$ I’ve got things to tell you. Today Martin was filling in his bagua diagram and he put down: “a vet” among his priorities in the area of helpful people.
$ Wow! The world would be a better place if everybody treated animals with such respect.
$ You must know Martin is not a vegetarian.
$ I understand him. He knows what is good, which is what I can’t say about you. Vegetable soups, rice, spices… Heaven preserve us!
$ I will eat you out right this second!
$ I will resist! You’d better tell me what you’ve got in the element of helpful people.
$ In the very first place: a balance between giving and taking.
$ Right, if you don’t have it in your blood, there comes a moment when people are fed up with your living off them or on the contrary: your battery is flat and you pour out all your frustration on those whom you were giving without having thought whether you actually wanted to give or not. Do I feel like giving or do I do this because it goes off very well, because that’s what my parents did, because I count with reciprocity? Second priority.
$ To be a part of the whole.
$ Right. Then helping one another occurs in a natural way. One monkey scratches the other; a bird makes a nest to hold its partner and young, a dog barks at burglars and humans feed dogs. Third.
$ Devote 1/10 of my time to charity work.
$ That’s what I hate. I abhor calling it charity work. And this counting: 1/10, 1% etc. It’s completely cold-hearted. If people ask you to give them 1,000 and it’s 2%, will you say ‘no’ or will you give them only a half? During the charity work will you say: oh, 1/10 of my time has passed, can you hear the alarm clock? Bye, bye!
$ So what do you do?
$ I apply no routine at all. Every time I decide spontaneously as if I had never taken such decisions before.
$ And does it always come up roses?
$ What do you mean?
$ Do you sometimes regret your decisions?
$ Are you out of your mind? Who am I to say that a decision of mine was good or bad? One day, Zhou Enlai, Kissinger’s counterpart under Mao when asked what he thought of the French Revolution, replied: “It’s too early to tell.”
$ Right. And what does it mean: “good”? What does it mean: “bad”? The nature doesn’t judge.
$ Now you’re talking. Give me your short-term goals.
$ 1. To find a publisher and all I need to bring out this book.
$ Sounds like a lot of work. To find, to publish… Simplify that. Finding implies searching. Do you need to get tired? Do you need to flagellate yourself with deadlines?
$ Hahahaha! The first million copies of my book has been sold.
$ And you worked your tail off while selling the second one.
$ Hahahaha! My books sell themselves. I just go with the flow.
$ That’s my girl. Go on.
$ . 2. To spread out the idea of self-directed language education all over the world.
$ With a little help of Vera F. Birkenbihl, Neale Donald Walsch, Marshall B. Rosenberg.
$ Helpful people, no more, no less. 3. To pass on my passion for languages on as many people as possible, among others on Paqui and Eva.
$ Do I know them?
$ I used to live in their places. Do you remember? I chose Paqui’s ad because it was very specific: an apartment with the Internet, women only, the owner lives with a 2-year-old child. The idea of living with a baby was very tempting, you know “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Anyway, Paqui always got up late. She used to say: why should I get up early if I don’t have a job? I’ve got nothing to do, so at least I’ll get my sleep. She would switch on the TV after she woke up and keep it on the whole day, have breakfast with her baby, tidy up. She used to live from breakfast to lunch, from lunch to dinner, from poop to pee, Internet was her only entertainment. She hardly ever left the house and if she did she went for a walk with her baby or partied at weekends.
$ Why do you want to pass anything on her? Maybe she was cool with her life.
$ From what she told me I know she wasn’t. She looked for a job as a cleaning lady or a checkout assistant. She didn’t find anything so she learned to live on social security and a little rent. When I got to know her better I wondered: the world is so rich; how come does she have no impulse to learn something new, something that would really interest her, discover new possibilities to her, among other things new job opportunities? She observed me and noticed the difference. For example, the second day of my stay in her place I went to the library and Paqui said: I have been living here for 10 years and I have never been there. And my impression was my attitude irritated her instead of inspiring.
$ Obviously she felt irritated because a part of you despised her life style.
$ I much more envied the producers of soap operas and blind date programs. I thought to myself: Paqui and Eva are so loyal to their favorite programs. How can I encourage people to being so loyal to learning languages?
$ Love and hate are the same energy. As well as contempt and envy.
$ Master Yoda would say: Meditate on this I will.