Politics 14 June 2007 Visitors from afar Faraway visitors make their impact on Findhorn, while Findhorn makes its impact closer to home Print HTML Londoners say there is no need to travel - just sit at the foot of the statue of Eros in Trafalgar Square and sooner or later, the whole world will come to you. Findhorn sometimes feels like the Eros of the eco-spiritual world. The latest traveller to wash up on these shores – literally – is Mukti Mitchell. Mukti is sailing round Britain in a self-built yacht on a six-month speaking tour to promote sustainable lifestyles. His ‘Low-Carbon Lifestyles Tour’ sailed out of his home port, Clovelly in North Devon, in early April and will cover around 50 ports nationwide by mid-October, see here. Last night was our turn and Mukti gave a presentation in the community centre on how each of us as individuals can significantly reduce our carbon footprints. At the heart of his message is that lowering our footprints should be fun: “People who have tried it find that a low-carbon lifestyle saves money, gives you more free time and brings quality, meaning and satisfaction to life” This seems to be the key message that needs to be communicated at the moment. As the old Findhorn motto has it, "If it ain’t fun, it ain’t sustainable". Mukti is in the business of helping release the paralysing grip of fear over an uncertain future. Another traveller and truth-seeker is coming towards the end of his time here in Findhorn. Kasmir Msigwa (pictured) is a teacher from Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania who has been with us for around six weeks. He has been working in the local Steiner school, as part of an exchange arrangement within the Steiner global family. Kasmir has been a gentle and wise presence around the place with a deep curiosity and hunger for learning about new ways of doing things that he can take back to his school and community in Tanzania. It was most touching to see how impressed Kasmir was with Mukti’s talk. I know all too well from my time in Africa that the prevailing stereotype of we Europeans can be of cold, unfriendly and decadent folk, carelessly abusing the planet and indifferent to suffering in other parts of the world. Yet, here was Mukti demonstrating a passion and commitment to justice and sustainability and actually doing something about it. Great to witness this level of positive intercultural sharing and appreciation. By the way, you may remember that a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the students from Rokeby school in East London who came to spend a week with us. Well, I have come across the ‘Six Principles of Respect’ that they themselves developed and have now posted up around the school to guide the school’s ethic and behaviour. These are worth sharing: Rokeby Respect Policy We start with ourselvesWe give respect to receive it We take pride in ourselves and in our communityWe never waste or damage things We care for each otherWe choose not to use language or actions that will harm others We are kind and thoughtfulWe include the needs of others in our thinking and action instead of thinking solely of ourselves We listen, not just speakWe try to hear and understand others and we talk calmly and politely We are fair, honest and work as a teamWe tell the truth and we take responsibility for ourselves and others - Rokeby Student Council, January 2007 › Ways of worship Jonathan Dawson is a sustainability educator based at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. He is seeking to weave some of the wisdom accrued in 20 years of working in Africa into more sustainable and joyful ways of living here in Europe. Jonathan is also a gardener and a story-teller and is President of the Global Ecovillage Network. Subscribe More Related articles The invention of a bionic leaf that produces liquid fuel could help developing countries North Yorkshire has approved the UK’s first fracking tests in five years. What does this mean? What will it take for people to care about climate change?