“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them. Life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” ― Gabriel García Márquez
What does it mean to lead a good life?
To me, it means to live an authentic life, in harmony with others, in a high integrity manner, where you contribute as much as you take out. It means to actively seek understanding, knowledge, truth and to keep growing till your last breath.
What are your values?
Respect, care and recognition for each human being, in all their unique differences. Always try to understand the perspectives of others. Human rights (all people should have access to healthy food, shelter, safety, healthcare, education and a means to express themselves freely). Be in awe of nature and try to conserve it. Stand up for truth and freedom, as they are the highest values we have. Understanding and growth.
What do you want to represent/embody?
In line with the above, someone who recognizes and respects every person for who they are, and who will always try to understand the perspectives of others, even if it does not represent my own beliefs and opinions. Someone who stands up for truth and freedom, and people’s human rights. Someone who is knowledgeable, but never dogmatic, continuously evolving, seeking to grow.
What would you take a very strong stand for?
The underdog. The disenfranchised.
What are you grateful for in life?
I am grateful for the luck I’ve had. I believe a big part of life is down to simple luck. Not of my own doing. I am very grateful that I was born in Belgium and that I could grow up here after the LGBT movement had already made big strides forward. This has significantly contributed to the quality of my life. Had I been born elsewhere, my life might have been one of persecution. I am also grateful for my upbringing, which was safe, financially secure and intellectually stimulating. I am grateful for the love I receive from family and friends. For my health thus far. For my intellectual and other capabilities. For the opportunities I was given.
What is the meaning of life? How can you make your life more meaningful, starting today?
I don’t think there is a meaning to life. I am an existentialist. We are a fluke of nature and our existence never had any intrinsic meaning. But I do believe that meaning can be created by us, and entirely subjective and relative. I can therefore make my life more meaningful in my own life and according to my own definition by living in line with my values and pursuing the things that are important to me. Not the things that are set out by society or others.
What is your purpose in life?
There’s no such thing as purpose. But I’d like to die knowing that I have learned as much about life as I could in the time I had here.
What about the world puzzles or disturbs you that you could make an impact on?
Intolerance. Group behaviors. The average human’s need to impose dogmas. The average human’s inability to cope with diversity. How people sometimes can only stand tall in their own beliefs and identity by squashing differing beliefs or curtailing other identities. Ignorance. People’s amazing lack of self-awareness and insight into how their brains and bodies tick and what that means for themselves and the society they create or the world they inhabit.