That’s personal

If you think that it’s only special people who can change their lives and do what their hearts tell them to, you are simply wrong.


I was a simple child, just like anyone. I was born in Lithuania when it was still occupied by the Soviet Union. I grew up in a city called Kaunas and was very proud of being its citizen. I thought that all the children who were not born in Kaunas must be very unlucky and unhappy. Only when left to study in a different city did I discover that the others didn’t know they were supposed to be unhappy.


Later I was very proud to be Lithuanian. I was proud of the “Singing revolution”, of the Baltic Way, the reclaimed independence, the Lithuanian language, the freedom. Yet the joyful freedom also brought its own worries – I had to work hard, find a profession, earn money. Finally I saw that people in other nations also have plenty to be proud of. Their culture, history, fights for independence, their lifestyle. Some of their stories were incredible.


Then I was proud to work for an international company, when I was able to travel and get to know other countries, cultures and beliefs. I was interested to observe other people’s relationships, hear their stories. People – how wonderful they are, I thought.

Yet as time went by, I gained more and more knowledge and experience (I was especially impressed by Y.N. Harari’s book “Sapiens”), and one day, as if I had finished a puzzle in my head, to my dismay I realised that humans were the cruellest animals of all. We destroy everything – nature, animals, the very Earth. And finally ourselves. There was nothing to be proud of anymore. Nothing at all.


For a while I was genuinely ashamed for humanity, myself included. What have we done? As Harari put, we began turning the world into one big shopping mall. And what was there beyond it? Nothing but mountains of waste. There was no time left for true friendship, we forgot to take an interest in our feelings… only for constant percentual market growth and profit… What could be crueller?


And then, slowly, very slowly, through meditation and relaxation, the shame and helplessness turned to compassion. For myself. For my loved ones. For everyone else. Compassion turned to Love. I believe it is the strongest power there is. It doesn’t evaluate or judge. It doesn’t compare. It inspires to live. To change. To become better.


If I want the world to be a better place to live, I must start with myself. There is no other way. However small and insignificant my own personal change for the better may be, it is important. I occupy myself with things that make others and myself happy. I have been a babysitter in Paris, a gardener in Mauritius, an attendant to tourists on various trips. I give massages I was taught to do by an Indian friend, create traditional Lithuanian straw decorations called the Sodas, look after a garden, draw, meditate, read, write.


I always find something new to learn, and when I do, I share it with others. I like it!