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YouTube and Coffee Breaks

A quarter of a century ago I began training to become an educator, and I remember a lecturer saying that the children we educate will end up working in careers not yet dreamed possible.


Ask a child in the 1990’s what they would like to be when they were older and the fanciful response was more than likely going to be… a Footballer, a Singer, an Actress or ‘Someone Famous’. In this day and age, the typical response is more than likely going to be a YouTuber, an Influencer, a Professional Gamer or Web Graphic Designer.


When you think of how far technology has advanced in twenty-five years its incredible, none more so than the mobile phone that we have become very attached to; like a fulfilled prophecy from Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence - where people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made – allowing these weapons of mass distraction to control us rather than us controlling them.


For me, YouTube is one of the greatest inventions of my lifetime. Anyone anywhere can begin their own channel and broadcast themselves world-wide for everyone to see. It can however, become a cautionary rabbit-hole as there are some quite divisive channels that can make us feel less human within ourselves.


Yet, there are some amazing content creators who have created excellent channels that can make our days feel better when we need to switch off and have a coffee break.

I would like to share with you one channel that, since having my heart attack on New Years Day, I have enjoyed watching. It is made by a creator the same age as myself, an Austrian called Johannes Schwarz who, in 2016 left his home in Liechtenstein to live as a hermit in the Italian Alps just above Turin.




Johannes is also a priest.


I first discovered Johannes in this YouTube clip: Young Priest Turns Forsaken Farm into Paradise Homestead.



In this video you get a great introduction into his way of life and his hermitage, which he built from a ‘rustico’ stone farm building, located on the steep slopes where his closest neighbour lives 1km below him!

 

With €20,000 he created his hermitage and it is amazing what he was able to achieve.


Whilst recuperating in hospital, I searched for him again and discovered that he released a series of videos (twelve in all) charting his life over the course of 2023. With each video allocated to a month of the year, you will be able to watch him go about his life in a quiet manner and then for the last few minutes he will give a powerful reflection that will speak directly to you. As his first video reflects upon, the great difficulty with the modern world is that with all the noise and its distractions, humans find it very difficult to sit quietly in a room, alone … and how this modern world and all that drives it, fails to quench our yearning need for peace and contentment.

 

So, if you would like to grab a coffee or even a tea, and take some time to yourself, I would recommend watching his videos … without any distractions. To take time for yourself and to simply be. The scenery around his hermitage is incredible and his iconography artwork is amazing.




You can choose to watch his videos in one setting, but I would advise to avoid this temptation. Instead, watch one and listen to the silence and then his reflection and ask yourself … what can I take away from this man’s wisdom?


On life’s journey we all seek to find the truth of our existence and its purpose, yet we are masters of distractions to avoid having to ask them. We will spend hours liking and commenting on photos, scanning through friends’ accounts and shopping sites, searching videos and lifting our phones with addictive like tendencies. But when was the last time you really took time for you? When did you last sit back and search for the meaning behind your purpose?

 

Wisdom is the greatest gift we could ask for. All we need to obtain this gift is to ponder the right questions. Why not allow Johannes to ask them and take you on a retreat into your true inner self. But be careful…. In your busy world you might just become envious of his Alpine Hermitage.


Here is the first video in the series:



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