Breaking down walls

Build­ing walls is some­thing that we humans do well. The Berlin Wall has since long become his­to­ry now, but else­where in the world walls are still dai­ly used to sep­a­rate peo­ple from each oth­er. The wall along the West Bank in Israel is per­haps the most famous exam­ple. This bar­ri­er is intend­ed to pro­tect Israelis …

Forest of Peace

We recent­ly watched the BBC series Plan­et Oil. An inter­est­ing sto­ry about the his­to­ry of oil, but with a depress­ing end­ing. Our addic­tion to fos­sil fuels has thor­ough­ly dis­rupt­ed the eco­log­i­cal bal­ance of the plan­et. It is frus­trat­ing to see how slow alter­na­tive ener­gy is devel­op­ing, main­ly because noth­ing hap­pens at the pol­i­cy lev­el. In …

Happy Holi!

Slow­ly but sure­ly I’m find­ing my feet in the office. This week I brought two plants and today installed them in their pots, with our new peat free com­post. Today I saw that my new name­plate adorns the door of our office. I also saw a jar with bright pink pow­der on the desk of …

Interfaith dialogue

For me, the pow­er of faith has nev­er been described more elo­quent­ly than in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. The book is about Piscine, a 16 year old boy from Puducher­ry, India. After he is ship­wrecked, he goes through a ter­ri­ble ordeal. His love of God pulls him through: The black­ness would stir and even­tu­al­ly …

Retribution or restoration?

After the abo­li­tion of apartheid in South Africa, the groups that were pre­vi­ous­ly opposed to each oth­er had to find a way to deal with the past. For this, the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion was estab­lished, led by Desmond Tutu. There had been so many human rights vio­la­tions that it was impos­si­ble to build crim­i­nal …