June thoughts

It is the end of June, while writing this I feel a welcomed cool breeze coming through the window together with the warmth of the sun on my back. I am hearing the chirping of the swallows coming through my headphones whilst listening to an ‘inspiration and creativity’ playlist. Hopefully this playlist does its job because I have no idea on how and where to start. The last three weeks have flown by, a lot happened but at the same time It feels so natural that I can’t even remember all the stuff I did. And now I think about it, do I really want to write a glossy, smirked up version of my diary?

Brez naslova1

Maybe I don’t feel comfortable with the latter because of the talk I just had with another volunteer about altruism. Does it really exist? I don’t think so. In my opinion it is at one end of the spectrum, whereas egoism is on the other side, the side where people tend to get stuck more easily. We can philosophize about this topic for hours and it is not my purpose to ‘just’ reduce this to a page long text. However I want to mention it since for me thinking about altruism helped me to reflect on the previous weeks here. And maybe, if I may be so bold, it will also make you reflect on your everyday practices.

Brez naslova

As I said, people tend to get stuck on the ‘wrong’ side of the spectrum. We are used to acting in a way so we will profit from it that acting for someone else, totally reducing me, myself and I in this act, seems impossible. I don’t think we should strive for this, but I do think a little bit more altruism can make the world a better place. And seeing altruism not as an end state but as a tool to learn how to take care about our environment with its nature, animals and people.

Brez naslova

So far my time here is amazing. I already met so many nice, kind and inspiring people for example our hosts, my co-volunteers, farmers and other good-do’ers in this area of Istria. I’ve cleared brambles around olive trees, helped in renovating the new home for Park Istra, fought tons of spiders while picking up rocks in a local vineyard and worked on giving this ancient castle a makeover. I’ve been hitchhiking and discovering this country on a shoestring and been loving it so far. So, as you can see, there is a lot of ‘I’ in this part, but if you read between the lines there is also a lot of the ‘other’ in this part. I am not sure what the point is I am making, maybe I am blinding myself, or trying to make me feel better of this guilt I sometimes experience when enjoying myself to the fullest. In the end I am trying to make this world a better place, not only for myself but also for the other. So is this an experience where altruism and egoism meets?

X from one of the volunteers