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#5 - Lesvos Part 3 - The Takeaway

In the course of our experience in Skala Sykamnias, our focus for this leg of the documentary shifted dramatically. We have decided to focus less on the stories of refugees themselves so as not to play into the sensationalism of "The Refugee Crisis." This would only be propagating the cycle of "othering."

Instead, we'll focus on the volunteer effort and sentiment of those who have found deep meaning in this historical happening. What drives a person to give of oneself for a greater good, in what ways are we impacted by the suffering of others and what role does individual happiness play along the way?

In my experience during our brief stay with Lighthouse, I found deep intrinsic value - a sense of tapping into an inexhaustible hunger to be present. I'm inclined to call this feeling happiness. I imagine that this stems from three main factors:

1. Social - Human beings are social creatures by evolutionary design, and so camaraderie around a common goal naturally feels good.

2. Moral - That common goal is one that seems ethically right*. In my experience, this has a way of relieving cognitive dissonance when uncomfortable and increasing appreciation for the present moment when comfortable.

*(Key word here is "seems." I don't intend to assert an opinion about the politics of aiding asylum seekers, nor about a human duty to help another. My focus is solely on personal fulfillment and increasing quality of life on the individual level.)

3. Environmental - A nurturing environment - Lesvos is a beautiful place full of friendly and happy people with a medicinal dose of sunshine and starlight. In camp, you will not be judged for being who you are. Period. The communal life leaves everyone fed and taken care of. And in town a peaceful existence is the right of all, including the town goose.


Our hats are off to the volunteers on Lesvos and what they are doing - Lighthouse Relief, Proactiva and Doctors Without Borders. Right now, boats are landing and these teams are responding. If you, the reader, are interested in joining the effort or following Lighthouse, here are some useful links:

For more info, click here

Follow 'em on: Facebook and/or on Instagram

Anyone will be warmly welcomed as a volunteer, or you can help from afar by emailing:

The place is magic, but don't take my word for it. Now is the time to go to Lesvos, whether supporting the island as a tourist with the beaches to yourself, as a part-time volunteer or as a full-fledged member of the team. Alright, infomercial over.

We, on the other hand, are off to the Netherlands to explore a happiness revolution in public education, the concept of minimalism, and more.


- D


A recent landing, captured beautifully by MSF (Doctors Without Borders)

The Milky Way as seen from Skala Sykamnias. Taken on the beach by Karim, who reminds us that he does have a degree...

The view from just outside of camp

Garfield, the lazy camp cat


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