Sofie Rördam

New Years Eve Thoughts 2023

”It is you! You, you! It´s because of you!”

Eva, my daughter, pointed her finger at me accusingly with which seemed some hidden anger. In fact she was saying some of the nicest most loving words I have ever received from her. Unlike her sister, Dana, who tells me she loves me in words and messages umpteenth times a day, Eva does say it in written messages, but almost never by word. That is why it came out like an accusation.

“It is because of you we don´t have these problems like many others.”

We were not sitting outside the tent in the Namibian desert. We were sitting at the dinner table in the crib in Malmö, having our conversational dinners we do 2-3 times a week. A new thing. Because the girls have now reached ages where you actually can have the deepest of conversations, not just how was school, ready for training tonight, done your homework? At this moment we were talking about the emphasis and talks set up by their school on the ever-growing issues of depression, suicide and despair. Now these are issues I never even heard about when I grew up. But these subjects are brought even at the girl’s football. That big is the issue. Which at first sight seems quite odd considering we are now living in a world with less poverty, less wars and conflicts than ever in the known history of human beings.

But it also seems the pressures to be a perfect human being are way more accentuated today. We have to work our asses off, we have to look outwardly like we are earning incredible amounts of money and that we are soooo “happy”, we have to get status markers for others to admire us, we have to tell everyone how great things are on social media, everything has to look perfect. I know, I am personally part of doing just that. And of course, I do understand that these huge issues of our society today, like massive amounts of depression, suicide thoughts and a feeling of not belonging, appear.

So when Eva said these “accusing” words to me, it was one of the proudest moments in my life as a father. I try to show the as much as possible of the world around them so they can make their own judgment that the world is actually a very good place to be in, wit an overwhelming amount of kind human beings. And I want to try to help them find as I see it a proper purpose in life. Not making huge amounts of money, or getting an outwardly status of success or pretending to be happy on social media. I want them to find a purpose to be there for others in one way or the other. One thing I regret personally in life is that I never really found that purpose. I thought maybe lectures, films and books could do a bit, and it might inspire, but I was overwhelmed by a visit to Rwanda with the girls this August. I met some of the most inspiring people I have ever met in my life, especially Olive, a survivor of the genocide which took place 1994. Her story is the most extraordinary survival story I have ever heard! And, the most fantastic of it all, she has forgiven herself and those who committed all these atrocities against her and others. But I was as impressed by my great friends Jeff Willner and Giles Duley who are doing impressive altruistic work. Extremely inspiring!

My purpose today?

Being a great dad, giving the girls all the opportunities, being a good partner for Hannah, family and friends, of course quite a few professional ones like 2 films and exhausting wonderful adventures, but also getting rid of all these “having to perfect” subjects. As I feel right now, my path could be spiritual. Since I was 18 years old, when I was drawn to go to India to possibly find a place within Buddhism, I am again looking at my place there.

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