This is the incident that made me exit my humanitarian career.
Humanitarians can be incredibly inhumane towards themselves. And I had become one of them. Wanting to better the world without bettering myself first:
As he was passing me, the businessman stopped.
He threw a coin in my cup.
I stared at him in disbelief as he walked away….trying to comprehend what had just happened.
I had been sitting on a bench in the business district of Geneva sipping my coffee and had just closed my eyes for a moment to soak in the sun, when I heard the sound. I looked up and found a CHF 5 coin on my cup.
True, I wore sweatpants and was without much makeup, but still?
I went home and had a look in the mirror. My eyes were without the spark, I had been known for. The flame inside me had slowly died and it showed up on my physicality.
No apparent reason, and yet…
In many ways, I loved my job in the UN. For years it had felt as a paid hobby and I was thriving in both the field and at HQ. But truth was, since a while I could no longer see the meaning in it. Most days, going to the office felt like committing suicide in increments.
So why did I continue? Because I was good at it. Because of my numerous missions to Africa and Asia where I could reconnect with another and deeper reality and find my flow. Because I loved my job when I escaped its frames.
That day I decided something had to change. That something was me.
I intensified my search for the passion that I had always had: how to sustainably find joy, inner wellbeing and access my full potential. It took me another 15 years of searching, exploring, experimenting, and learning.
Having travelled and worked all over the world – mostly in the global south and conflict-zones – the longest and most demanding travel was the journey back to myself.
Today it’s the foundation for the life I live and the work I do. I am indebted to the gentleman who threw me the CHF 5 coin. An oblivious impact investor – in the most literal sense possible😊