26 November 2007

A lesson from Slovenia's hermit president

After Slovenia's president, Janez Drnovsel was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he became a hermit, moving to a mountain retreat and becoming a totally different person. Since this change, the Slovenian people see him as a great man. Here are a few bits from the Times Online article:
Drnovsek says that his conversion from conventional politician into "Slovenia's Gandhi" - as one commentator has dubbed him - was gradual, and he adopted a low profile as he fought his illness. He abandoned conventional medicine because his doctors told him that they could not cure him. He dabbled with Indian and Chinese healers. He gave up meat, dairy products and alcohol in favour of organic vegetables and home-baked bread. he fasted for days at a time. He also sought to nourish his soul, leaving Ljubljana for a remote home set in beautiful beech forests south of the Slovenian capital. He lives there alone, reading and writing, without so much as a television for company since his dog died. He says modern man has lost contact with nature, but it is "very beneficial for health, for body but also for soul...Somehow we can purify ourselves of all negativities that are concentrated in towns and urban centres where there is all this activity and stress."
And a quote that we should all be able to learn something from:
"When you are confronted with the perception of the end of your life, it's an opportunity to look at things from a different point of view, to change priorities and establish a distance to this daily existence and all these material developments that you are taught are so important."

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