This project is the first step into activities explicitly geared towards others, getting out of the professional circle, aiming to share an understanding of each other, and to show people for who they are, what they seek, what they give, and how they view themselves.
There is a lot of benevolence in this world, but it is often subdued, and is expressed only in private contexts. It is not valued as much as competition or the domination of others. These benevolent acts, wether you give or benefit from them, are an integral part of our behaviours. They exist in all human beings, a various degrees, vary according to the time and social context with which we interact.
In this project, the portraits aim to be simple and beautiful, valuing the persons without challenging the reasons behind their sayings. There are many unpleasant things in this world, but there is also a lot of beauty and goodwill. This is what we are after.
We want to create, illustrate and publish a collection of interviews of people who will share their experiences, their visions. They will speak about their lives, that of others, and also about what they bring to their world and what they expect from it. This search seeks what is precious in each of us, without questioning or analysis. The portraits are based on their spoken words, but also on a few pictures, soft or fantastic that represent and carry their messages.
We hope that the publication of this collection will show the way men and women see themselves, relate to their close ones, their friends, to society, and what they seek to bring and their expectations from this world.
Through the diversity of the portraits, we hope to create a dotted line enabling others to capture values, shared or personal, and that they will inspire the readers to commit themselves to promote their own values while staying open to those of others.
"I always want to ask questions. Too often it is not possible."
Why this project ?
I don’t have any claim to fame, but I try to do good around me. I was probably raised that way, and it took me some time to grow out of it. By that, I mean do good around me because I wanted to, not because it was taught to. Relying on conscious decisions, rather than apply what I had been told, is probably one of my defining traits.
I am probably fortunate to have learned from a number of very interesting and inspiring people. I had the chance to live if four different countries and travel to many others. This probably opened my eyes to different ways of living, of thinking, of claiming things for one’s self and of caring for one another. In trying to figure out what motivated my own and other people’s behavior, I am a keen observer and always want to ask questions. Too often it is not possible.
These interview are both a way to learn and a way to share. I hope that by reading what the interviewees tell us, we discover the things that matter to them, and that probably also matter to us. It’s a journey among ourselves. Each person who has agreed to answer these few questions has his or her own story and reasons for feeling or acting in the way he or she does. They are unique, and can differ greatly from the person to another. At the same time, they almost always relate to our own experiences, and the collective wisdom that comes out of the interviews shines a light on our own ways, our past and our future.
I guess that this is what I love.
"What strikes me is the sparkle that transpires when Carolina gets active"
"To go from dream to reality, sometimes a friend has to push you. Mark was that friend."
Who are you?
Carolina is the most gentle, caring human being that I know. At the same time, she is extremely determined, efficient, thorough, and sorts out many things that would have escaped most other people.
I got to know her when we worked together in Ireland as we launched a business activity covering Spain and other countries out of the Emerald Isle. She was quick, attentive, dedicated and conscientious. It was a real joy to work with her.
Since then she traveled the world to discover many exotic places with her husband. She then came back to Ireland, and is now the happy mother of a lovely boy.
When we first discussed the creation of these interviews, Carolina responded immediately with an offer to help. She has been active on all fronts and almost singlehandedly made the Spanish leg of our endeavor deliver its first results.
Beyond that, what strikes me is the sparkle that transpires when she gets active. You directly know that she’ll do something great, because it’s the only thing that she’ll be satisfied with.
Who are you?
Mark is the busiest person I know.
Mark is a person of great business acumen who lives in the corporate world that he enjoys so much, but at the same time, to which he finds many limits. He is deeply concerned about people, he listens, explains, understands, and pushes people to do the best for their company and for themselves. He is profoundly human, and it is with great fondness that I call on him once in a while.
Mark is passionate about many things, rugby and football being among them. He’ll travel the world and bring great stories back for the sake of a match.
He doesn’t know how much he contributed to the start of this initiative. He is the one who opened my eyes to the possibility to expand my activities outside of the professional world that I knew, seeking new ways of contributing to the society.
To go from dream to reality, sometimes a friend has to push you. Mark was that friend.
"Working with Yasmin is a little bit like handling a thunder ball"
Who are you?
Yasmin lives in Cologne … most of the time. She travels the world as she pleases, but is always happy to get back to the place where she grew up. She manages her own life, rarely wakes up before 10 in the morning, but stays active until the middle of the night. She says that she drives slowly on the autobahn, but I’m not so sure.
Even if I never told her, she is the one who showed me that a different life is possible. You can live your passion without ruining your life or your career, or having to wait until retirement. She showed me that the days that are too busy are often the most interesting ones. She also showed me that taking two hours to wake up is just fine.
Yasmin also showed me that no matter what you do, you can care for people and make a difference in their lives by paying attention to them, listening and contributing to what will help them move forward.
Once in a while she comes across a strange idea, like these interviews. Then she gets enthusiastic, supportive and shares a vision that is hard to resist. I have to thank her for believing in this and for supporting me.
Working with her is a little bit like handling a thunder ball. You don’t know where it’s going to unleash its power, but when it does, it’s sharp, it’s quick and nothing stops it.