“Si Jeunesse Savait et Si Vieillesse Pouvait”. This is something my grandpa #RenéCREMET often said. Like the child may see something and want it, but the parent would say, “No.” Because they know that it may not be good for the child.
It’s human nature: We have this potential of self-destruction; sometimes, without realising it.
With the Western lifestyle, we use technology to help us create more - we’re always producing more, we always need more. We don't need to produce so much, or do so much, or get so much. It's a problem if we forget to ask ourselves what we really need.
I'm from this new generation after the one of the Baby-Boomer. Our parents realised that things won’t be as easy for us as it was for them. Things are changing: there are more competition in getting a job, the economy is difficult... crisis, depression, inequality…
I’m of the generation where internet has been developed. It has become easier to access information, to travel, and learn things. And mobile phones - when I was a child, no one had a phone; when I went to college, everyone owned a mobile phone.
What is your view on development?
It's tricky: we need to see what kind of development we're talking about. Development is something very complicated. You can share it and spread it to a lot of people, but I don’t know if it should be for everybody.
Development to me means sustainability, to create opportunity (you are looking for a seedling for it to become a fruit). You don't actually want to control life - You just want things to be sustainable.
I think the intention of religion is to help people develop themselves. And with religion, development is very simple: the development through religion is something you should share with other people, otherwise it's not true development.
I want to develop myself in a good atmosphere, good positive atmosphere. Through interactions with people - it definitely helps me develop my personality, my spirit, my skills and everything.
As human being, we forget the power of the imagination. Movies, creativity, entertainment, can help generate a lot of ideas. Wellington is so nice for that. There is such a diversity.
And I think, through the different generations in Wellington, cultures, good leadership (maybe politicians), people develop some good values and good standards for living together in harmony. I really like the slogan from Wellington City Council: “ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY WELLINGTON”.
What does faith mean to you?
I would say FAITH is connected with LOVE and HOPE. It's how you can create the momentum that help drive you in your daily life, and realise what you want to do.
What I want to do is just trying to know myself better, discover who I am, and why I'm unique. Because I believe everybody is unique. I want to learn how to be a good man, to do good things for people and for myself. It's a very simple idea, but it’s something huge to ask of oneself. Because in the end, we're all just human beings.
In life, we are the best as well as the worst, the Yin and the Yang. It's possible to do more good. Faith can help give you a direction and guide your journey. Faith is like your Dream: you know you want to go in the direction of your Dream. It's in your mind, in your heart and in your soul.
A big thing I rediscovered in New Zealand is Faith. I realised that I was not happy in France. My faith was very weak. I didn't know what I wanted to do, I couldn't see opportunities. Now I realised again how important faith is.
Faith helps human being realise they can achieve what they want in life. It's like you can create, the moment you enter into faith. Obama’s campaign slogan is about faith. “Yes, we can!” It's very simple. It's just about faith.
For me, faith doesn't mean religion. I believe all religions carry some virtues, but you don’t need to be a Christian or Buddhist or Muslim. I believe, in religion, you share ideas of development, not only for yourself, but for the people around you.
Each culture's got different faith. Mine's been something that's been told throughout my childhood. I used to go every Sunday to church with my mom, as a child; I’ve been baptised; I always went for the Communion. What I enjoyed was to share, once a week, with a small community; And people are self-reflecting on their problems, with prayers, singing, and acting together. It was nice just to meet friends; at the end of the service, to shake hands and say Hello, and for the kids to play a bit.
God is perfection to me - an ultimate GOAL. That's why when you do the work of self-reflection, you try to think about the best thing to do. I am impressed by those who have the power of self-reflection. God, incarnated in human flesh as JESUS, was a self-reflecting man, always. Jesus is the definition and representation of the virtue of Christianity.
In sharing the virtue of Christianity, you need to love everyone else, forgive - quite a universal message. The Old Testament is like, if you follow the rules set by God, it won’t be easy, but your development will help you and your future generations to come.
In France, and for most countries in Europe, laïcité is something very important. I realise the dangers of religion, when we think about science ... Galileo: He had so many brilliant ideas about astronomy, physics --- the power of the church said, “We won’t share your ideas.” It was something pretty bad.
Most people understand that we’ve got something wrong with our system in France. But at the same time, it's hard to change things -- because people don’t want to change their lifestyle, what they've got. And so, I think change needs to come through good leadership.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream;
Not only plan, but also believe.” - Anatole, FRANCE
Thomas has left NZ and been living in Denmark with his other half Adika. They are soon moving to Shanghai where a new adventure awaits them.