“We should give up the constant panic”: a message from a Hungarian friar

By Tibor Hartel

Csaba Böjte is a Franciscan friar, famous for his activities to help children living in dire circumstances in Transylvania (Romania). At his age and experience, his message written below for younger generations of adults should be interpreted from a “certain” social and economic state – something what people tend to forget in their enthusiastic complaint about the everyday life. The original is in Hungarian, see the translation below.

“We should give up the constant panic, whining, lamentation, and dare to say to our children, that we have never had so many shoes and clothes before, and neither our ancestors in the past thousand years, and we should also say that this amount of food, information and luxury never existed in the Carpathian Basin before. Do Hungarians have a heavy fate? Yes, usually they are 10-20 kilos heavier than they should be. There have never been so many fat people, abandoned lands, unharvested apple trees, unhoed vineyards in the Charpathian Basin before!”

I read this message to my mother (58) and her friend (ca 64) and asked their opinion. Their feedback suggested that there were times just a few decades ago, when people had 2 pairs of shoes (one for special moments and the other for everyday life), when people had to wait weeks and months to receive a letter from family members and friends and when there was one TV in the village – and they were happy and lived long lives. Good to think about the relationship between wealth and happiness. How much ‘pairs of shoes’ one need to be happy? Do we really have reasons to complain when we have these beautiful landscapes, healthy environment, friends and still very human and natural rhythm of life? Related thoughts in one of my previous posts here.

I thought to share this with you, under the tag ‘The little things that make you think and feel’.


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