Creating Our Earth – From sadness to respectful world of tomorrow

The past week has been very tough mentally for me, as it’s been for the most of the world. Beirut, Paris, Bamako, Syria, Iraq… The list continues. ‘Why’ and ‘what next’ seem to be the questions in the air.

In the western media, Paris was shown largely and Beirut seemed to be forgotten at the same time. But so were and are forgotten countless of tragedies all over the planet every day.

The lives of Lebanese lost were not any less important than all different nationalities that were lost in Paris. The reason why Paris incident has touched me personally the most and also some others, is because I lived in the city before. Those exact streets were my home. Every time I visit Paris, I go out around the same areas, I was there two weeks before the attacks, and I was there again now one week after. My friends live there. It could have been them. It could have been me. This closeness of events makes us react stronger to some events than others, even they are all as horrifying.

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A view of Paris from Trocadéro, now one week after a tragedy that I will never forget. To me it represents our humanity, the happiness we can have when we learn to respect and love.

Personally, my mind has been full of plain sadness. I have needed my time to mourn, to leave my condolences to those who lost their families/friends in these inhuman attacks around the world. And sadly, they still continue.

There comes always a turning point then, we lift our faces up again to see forward. What shall we do, how can we help, what do we need to improve, where can we start? Most of all, how can we make the new world of tomorrow better?

We need to be kind to one another. We need to learn to tolerate and understand different points of view in life, we need to stop bullying and start building friendships, we must stop bombing and start sending flowers. In every city and country.

Most of all, instead of all the mess of today, we need to focus on the future, to build it better and always more peaceful than the world today. It all starts from children. What we learn at young age, we bring to the world later on. If we learn hatred, how can anything beautiful come out of it later on?

Our Earth is full of countless different cultures, religions, and habits. We need to learn from each other, let our children learn, let the next generations build without all the limits we might have in the world today. We need to concentrate on building respect and friendships, in daycare, in preschools, in schools, and continuously in universities, work places and different communities. This needs to be part of everyday experience. Let respect live in us.

Who will start to do all this? We all will.

How shall we? Be kind. Respect. Communicate. Learn. Innovate. Create. And most of all, smile.

Creating New Culture for tomorrow’s world,

Satu

Walking speed

One detail that differs between cultures, is the speed of walking. I visited the museum of communication in Frankfurt am Main where you can among all the other things explore the speeds physically.

The task was to walk a so-called ‘catwalk’ as normal as possible and see which country your speed matches. The first time I tried to walk normally, as I do on the streets. The result was the speed of Sweden, which hits very close home up in Scandinavia.

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With a growing excitement, I tried all the different speeds to experience the feelings people have around the world while walking. I had to almost run to reach the fastest Swiss, and when moving as the Brazilians, I had time to improve my samba moves.

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Here are some examples of speed in different countries, for example the results of this walking test of 10 meters

What is not included in this test, is that people walk with different speeds also according to the area they are from, whether they live in a city or countryside, and whether they have to hurry or not.

Even though I don’t like generalizing things, and even less groups of people, but an average walking speed tells something about the culture. How about, which nationality would you be?

Communicating – delivering a message

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Today I visited Museum für Kommunikation (Museum of Communication) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It gave me many thoughts and I would like to share something.

I started to think, we use electronic devices all the time but we never stop for a minute to think why. It’s all about the fact that we want to deliver and receive messages – we want to communicate.

To deliver a message, there were always ways to express ourselves other than talking, from drawing to writing, from hieroglyphics to different kinds of alphabets.

People started delivering messages in letters and packages – this method is still alive, known as post (or as it’s also called to underline the slowness – snail mail).

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The logo of Postbank in Germany, and the horn symbolizing past times when it used to signal the arrival or departure of a post rider or mail coach

Telegraphs were invented, as well as faxes, phones, television, radio, mobile phones, computers…

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Remember this one?

… and finally Internet came into the picture.

We have the most modern communicating. But do we respect it? Do we use it the right way?

And most of all, what is the next big invention? What will make Internet look old-fashioned? How will we communicate and deliver messages in the future?

Belonging

Belonging to something is a big and important part of our lives. Cultures and all the groups around give us the privilege to fill the life with connections and caring.

We all belong to many subgroups, such as bloggers, surfers and teachers. But talking about deeper connections, we start to understand ourselves, how we have become the persons that we are. Also, we learn to see behind the actions of others and respect the different ways of living.

The surrounding people and areas have the biggest effect on our lives. From our parents, we get the genes and the heritage of the family history, and from school mates and teachers, we adapt many skills for life. All the people around us influence the way we grow to be. The city, country, cultural and linguistic areas and also different unions (such as European Union) build a part of us with their history, religions, laws and habits.

The main parts of one’s behaviour, attitudes and believes come from the culture they are born in, one gets raised to live following certain laws, and one’s morals in life are likely to be based on the believes of the main religion of the country. For example, even if I don’t belong to a specific church anymore, the cultural background of Christianity in Finland stays in me – I believe it is a right thing to do to be good to one another and respect the life around without destruction.

Every single person on this planet is unique with their personal background. But regardless of all the differences there might be, we all belong to one big group – human beings of this planet. All the same. We all have thoughts and feelings.

It’s natural for a human being to gather a group around, to have a stronger feeling of belonging, such as we see the cities, countries and different cultural areas as the result of this behaviour.

But a human also moves, gets attracted by diversity and wants to improve. Since in the end we are all the same, I personally don’t understand the self-destruction of societies and the whole world in general. Limiting moving by countries borders, manipulating thinking, blocking creating and in the same, making slower the whole evolution of a human being.

A very wise friend of mine put this question in my mind with awakening words: “Isn’t it just absurd that one human being born in a certain place in a certain time cannot move free on this very planet because another creature just like him/her has decided so?”

I’m wondering if there’s a solution for us to live in peace in full diversity without made limits, power of cash, wars and poverty. The Earth is a beautiful place to live and learn. Shall we ever give a proper chance for us to improve, succeed and most of all – belong to this place and time together?

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The silence of the midsummer’s nightless night // Keuruu, Finland

Metro communication

When alone in a metro (or in any other similar place from bus to airplane), people change their behaviour from everyday communicating.

These mobile times, the most common act is probably to chat with one’s very own smartphone. This way we avoid all the possible interacting with strangers.

The behaviour differs also between the cultures a bit, but even more because of multiple other factors, such as the size of the city. The bigger the city is, the more people seem to prefer to talk with their phones, read a book, sleep or pretend to do so, or work on any possible thing to distance them from any interaction.

There might good explanations for that, for example it is true that in metropolies we pass by so many people, it impossible to have contact with everybody. Also, one needs a moment for him/herself at times, even in our minds surrounded by all that mass of human beings.

Prejudies and judgement effect strongly sometimes on top of all other. When one senses another, possibly unknown culture from the person getting closer, it is typical to try to look that one is not available for the stranger. Ignorance can be the case but also media is very good in manipulating everyone’s behaviour towards little racist acts.

On the other hand, working on something during a trip does not always automatically mean that we don’t want to interact with the person next to us or that we are scared of them. Someone takes the trip as an extra time to work, someone wants to relax with their music and someone might be just very excited to work on something at the moment… as I am now – writing about this subject with my phone.

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A metro stop written with different alphabets
Paris, France

When there’s communicating that differs from the main behaviour in certain situations, appears a shock.

Once in one of these metro lines of Paris, an older, clearly homeless man came to sit next to me. Baring sights surrounded me. But my own reaction was different, I had a smile on my face because I received a very friendly ‘Bonjour’ from this man. I said ‘bonjour’ back. Already at this point, I could feel the eyes around staring at this unusual situation.

All the way to my destination stop, we talked. Mainly he was telling about his life as a musician. There was a moment that he got moved by a memory, and allowed few drops fall from his big dark eyes. I have to say it has been one of the most beautiful moments I have experienced in any metro. It would have never happened if instead of him I would have focused on my electronic device.

Let’s do what we need to, but stop the pointless Facebook scrolling. Look around… yes there is the life!

PS. Now I turn this device off and focus on the beautiful persons around me.

Barcelona State Of Mind

Passionate Latin culture. History in the narrow streets. Attractive Catalan language. New winds and waves from the sea. Barcelona is a mixture of factors that create a perfect platform for art. A platform to create something new.

The city is known as an inspiration for great artists such as Antoni Gaudí and Pablo Picasso. During my short stay these Easter days, I explored the Barcelona air, enjoyed glasses of delicious wines and of course, got amazed by few main pieces of Gaudí; Parc Güell, Casa Batlló and the master piece – Sagrada Família.

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Fairy tale-like piece of Gaudí – Casa Batlló
Barcelona, Spain / March 2013

Personally, I have never liked to go around all the touristic sight-seeings in a new place. I might have a map in my bag, but I just love to walk randomly, find special places, and this way experience the atmosphere of the city. Knowing the history of the area, and getting to know the art inspired by it, preferably with the locals, makes the experience full then.

I have visited Barcelona few times before, and even without knowing a lot beforehand, the city always had a certain impact on me. The freedom of mind the city gives, makes me always wonder the big questions of life. And those are thoughts that I really want to share with other people, either over that glass of wine or through my own art, and now also here in this blog space.

One important question in life that Barcelona makes me think, is ‘how to learn to live in a moment’. Live today with every little thing that we have. Do not worry about tomorrow that still doesn’t exist. Barcelona makes me enjoy. But it also makes me search the deepest parts of me to decide what I really need, what I really want and what I would be ready to risk for it. Barcelona brings me back to basics, to collect the pieces of me today.

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Collecting the pieces for your well-being, like in this piece of art of Gaudí.
Parc Güell, Barcelona, Spain / March 2013

These are tough questions, that might never have an answer. But you need to find the right questions first to start finding the answers. Right kind of surrounding to your current situation will give the needed push towards better understanding and good communication with your inner voice. With stronger voice and confident will the importance of the outer existence becomes more and more meaningless, you will be able to find your own inner peace and power anywhere. For me, it is Barcelona State Of Mind.

Where do you find your Peace State Of Mind?

Old and new culture of communicating

I was born to a quite late generation, but I also had the privilege to live before Internet and mobile phones. I like the inventions of past times, for example it gives me a possibility to write this blog and share my thoughts all over the world (which earlier would have been quite a tough job). Though, instead of a Facebook message, it is a different warmth coming from receiving a postcard or a letter – someone really wrote it with their own hands.

Communication is faster, and many ways different what it was years ago. Sometimes we forget the real meaning of communication, interaction with another person. The strongest, only full way to interact with one another, is face-to-face. You miss lots of things you don’t even realize while communicating via electronic devices; all movement of another, the scent, the touch. While I enjoy all possibilities in this year 2013, I remind myself every day of the real life, which is still going here around us in other living people, not in the smartphone.

Creating a mixed culture of old and new – that’s a challenge to take. Keep the best of the past times and give also the opportunity for all new to step in.

Myself, I have kept some parts of the old, I send postcards from places where I travel and I read books made of paper. I meet people in real life and find the streets without Google Maps. Someone way wonder, how do I do that? Well, I check it beforehand and using my brain more helps me remember easier. We used to remember a long list of phone numbers, and these days many forget their own one. It is very important to keep the mind fit, and I’ve found this a very good tool for it.

Half way old is also the fact that I don’t own a smartphone at the moment. I used to have one, but since it got broken I decided to try a while without. There’s really nothing I miss from it. As I told before, I find my way very well. I don’t need to check my Facebook every five seconds, I’ll do that once I get home. And most important, I concentrate on the life around me or the person I’m with (and not the endless applications in my phone).

Anyway I have a very simple phone to text or call if something unexpected happens.

In the end, smartphones might be needed at some situations, eg. for working. I might buy a new one sometime soon, but I will definitely make a deal with myself to keep my eyes off of it in situations like meeting a person.

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Relaxing in the sun with a book, observing all interesting happening around. Without Facebook.
Paris, France / September 2011