In times when video conferencing, triggered by the Coronavirus Pandemic, is becoming increasingly popular, most of us have experienced that moment when participants enter a virtual space and check their webcams and, more importantly, their microphones:

‘Can you hear me?’ is the phrase you hear most often in various virtual meetings and conferences.

As Financial Times journalist Philip Stephens said already a couple of years ago:

“What’s certain is that the world is changing faster than at any time in human history.”

Now, the question is: Who or what is changing and in what way? Indeed, during lockdown in 2020 we have witnessed how digitalization has rapidly become increasingly visible and tangible in our daily life. 

For the first time in human history, a privately held spaceflight company sends astronauts in its SpaceX ship to ISS (International Space Station). Almost at the same time, unrest and protests break out in the same state after the unarmed African American George Floyd was killed by policemen.

Can you hear me?

This could also be seen as a global outcry of all people who are – still – oppressed and persecuted. Technological progress before respect and humanity – is this the direction we humans on planet earth are currently steering towards?

This and two more questions will be answered on June 18th, 2020 by Andrea Eleonore, Edwin and Helen.

What is your opinion on JU’s questions of this month? 

JU’S 3 QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH

  1. Technological progress before respect and humanity – is this the direction we humans on planet earth are currently steering towards in our pursue of change?
  2. Let’s say you have the opportunity to work for a month in a team that inspires, advises and motivates influential people worldwide – which role in the team would suit you best and which concerns would you bring up?
  3. How do you manage to ground yourself in these challenging times or to connect with the Spirit of Nature and Mother Earth?

Andrea Eleonore Weller 🇦🇹🇨🇦 – June, 3rd, 2020

I met Andrea Eleonore during our training course for spiritual healers in 2012. There has been a good chemistry between the two of us from the very beginning; we also started working together now and then. Andrea Eleonore is from Schwechat and is married to a Canadian. She studied Pharmacy, has her own practice for Holistic Healing (www.naturpath.at) and also works as a Pharmacist.

I like Andrea Eleonore for her straightforwardness in thought and perception, her generosity and her ability not to lose sight of the big picture. 

Edwin Thekkinen🇦🇹🇬🇧🇮🇳 – June 12th, 2020

I know Edwin from our Sunday Weekly Long Run (www.wemove.at). He is a young jogging buddy who studied Bioscience in England. He is Viennese with South Indian roots and in his free time he likes to go for a run, do karate or yoga. Edwin is currently working as a Project Manager for a pharmaceutical company.I admire Edwin for his refreshing, positive spirit, his lightheartedness and positivity, as well as for his astonishing physical condition.

Helen Dolman 🇬🇧 – June 15th, 2020

Helen Dolman is from England and works as a Dental Practice Manager. The hobby she is very passionate about is her position as a County Cricket Coach and Manager for U15 Girls. She also loves music, spending time in nature or with friends and family. In the summer of 1978, Helen came to my home village, Zell am Pettenfirst, to visit her pen-friend (IPF International Pen-Friend). The two of us met at an open-air swimming pool and I asked her to become my pen-friend, too. Our pen-friendship outlived all technological changes and now, 42 years later, we are still connected in warm-heartedness.

 I love Helen for her warm, beautiful way of being, her loyalty and straightforwardness.

Andrea Eleonore Weller 🇦🇹🇨🇦

Answer 1

In my opinion, misjudging our human nature lays at the root of technological. We want to improve ourselves and, thus, trespass our ‘natural’ borders. Better, faster, further is the name of the game. We act this out extrinsically in our society and we analyze and judge according to these criteria. Only when we realize that we, as human beings, are already perfect and can show respect towards ourselves and our fellow humans accordingly can we grow in a different way, namely together, without exploiting ourselves, others and Planet Earth with all its treasures.

Answer 2

I have a good imagination and I am in my element when I interact and discuss with people. A matter of great concern to me is to create connections, to recognize synergies and never forget the big picture, so that the topics discussed can be framed within the context and regarded from multiple perspectives. In a nutshell: I love to put things straight. What concerns me most is creating a form of society that offers us all (humans, animals, plants and other forms of life) enough space to develop in safety, to be in balance and exchange ideas with one another.

Answer 3

At the moment, grounding ourselves has been harder than ever, in my opinion, because the structures that shape our life currently get us distracted. There are not many safe havens left. What helps me most is my energy and spiritual work. That is when I feel 100% connected to myself, to the present moment, to my inner power … or to my garden. ;-) 

Edwin Thekkinen🇦🇹🇬🇧🇮🇳

Answer 1

In times of rapid app development in which there is an app for everything, it was only a matter of time until an abundance of apps appeared to shift our social behavior. Technological revolution: Social media. For many, social media has become a sort of staple for human interaction. Further on during turmoil, social media has had significant impact as a medium to speak out, ranging from political change (i.e. Arab Spring) to protests concerning racial injustice (i.e. Black Lives Matter).

Yes, technology will develop in rapid stages, and yes, it will not always be used for the greater good. But at heart there always will be us, humans, striving for greatness through technology. And as long as we want to help each other, we should have a bright future ahead.

Answer 2

I’d love to be a mediator between the Government and their policies towards agricultural production. I’m not a specialist. I have somewhat of an agricultural background and recently decided to be vegetarian to support the green food era, in which I believe the meat alternative products will rise to popularity.

It would be great to have Food Subsidies to assist currently privatized meat alternative companies like Beyond Meat, Quorn and Impossible Foods. It is not a question of whether these alternative products can replace meat, that’s already happening as we speak, it is more a question of how to make these existing products more feasible to the consumer. 10 pieces of Beyond Meat Burger patties, for instance, are currently available in Vienna for a whoping price tag of 37 Euro; for those unaware, it tastes and looks just like a ground beef burger patty that is fully made with chickpea protein. Exceptional and innovative! 

Answer 3

Running and yoga. I came to love the act of running. I do so regularly, mostly alone and without music. It is meditative. It is calming. And it is refreshing. Couple it with yoga after and you got yourself a fair package promoting vitality and prosperity from within.

Helen Dolman 🇬🇧

Answer 1

A difficult question! One that I am not entirely sure I’m qualified to answer. Being a dreamer, I believe that technological progress and respect and humanity should and possibly could, live side by side successfully. Surely a happy relationship could occur if mutual respect and empathy for each other’s viewpoints are accepted? The two standpoints do not necessarily have to be polar opposites surely? I believe that the two can and should co-exist successfully. However, I realise that my opinions are based on a best case scenario as opposed to sometimes having to be realistic in today’s ever changing world.

Economic and technological progress can and does have a negative effect on the natural world. Sustainable energy needs to be progressed but this should be sympathetic to its location and ethics. Unfortunately I feel that sometimes local and national politics have a huge effect in these matters and the effects of mankind on planet earth are there for all to see.

Answer 2

I’d be the Project Manager! Hopefully my ability to organise both people and tasks would come in useful and be of benefit to the team. I would derive satisfaction from being able to bring talents together to work for the greater good. I would hope not to be overawed by the successful and influential people involved and I would be able to drive the project along to a satisfactory conclusion, within the timeframe and budget. My concerns usually revolve around people not “buying in” to the common goal and possibly having their own agendas, so I would need to have a total understanding of everyone’s needs to be successful. I have faith that this could be done :-)

Answer 3

These have been challenging times for everyone all around our beautiful world. I have fluctuated between faith that all will be fine in the end and also a deeper anxiety on a personal and wider basis. I had recently returned from a cricket tour to India when COVID19 struck the world with a vengeance. I had been deeply affected by my experiences in India – both positively and negatively – and I was initially almost overwhelmed with concern for the country and the people there.

I have coped with the lockdown by keeping myself busy – I have found that if my body and spirit are in tune, then I am able to cope with stress more easily. I have missed sports hugely during lockdown. On a normal basis I would be busy with various aspects of cricket or football at least 3 or 4 days or evenings a week. I have however, been very grateful to have my allotment relatively close by. The increased time that I have spent there has been a huge help to my mental health. The feeling of satisfaction of growing plants and seeing them flourish has been a great source of comfort. I have also taken time to cook and bake from scratch every day which has also helped my anxious mind. 

I have been shopping for elderley relatives which is a nice feeling and has brought us closer together. I have also had time to go on walks when I haven’t been working and I give thanks that I am lucky enough to live in a rural area… this has been a great blessing and source of inner peace. I have listened to podcasts – mainly sporting ones – but I normally don’t have the time for this on a normal basis, so I have enjoyed this very much. 

All in all, whilst it has been difficult, there have been other areas which have had a positive impact.  The chance to think has also been positive.  I will attempt not to slip back into old ways as the world slowly returns to normality.

#BetweenOceans2020