"How I deal with 'The Crowd' Truths?" By Jean Paul, of Papeete
Walking along the edge of the open Papeete waterfront, passing the ‘waka’ club and all its Polynesian canoes, then past the well maintained picnic area with all the local families enjoy their open air dining time, I was off duty and enjoying Papeete and its many memories for me….. The small craft marina was ahead and I always like to check out the yachts and maybe even get to talk to the any transient yachties.
A guy driving a 30ft open motor cruise pulled up to the wharf and let off three passengers who looked distinctly like visitors like me. Now alone in his boat, as I walked by he looked up and as we made eye contact he said “Bonjour”, and asked how I was in French? I gave him a strong Bonjour back, and a Par-le-vous Anglaise? In a strong French accent he said he did, and clearly wanted talk.
Turns out he was Jean Paul, from Toulouse, I estimate about 45-50 years old. He proudly pointed out that Toulouse was the HQ for Airbus, and also some globally significant satellite company. He had retired early and moved from France to Tahiti to get away from The System, and was now running a hobby tourist water taxi business. He soon was positioning himself for offering me a tour of Papeete and pointing to Cap Capricorn I moved the conversation to ships and flying and ‘my work’! He understood the whole cost of flying thing, and most of The Facts, and it was crystal clear that he taken his view of it all, knew it was serious and significant, and his strategy for dealing with it all. He didn’t rise to any of the debates, in fact going so far as to say I should not worry about taking a ship just fly and have fun with life the way he was.
To my utter surprise he then asked me if I had kids? Now 98% of men his age I meet have kids, and so I was wondering where this question will lead?
I gave my standard One Point Zero, Howard answer: “No, I have no kids mate, there are too many people in this world……. and what about you do you have kids?”
Surprise, surprise, he said he didn’t and then went on a huge rant about how having kids is the cause of all the problems in the world, and, “All this sustainability stuff you are worrying about wouldn’t be a problem if people didn’t have kids and their kids didn’t have kids. The guy quoted population figures and family tree numbers that made me realise this guy has thought deeply about all this. I wish I had recorded some of his quotes as it would have made good content for ‘Our Crowd Success’. As he took a breath, I butted in leaning forward to shake his hand saying: Good one mate, I don’t often get to meet guys like me who don’t have kids, so glad to meet you. I said I agree the population is a huge problem, but not the main problem and we should be careful to just hide behind a fact that is a fact there is little we can do about. That’s when he told me his name was Jean Paul and we shook hands again in a delayed but now kindred spirit introduction.
The handshakes were just enough space for him to start his next level rant aimed at totally destroying my compromise position. He really challenged me….Read about an extraordinary bit of 'advice' he gave me here