Judith / Madrid
Judith lives in Madrid et and is profoundly attached to it. After growing up in an isolated place, she now explores and walks across her city with pleasure.
With her human and cellular networks by her side, Judith believes in what everyone of us can bring to the community, and in our collective responsibility to satisfy the needs of everyone.
TELL ME A FEW THINGS ABOUT YOUR FATHER
About my father? Right. My father is a dreamer and a consistent person.
Anything else about your father?
Phew, there are so many things I could tell you, he’s a person that always taught us to think, be critical and study…Particularly for me, the most important thing my father taught me was not to follow the crowd. He showed me many things, which is as to be expected as he’s a very intellectual person, but that’s what I value about him the most, that he made us a little…not different as such, but able to think outside of the box. To be less common, so to speak.
Common in the good sense or in the negative sense?
Not in the negative sense, I mean it in the best possible way, not common as in rude or rough around the edges. Just the everyday kind of common.
WHO CARED FOR YOU WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?
My father, my mother mainly, my sisters, my grandmother and her sister, on my mother’s side. Well, they are the people I consider to be at the core of my childhood.
WAS THERE ANYBODY WHO PLAYED A MORE IMPORTANT ROLE? IS THERE ANY KIND OF MOMENT THAT DEFINED YOU?
My parents played a leading role, of course, but my grandmother and my great aunt…. They really left their mark on me a lot. And important events from my childhood that have left their mark on me? There are so many! When I was 4 or 5 years old we went to live in the countryside with my parents, an hour away from a small city. We went from living in a very normal city, with many activities and many things going on, to living completely out in the countryside. We didn’t go to school for five years, of course we carried on being educated, but I think it’s a very significant part of my life.
WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR EDUCATION?
My mother, my father and my sisters mainly. My father played more of a formal education role, whereas my mother was in charge of other things that are also really important such as cooking, reading, animals, … We had a lot of animals. My father was more the one to give me classes at that stage of my life. I’s a little strange I know but, that’s just how it was.
There are no strange things, just different experiences.
Yes, you’re right.
YOU HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT YOUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS AS HAVING AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN YOUR CHILDHOOD, CAN YOU TELL ME A FEW THINGS ABOUT THEM?
Up to a point, they taught me practically everything in life. For me they were like role models. They were my friends as well because we were a little separated from society in that time, and then since growing up they have been some of the most important people in my life of course. We’ve talked about everything; we’ve shared many things. I think it’s been an exceptional kind of experience with them, since we were a bit isolated, so we’ve merged together somewhat. This then turned into a more normal sisterhood relationship with age.
The feeling I get is that you have several sisters who are older?
I have two older sisters, one that is younger than me, and a little brother. Let’s just say that my older sisters have been my role models and taught me many things up until I was a teenager of around 15 years old. My younger sister has been my companion and my best friend, and my little brother is another matter, he is the baby and I’ve experienced different things to him.
DO YOU REMEMBER A MOMENT WHEN, AS A CHILD, YOU FELT VERY SPECIAL IN THE EYES OF SOMEONE?
Yes of course, my great aunt who is the sister of the mother of my mother. My mother became orphaned of her father when she was 7; my great aunt was of fundamental help to my grandmother. It was as if I had two grandmothers on my mother’s side, and this woman was just amazing to me because she adored us all, but I was very special to her. And that made me feel special, loved and very spoilt. Of course, my parents also made me feel special but she left a mark on me in that sense. She shared things with me, her confessions and such; it was just a very special relationship.
Was it a general feeling or is there a particular event or anecdote that emphasises this?
It’s not just a general feeling, I mean yes I feel it, but it is very much supported by many events from my childhood up to 10 years old more or less, which is when there was an important mark in my life. Well she was a little imprudent in that sense and everyone always said ‘it’s just because she’s your favourite’, you know, the usual things that sisters say. It was clear how she felt towards me, I was always the prettiest one or she always invited me round to her house more, she always defended me and I was always on her mind.
WHO HELPED YOU GROW-UP?
It seems like a difficult question because I think that life makes you mature, I feel that I started to consider myself to be mature when I went through certain experiences in life. Of course I have always had people around me who’ve helped me, family, friends, work colleagues. I think that I have always been very lucky in that sense but what makes me feel like an adult and whole person is something very internal.
WHEN DID YOU BECOME AN ADULT?
Phew, not long ago (laughs)! Well I’ve always wanted to be an adult, I recognise that, as I have had older sisters I always wanted to be an adult. And also my parents, which is something negative I think, they were very demanding in terms of taking responsibility in our lives. So it’s as if, in one sense, I wanted to be older and in another sense, my parents treated us like little girls. But there were things where I do feel they demanded too much. I feel that I was an adult and that I took on adult roles when I was very young, well at least in my early teens.
But for me to feel like a full adult at … I’m 40 years old now, feeling fully sorted out on the inside so to speak…5 or 6 years ago. You always need to learn and develop of course but I think that that was when I can say I found an inner balance. A bit late (laughs)
I don’t know if I’m an adult.
Well we all continue being children as well, that is important.
WHEN DO YOU STIL WANT TO BE A CHILD?
Well, mainly I feel it’s difficult for me to fulfil my own promises to myself, my goals, that sounds a little business-like, but it’s something internal. I think it’s my main goal right now, to fulfil the aims of what I want to do, overcome laziness, which I think is my worst flaw.
BETWEEN BEING INDEPENDENT AND BEING CARED FOR ...?
WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL, WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
I think that everybody is beautiful, and I find that the criteria for beauty is awful. I think that beauty is really though. It sounds a little clichéd, it’s something intrinsic to a person and manifests itself through the person’s own expression. And for me, what makes me beautiful? Well I don’t know, that’s for others to say. But for me it is a fundamental value on which beauty, spontaneity and joy are based. I think that’s always something that other people like which brings us together.
IF YOU ASK THREE FRIENDS TO BRING AN OBJECT THAT REPRESENTS YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Hmmm What represents me? That’s difficult… Well I like my mobile phone and I use it a lot, because I keep in contact with my own network of people. And mainly because it connects me to the internet which is very important in my life. And other things? It’s a difficult question.
I would’ve liked to send you this question beforehand so that you could prepare your answer but I didn’t have time.
I think I find it difficult maybe because of the way I am. I can’t think of anything that could represent me as such, but with situations I can. I can tell you that I do feel defined by my pet or by my city, by the things that I do, but not by an object, for example, I don’t have a car, I rent my house and I always change the perfume I use.
There is no pressure to answer this, just as an example, a friend brought a can of Coca Cola as a way of representing an Irish friend, as for her drinking coca cola everyday was something normal and pleasant.
Well in that case, a cup of coffee, as in the mornings that for me is how Coca Cola is to this girl, my mobile which I’ve said is important to me, it’s like my personal library that goes with me everywhere, … and my shoes as I really like walking, I wear heels less and less even though I’m quite small, so my comfy shoes.
To be able to walk around the city?
Yes, I love it. I go out to walk a lot with my dog. With the dog and with my iPhone which you can now take incredible photos with.
People still take incredible photos with a real camera.
Yes I’m sure, and I’d like to learn...but…
It’s true that these devices such as the iPhone are very good. Just as an anecdote to tell you about this Irish friend, she sadly passed away, and another object that they brought to represent her was a small stuffed camel. She often went on holiday to Dubai and it was obvious that it was something she really loved.
I understand, I hope to have given the answer you were looking for with this question. I think I’ve finally understood. (Laughs)
WHAT IS HARD WHEN YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING?
I like getting up, but I love to sleep, so it’s like a kind of contradiction. I can’t stand getting up late, for example getting up at 10 is like the worst thing for me, as I feel that I’ve lost the morning. But as I like to sleep, that’s what makes it the hardest. But it’s something that I have come to terms with, in the end it’s worth it and I prefer to wake up and get up early than just lie there for a while in bed. Let’s say it’s my favourite part of the day, with my coffee, watching the sun rise, watching the news.
WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE DURING THE DAY?
Many things. For me, having a sense of humour is fundamental. Situations with my work colleagues, with my partner, a pretty image of the city, my dog, a baby, a child, nature... Being generally humorous with people, and joking.
And in your interactions with others? What are the moments that make you smile?
Well, I think it’s possible to take something funny from almost anything and I’ve learnt that it’s very important to learn how to laugh at yourself and in the most stressful situations here in the office for example, the alternative of fighting with it is always just to laugh a little bit and turn the situation from something complex to something comical. That for me is a kind of habit, being able to just have fun in life is something necessary, where you’re able to trivialize things when you feel overwhelmed.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THAT YOU SAVED THE WORLD?
I think, and I say this with complete modesty, that I do it every day. Because I think that although the world is very unfair, it is made up of people. It’s not that the world is bad or that the system is bad but that it’s people who have to keep contributing and changing each day towards improving and achieving what we need. I think that it’s very important in each action you make every day, the most day-to-day and normal habits can show that intention.
So if in every minute and second of your life you are a conscious person and you have positive intentions then I think we’re all building and changing. That’s what I feel, because that’s how heroic situations in my life have happened. There are people who play much more important roles.
The question was a bit edgy, but I really like your response.
WHO TAKES CARE OF YOU?
My husband, my friends and my family.
FOR WHOM DO YOU CARE?
The same people I think.
The real core of this exchange has been your family and friends.
I think my friends do play a very important role.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY WHEN YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE?
It’s a difficult question for me. Maybe the most important or what makes me happy is when I’m able to help someone and am aware of their need and have been able to provide something. Because I think that I’ve received help many times and think that there are times when you don’t know where that help is going to come from. So that’s something that you get back in life. It doesn’t always work both ways, for example I might help you but you might not help me back directly, so it’s something that you have to just keep going through. So it makes me happy to know that you form part of that network without expecting anything in return. Maybe it’s for the best!
If it’s something anonymous I think that’s also very beautiful. To be able to take the focus away from your own importance in the help that you give.
WHAT MAKES YOU SAD?
It’s not a word that I like, although I don’t deny that pain and frustration exist. But I think that sadness in itself is like a kind of self-contemplation. So I would call it something else other than sadness; for example pain or frustration.
Mainly the general lack of empathy in the world makes me sad and I think it’s something that is destroying us; seeing that you’re well and someone else is in a bad state, not emotionally, because I think that’s a personal matter, but I mean in terms of the injustice that there is in the world equilibrium. That, and corruption, are the two things that really cause me pain.
In your interactions with others, is there anything that you regret in terms of your interaction with somebody?
For example, having been aggressive with somebody. Something I regret, right?
It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you’ve done, it could be in attitude or how you’ve been treated by another person that’s made you regret the interaction.
Ah, that’s something else. The lack of empathy I think is the worst, and it’s what has caused me most frustration when you feel that you aren’t getting across what you want to that person, or if the person isn’t willing to receive anything from you. That for me is the hardest, when there is no understanding.
IS ANYONE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT AT THE MOMENT?
I think that many people around me do good things, be it for their family or because they’re good workers or great friends. Do you want me to tell you anybody in particular?
If there is someone, yes.
Yes, I know a person that’s perhaps paradigmatic for me in that sense.
Could you tell me a bit about him or her?
It’s someone I met many years ago, around the year 2000 more or less, and that has had a very important impact on my life in the same way that we talked about earlier on the topic of maturity, and now maybe I can answer that question a bit better. It was something internal for me, but they helped me to pave my own way. It’s somebody who is very engaged with society on all levels but who has also taught me everything I know about what it means to be a person. Let’s say everything about your inner being, I don’t want to call it spiritual but in a way it’s very similar to that.
IS THERE AN EVENT THAT YOU WOULD ERASE FROM THE PAST IF YOU COULD?
I think that everything happens for a reason, and to hell with looking back (Laughs).
I think that what’s happening now is the result of everything that’s happened previously. And although we all have to continue improving in every way, I think that changing the past is something that isn’t possible so… one has to accept it as part of our journey in life.
Mainly I would change things that I think I’ve done wrong, my own mistakes, towards others or on my own part. Wasting time, for example. And on a worldwide scale I’d mainly like to be able to change the moment in which capitalism took over the world and our economic system.
IS THERE ANYONE THAT YOU HELP OR WISH THAT YOU COULD HELP?
I think I am doing it already, but I think help is a too great a word. Whether it’s a responsibility or contribution, towards my family mainly. Helping is a little confusing sometimes.
I’ll explain a bit about where this question came from:
The experiences that I’ve had in the past lead me to think that people have three circles that they worry about and care about, a very close one which is family and friends who we see regularly, a second circle, which is more regional, cultural and moral, and a third circle which is on a national, continental or even worldwide level.
I’ve seen people who’ve been dedicated beyond to the first circle, to their moral commitment, people who claim, help and use the economic resources in order to help those people they’re associated with. And sometimes this second circle is associated with a city, a language, something we feel close to. In Germany I know friends who are immigrants of a country and feel very close to and want to help the immigrant community.
Yes, I understand, but I think that it creates a sense of contradiction for me because for me, what you’re talking about seems to be commitment. Which perhaps is something to do with language, but in that sense it is also something else I’ve mentioned in the interview that every day we’re contributing in some way. So for example, a specific case, an economically disadvantaged person. I can help that person, we can all help them in some way, through an NGO, simply giving money ourselves, but in my case and in that sense yes I’m very committed, it’s the system itself that helps people, through justice and not through charity.
So I think that the word help implies the idea of charity in some way, because in reality you are also looking for personal satisfaction and I think that’s not justice but it’s me looking for satisfaction through something that makes me feel good, which can be a beautiful thing, but it’s not based on human value. Helping in specific situations, I help my family and my friends, in any moment and whenever I can. I would help somebody who is ill for example with care and understanding. But my main commitment is to society. And that manifests itself through politics or social actions or other kinds of organizations.
That makes a lot of sense, thank you
IN YOUR DREAM LIFE, WHERE WOULD YOU BE TOMORROW AND WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
I think there are different paths that can be explored with this question. If it was with imagination, a lot of imagination, then I would be in a very different world in which the thing that drove us forward were the values that we spoke of beforehand; in which people and their needs were at the core of the world on all levels, from health, emotions, culture and leisure.
We would all work in relation to that and from then we could begin developing as a race, as human beings, not as the Spanish race, for god’s sake (laughs). That would be with a lot of imagination. In terms of myself specifically, I see myself more or less in the same situation, just older (laughs).
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING WHEN YOU GET OLD?
I hope to continue moving forward in terms of conquering my own goals mainly, and from the point of view of humanity, to be able to be a paradigm as a person from the smallest of people, not to be famous or be a showcase; but in my own environment, to be a paradigm, not something better but something different, to be able to face and experience life.
What do you mean by a paradigm? Do you mean a kind of incarnation?
For me a paradigm is an example, but in a day to day sense, not in a kind of world leader sense, just for my own surroundings, let’s say to be able to reconvert the clichés that govern our lives.
We’re almost at the end of the questions I’ve prepared for you but I’d like to go back to the topic of corruption that we mentioned before.
If I’ve understood it properly, correct me if I’m wrong, you were saying that corruption is an imbalance between what we give and what we take ?
Yes but for me that’s also a perversion between what we say or establish in a habitual way and what we do.
In your opinion, could that come from a problem of not conforming to everyone else, or is there really no intention to contribute, but only the intention to take for oneself?
Yes it’s the second one, it’s doing things not for the value of it but for personal interest, normally it’s sadly for economic benefit or personal gain.
As corruption is present on all levels, in your opinion, why do people let themselves be led by corruption?
Well, I think that while there’s money, there will be corruption because almost everything has a Price and there is no awareness of humanity, due to the needs that the system itself doesn’t cover. It’s like a jungle in which we’re fighting to try to meet those needs, and not to mention, corruption is totally integrated in our lives. Perhaps not everybody exercises corruption at a state level but it is easy for any of us if we see in any given moment that we could benefit from a situation, for us to do it.
When we make sociological studies we observe two types of behaviour in the distribution of our resources. When we give food to people and invite people to serve themselves and we see that the two main profiles are: one that makes the most of it and takes everything they can as far as they can get away with, and another profile where they only take what they need to leave the most possible for others so that they can also have their needs met. In your opinion, what is it that makes a person go from profile number two to profile number one?
The awareness that there are other people, but not just that, because I think that the primary behaviour responds to the person’s instinctive needs that may be based on the lack of many different things, whether it’s emotional, cultural, economic or of values. I think that although the primary behaviour is reprehensible, I think it’s based on something intrinsic to the person, even the corrupt, I think the error in it sets off something intrinsic to the human being that they can transform, sublimate or transcend.
YOUR MESSAGE TO ANYONE WHO'S READING YOUR INTERVIEW?
Personally for them to forgive my awkwardness or if I’ve come across as self-important or inconsistent.
And on a general level I think it’s fundamental that the human beings continue to work towards what we really are, human beings and not animals, with all respect to animals, which I absolutely adore, but I think it’s essential for us to be able to overcome capitalism; achieve not just one singular way of thinking but an ideology that leads us to knowledge and wisdom, with differences of opinion but with a universal consensus and towards meeting the needs of everyone, deeply and not just in a material sense.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO READ YOUR INTERVIEW TO WALK AWAY WITH?
Well the same things that I like to see in the other ones that I read. I would mainly like to find a new sense of hope, among anonymous people as humanity. If somebody can give you something from their own experience and from their inner wisdom, for them to listen to that person because we’re all part of the same world. Knowing other people in a deeper way, not just what they do in a habitual sense.
Many thanks for everything and for the opportunity to listen to what you think, it’s been incredibly interesting and I’m very happy to have had this interview with you.
Many thanks to you too.