By Alice Gatignol

At a time like this where politics, inequalities, climate change and over-consumerism are grey zones that pollute our positivity, and trigger doubts on the integrity of humankind, it is important to take a step back from judgment and remember – we are all only human.

It took me a solid 26 years, a good share of experiences, and this moment of silence (silence from humans that is, as the sounds of the waterfall and humming insects guide my pen), to realise how much love, and kindness, compose happiness.
The best and foremost example I can turn to is children. Living a few months in one of the most rural of communities in Nepal, I have come across a good number of children; and in all honesty, other than the language, they are quite similar to everywhere else in the world! Well, some do tend to wear make-up, but that’s a traditional, cultural practice.
When a child cries, all he hopes for is a hug, care, affection, love. Being surrounded by other humans, feeling loved and looked after, are things babies long for; fulfill those needs and they will pop a smile. Shout at them and they will cry – whether it is justified or not. The test is quasi-inevitable. You can be in the busiest neighbourhood of Hong Kong, in a celebrity home in Hollywood, or in a brazilian slum, these reactions are natural, human instinct. Love, a feeling of kindness, makes people happy. It’s not culture, it’s nature. It’s human.

We’ve all had fights and disagreements that have kept our minds in a grey space without any prospect of an exit sign around, no access to a happier place. We’ve all fed off – and do everyday – from how we feel. There is a French expression that translates to “appetite comes as you eat,” it is applicable for every single human emotion, not just appetite. We lock ourselves up into our emotions, omitting the power we have to flip them over.

Who hasn’t locked themself in a room, turned the lights out and bawled under a mountain of pillows and stuffed animals to the rhythm of a sad tune? It is all a question of context. We are the fruit of our own imagination, we create ourselves and we live through the contexts interpreted by our mind. Nothing exists, except in our soul. And forever, you will only ever experience your own vision of things, your own interpretation. Certainly, you will do things that will hurt others, due to the differences of interpretations, the different contexts, the clash of the minds. Likewise, you will certainly be hurt for the same exact reasons. Humans will do things they believe are right; for them, morally, sometimes for others. In fact, I would challenge you to find someone who sees themself as “the bad guy”. We are all ourselves’ “good guy”. We all try, as best as we can, with the tools we’ve got in hand, to do things “right”, according to our conceptions, to spread love and kindness in our own way, however we can, have been taught, observed, or interpreted as love. We all do our best to trust our minds on the context of our emotions, to be good, and to do good. Take the time to understand this, to understand how you work, to be more forgiving, more understanding, more positive. Believe in yourself, and believe in others. Once you are aware that this applies for yourself, be aware it applies to the other 7 billion people we share this planet with. Keep trying, we will all win, because we are all human, and we all aspire to feel, spread, and share love.


  • Alice Gatignol

    The Wellbeing Project

    Wellbeing inspires welldoing: the profound connection between how our relationship with ourselves deeply influences the way we are in the world. We are hearing changemakers around the world express the pressing need for support with their wellbeing. Our work highlights how wellbeing needs to be fundamentally prioritised both for each individual changemaker and because of how it shapes the way social change happens. The Wellbeing Project is a global initiative focused on shifting the culture of the social change field to one oriented towards inner wellbeing and catalysing an infrastructure of support for everyone in the field. The Project is co-created with leading social change institutions and is a community of many of the key global and regional social change leaders and organisations. We see an incredible opportunity to cultivate a social change culture that is more human-centred and at the same time unlock more of the extraordinary collaboration and innovation we need to address our great social and environmental challenges.