The variety that exists here allows 40 people - who are all distinctive and unique - to be fulfilled and happy with the life, work and surroundings. But it is much than simple diversity that creates this satisfaction.
The PSF bubble allows an engaged eclectic group of people to come together under a unified purpose. It is something they believe in and this belief is enforced by similar thinking from all their peers and by the hard work done in the day which gives a greater feeling of achievement. I’m not saying this isn’t good and without doubt this bubble and sense of purposeful accomplishment sustains the people here with motivation and passion; but ultimately it would be wrong to say this, or anything like this, is any more meaningful or significant than life at home. We like to glorify things and put things on pedestals. This can lead to a general perception that a life here or in similar circumstances is a more noble pursuit than a life at home in our western culture. This in turn can give people who live such lives an unjust sense of superiority. That they have somehow beat the system and triumphed over the people ‘back home’. The truth is, everybody is human and equally fallible to succumb to anger, jealousy, arrogance. Which is what we should measure things by, if we are going to measure at all. While actions and ‘end product’ are more visible tools to measure output; ultimately it should be the slightly surreptitious measure of attitude and heart that should define us.
I don’t think the work here in itself makes you any more purposeful, directed or significant. It doesn’t give you some kind of immunity to the many corruptions in this world. But what is refreshing is the fact that through life here people are given a different perspective and from this their attitudes change. I don’t think anyone could come here and not be shaped to some degree. There is something about PSF which brings out humanity in people. There are less worldly distractions and influences. Is it easier to be good when faced with adversity? Especially with such a positive atmosphere?
There are things to be learned here that here that are easily forgotten at home. I can happily say that it’s been a privilege to be able to come here and it’s a shame that I can’t be here longer. So two weeks down and two to go. Next time I will actually say what I’ve been up to!