A while ago, along a little French road, I happened upon a young man on a bike, pulling a small trailer. His blue glasses and cheerful manner made me want to get to know him. After introducing ourselves, the 24 year old Olivier, a Frenchman, or, more precisely, a Moselle native, told me that he’d decided to tour France on his bike to meet people working to make the world a better place. People building their world? Well, that sounded interesting…
As he tells it, after a classical, “programmed” childhood, Olivier started wondering about the state of the world nowadays, and, particularly, wondering what people could do to free themselves from poverty, social inequalities, lies, the destruction of the environment… He soon realized that, even though they are not always very visible, a lot of people are wondering the same things and taking very concrete action to bring about change.
So this long-time cyclist decided to get on his bicycle and go see them.
I was very moved by meeting Olivier. He’s young and already displays great wisdom – the glowing wisdom of sharing and trusting. His message of hope and peace is making its own sweet way around France and, I hope, the rest of the world.
So I invite you to celebrate the International Day of Peace along with him today.
An overview of Olivier’s route:
– The Granges de Franould equestrian farm: the farm hosts children who live in centers and learn how to care for the horses, live in harmony with nature, and develop an awareness of how the world works, etc.;
– ÉCOlonie: A European ecological center striving to “shape a utopian aspiration towards a sustainable, diverse and humane society” through the environment and activities offered at ÉCOlonie;
– Natur’Ailes Association: an ecological teaching garden that seeks to raise awareness in the general public about issues such as environmentally friendly agriculture, beekeeping, the important role of insects, the gathering and consumption of wild plants, medicinal plants, etc.;
– Vaux-la-Douce eco-site: A small community living in harmony with nature and embodying values such as sharing, solidarity and cooperation;
– Goshen mutually supportive Éco-hameau: the site belongs to the Oasis en Tous Lieux, founded by Pierre Rabhi, and brings together people who have decided to live intentionally simple and self-sufficient lives based on hospitality, natural agriculture and an alternative economy;
– Meet Christelle, an activist working within the Incredible Edible (article in Franch), Colibris (article in French too) and Zeitgeist movements, who uses her positive energy to work for an economic resource-based model “where the planet’s resources are received as the common legacy of all the Earth’s inhabitants. An alternative to the existing monetary exchange system dominating the forms of government and social policies all over the world, that is, a reconsideration of our relationship to the environment and to one another”;
– Meeting people in Lyon and its environs who are acting to change the world for the better, including members of the Zeitgeist Movement and Silsilla‘s webmistress, an Internet-based Generative Collaboration platform created to link actors for change;
– Caracoles de Suc: a self-governing farm collective which states “that through a rural, peasant, militant life, its residents try to live collectively, free of dogma, religion, and hierarchy, by forming an open, federative community, connected to the world”;
– Terre de Possibles Association: another place belonging to Oasis en Tous Lieux, which has as its objective connecting with the earth and building relationships through an exchange and sharing network about ecological practices nature know-how;
– And many more…
Special thanks to Yolanda Stern Broad, our dedidated English translator