.\"
This is a load of B.S. Sorry budy but I spent a year living in a refugee communtiy in India and I can tell you you are wrong. Poor people are generous but they will not have kind things to say about you if you do not return their generosity and they will certainly be glad to see you leave if you are unable to reciprocate.
In some of the areas you were planning to travel thorough many people do not have enough to eat properly let alone pay for a sick family member or friend to go to the hospital or afford to heat their homes in winter. They would not appreciate hearing the obvious lie that they are better off than people in the west. Depression, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse are huge problems in developing countries and the third world. One example is the horrifying number of Indian farmers who commit suicide every year because they can’t feed their families or pay their debts.
Another point. Around 200,000 Tibetans have excaped from Tibet by walking over the Himalaya’s in winter. Around 4000 make the journey every year. The journey takes around a month and many die of exposure, fall into crevases and die slowly calling to their helpless friends above for help, some lose limbs to frost bite and some get shot by the chinese or raped by Nepali border guards. They give up their homes, posessions and families, usually forever. They don’t compare themselves to Ghandi or the Buddha.
HarrytheRiddler comments ...
My goodness. Raw, brave, honesty at its best. I admire your passion as much as your principles. Good luck.
I’m leaving the UK on March 14th to live in India. WHEN (not if) you arrive, I look forward to welcoming you at my home in Kolkata (Calcutta) should you wish to meet up.
In the meantime, I’ll be in Berkshire (from March 2nd) should you be heading that way.
Stay well and smiley.
Joe Medlar comments ...
All our life is a pilgrimage.
It rarely goes the way we expect.
The most we can do is to make what we feel to be the best decision at any one time. I don’t see you ’touching’ money as a failure, just another part of your journey you weren’t expecting. The best decision at a difficult time.
So welcome back to the island!
(It is obviously the place you are needed most right now)
So go well, take care of yourself,
& I hope to meet you along the path somewhere.
channa comments ...
I’m afraid I’m with Realist, E=mc2, Karma and several other similarly-minded folks on this one.
Much discussion of the (mis)adventure here:
The overall consensus? \"Get a clue, dude.\"
Dave S comments ...
So-called "Realist" and E=mc²: pathetic armchair critics, just ready and waiting to snipe away at the first signs of anything going wrong.
What are YOU doing to make the world a better place? I’ll bet you get everything right first time, every time don’t you? As if you do!!
Your attitudes suggest that you’ve probably never tried to realise any project of any significance in your entire lives.
No, you’re just a few small people sitting at home cosily by your computers doing nothing, jeering at the first sign of problems when someone else’s efforts to make the world a better place don’t quite work out to plan first time.
Revelling in other people’s misfortune and slightly dented dreams is soooo easy and soooo sad. That’s enough of a reflection on yourselves that I don’t think any further comment is really needed.
Reality is whatever we make of it.
Keep going Saoirse! (In a way, I hope your detractors spur you on even more... I know they would me!)
Cityboy comments ...
Come on Dave, wheres your sense of humour?! this whole thing is rather funny- you literally could’nt write it......
Perry comments ...
A word of advice mate.
As well as learning French, you should learn some German, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, Greek, Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Urdu, to name but a few.
All depending on which route you take obviously.
Perry comments ...
Oh, and another thing.
Be very careful in certain parts of Europe, especially Eastern Europe with the whole begging malarkey.
You don’t want them to think you’re a Gypsy.
They aren’t treated very well over there.
I’d be VERY careful in the way you ask for food/travel/accomodation.
You don’t want to end up in hospital/prison.
Have you really thought this thing through?
Perry comments ...
I know your heart is in the right place and everything,
but how would you feel about taking food from someone a lot less well off than you? As you would be doing in most countries outside Western Europe?
Tagore comments ...
Talk about delusions of grandeur!
How can you possibly compare yourself to Gandhi? You aimed to make a pilgrimige to India without using money but in effect all you did was go on a day trip to Calais - paid for by your friend’s mum. Maybe initially you had noble intentions but can you not see just how far short you have fallen? You come across as ridiculously self important and self obsessed.
How can others compare you to Buddha, unless they are joking? I was initially very wary about posting a comment here as it seems to be an elaborate wind-up, but the more I read the more I felt compelled to comment.
My favourite quote is when you say that Eric made a brave decsion to go home. Such bravery! oooohh France is such a scary country! The fact is he is a coward and would never have made it anyway. From reading the blogs it is patently obvious that none of you have the courage, determination, conviction of spirit and above all the basic common sense required to negotiate such an arduous journey.
Others such as "realist" and "c. sense" are pretty much spot on in their analysis, which is well-thought out, objective and adds a balanced viewpoint. I believe this website is far richer for having a range of opinions rather than just the sycophantic bleatings a small group of wannabe hippies who use "spiritualism" as a way of hiding their failures in life.
Mark, you would be wise to take on board everybody’s comments, good or bad. Please do not wallow in the adulation of imbeciles... the King of Fools still remains a Fool.
Chris R comments ...
I can’t believe your arrogance - assuming everyone you met in France would speak English ... in fact they probably could, but decided not to!
What do you plan to do once you have learnt French - and you arrive in Italy? They speak Italian there you know?
Perhaps the Freeconomy idea should look into abolishing languages too .. apart from English that is?
Youarealoser comments ...
French people speak french?
I would expect this level of stupidity and ignorance from an American.
Everyone here seems to be pretty British, celebrating the "tough" and "hard" decision you made.
You gave up, you are a loser, and a really pathetic one at that. Next time, try to plan a little better than France. Next time bring a hot girl with you a bottle of tequila to barter.
Equally idiotic is your next plan to swan around England speaking English, showing that humanity (consisting of only English countryfolk) is really humane.
I hope you enjoy your English breakfasts retard.
zeno comments ...
Man, You are a real idiot.
please comments ...
I just want to start by saying I do think you’re mission is honourable, wanting to make the world a better place for all its peoples could never be wrong. But, my friend, you need to seriously reconsider your methods… The fact that your so called pilgrimage failed is fine, we all fail – its human. But setting out telling the world you would walk to India without even considering the fact that all people does not speak English, that makes you look, and I’m sorry to say this, as a joke. This is not helped by the fact that you abandoned your ideals already before leaving England by letting Katie’s mum buy your tickets, and then did the same to get back to England. This actually gives reasons to question why you let Katie join you, was it only to get by the problems of not getting free tickets to France? It might not be so, but if you are serious about promoting freeconomy, you have to be more careful with you actions. Preaching living without money is controversial and by many seen as ridicules hippy ideas, so if you want “un-enlightened” people to listen, you cant abandon your beliefs whenever it suits you. Doing so is just prove for everyone that questions your thoughts that it does not work in reality! Freedom is great, but a bit of planning before trying to do something as big as this pilgrimage does not kill you. Setting out without considering the possible obstacles was not brave I’m afraid, but down right stupid.
As for your ideas about travelling though countries such as Afghanistan without money depending of peoples hospitality and by performing kind acts in return.. My friend you need to come back to reality.. I am actually glad you did not make it as far as to Afghanistan! Trust me when I say this, after spending quite a lot of time in Afghanistan over the last few years, I know what I’m talking about; The Afghani people are indeed generous hospital people, but they do not primarily need a self proclaimed Gandhi to share his believes with them and eat the small amount of food they might have that day. The poverty and despair in Afghanistan is greater than you probably understand, and the kind acts you want to perform might be helpful, but please do not come to Afghanistan without means to supported yourself, because it the present situation that would do more damage than good. And my friend since we both know that is not what you want, I think its best for us all if you stay in Britain.
As I sad in the beginning, I don’t question you motives, but as others has already brought forward, the way you present yourself and your ideas… it comes across as self-righteous, pretentious and incredible naïve. Since I understand that this is not how you want to be thought of, maybe you should think one more time about how you present you philosophy of life…
And before all you uncritical and in my opinion equally naïve followers of Mark ask me what I’m doing to fix the work (and by that implying that I do nothing) I might add, that I do as much as I can. Just because my thoughts of changing the world does not involve eating poor peoples food or trying to get a free ferry ride from Britain to France, doesn’t mean I sit on my arse and exploit the workers of Asia as you might think. So save your breath.
Good luck with you mission Mark, and please try to be a bit more realistic from now on.
Wàng comments ...
Désolé de vous apprendre que le monde entier n’est pas encore prêt à abandonner son identité pour parler votre langue maternelle. La moindre des politesses, quand on voyage à l’étranger, c’est d’éviter d’imposer sa langue maternelle aux autres. Tout le monde le sait bien, sauf les anglophones natifs.
HB comments ...
Why didn’t you walk back to the UK without using money?
Instead you simply used Katie’s money again? If getting from Calais to Brighton was NOT POSSIBLE why do you still insist that you can walk to India? That was the easiest part of the journey.
I would have more respect for you if you admitted the monumental failure of your theory. You set out to prove something was possible. It is plainly not possible.
Admit you were wrong and join the rest of the world in trying to work through our problems trading goods and services for money in an ethical and fair way. Do not place yourself above those of us who work for a living to put food on our tables.
Join us, because we ARE the world.
Lars comments ...
Working from UK to France, thats almost a joke ..!
Its possible to get message through everywhere even if you don’t speak the language. A bit of commitment might be needed and some creativity would might help too.
I really like the concept of hippies, but where ever I meet them they always seem to be mostly thinking of them selfes under that thin layer of love-you-all varnish.
Ok I’m not going to waste more time on this blogg, schools need to be build, people need food. It is hard to leave the cradle, but it feels good to share.
Ronald comments ...
Don't get upset for this. No need to apologize to anyone. You are doing a great job. Making others aware of free economy is not that a small thing. Remind this always and all the best for all your work.
ferry to france
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