Giorgos Foufas talks to us
George Foufas talks to us about his inner journey within himself and his external journeys to places, people and occupations. He studied Civil Engineering and completed his studies in Agriculture before turning to natural farming and kung fu. He combined these two seemingly independent paths in his piece of land near Isthmus. There, he cultivates by applying natural methods, while teaching his students. From March 8th, every second Sunday of the month, he will teach Self Defense at Katheti.
Tell us about your work.
I think that’s the hardest, because my job is not to have a job. I don’t work, I produce work. I am on a farm where I cultivate for my living, to feed myself and the people who come and stay. So, if we consider as a job something that I have to get paid for, I get paid for the food I produce. When the food is missing -when the farm doesn’t produce for me- food usually turns up, because my students bring food too. So, I can’t say I work somewhere so I can live, but that I live so than I can work for something I enjoy. I do not work for the sake of working, nor do I live to work.
What is your relationship with the local area?
First of all, apart from giving lessons on self-defense, re-enforcement and empowerment for women and people who really need it, my relationship will be built, although it has already begun. I had contact with the area years ago, when I was coming for the organic products as an agriculturalist. I was coming both as a controller and as an organic farmer later on.
How has crisis affected your work and your life and how do you deal with it?
The crisis for me was a great opportunity. Apart from the fact that it gave me the opportunity to change course and connect the philosophy of life I had for self-sufficiency and life through the process of natural farming and eco-farming, the crisis forced me to act on that philosophy. To make it a reality. So, from theory and philosophy, in the past few years I passed to application, to practice. And I believe that, up to a point, I made it.
Which of your knowledge and personality traits have been most useful to you in your professional life? What are your weaknesses and how have they influenced you?
My agricultural knowledge helped me to a certain extent to understand -without saying that my years of studying at Athens Agricultural University were useless- that knowledge is beyond books. Knowledge lies in what I lived. The experience with the land, that I had all these years. And it was an unprecedented natural experience. It was an inward journey after all. What helped me a lot was an element that directed me, that, since I was a child, I was pretty introverted, and I used it in order to make my “inward trips” easier. It’s not that I do not like socializing, but I like socializing that is healthy, balanced. This introversion of mine has proved very useful to me. What others consider a flaw, I made it an asset, so that I could look inward.
What would you do differently and what do you consider as right steps in your career?
I’ll start with what I didn’t do right. My dream was exactly what I live now. But, because I made my dream life and reality, from the dream and the life and the reality I forgot that there are personal relationships, that are built, and that require other kinds of sacrifices and effort, and that was lost. There, I wasn’t so successful. I made a family; I’ve had a child. My wife doesn’t live, but my relationships were difficult in general, because everything else paled in comparison in comparison to what I was building here. So, I don’t know if I did something right or wrong, but there is definitely a deficit I didn’t wish for. I don’t believe in right and wrong anyway. What I did right will show in the end, at the final curtain.
What piece of advice would you give to a young person who would like to do what you do?
I usually no longer give advice. In the past I was almost an activist. Because I was very dedicated to the social issues, to social reaction and social process, i.e. the evolution through interaction. Now I usually do not give advice; all I am saying is “Find the true nature within you. Make the inner journey and the outside will be magically revealed.” So, along this trip I can be a companion. I can play the role of a companion. But in no way can I point to a path that I have chosen. Because the path each one has chosen is completely personal and individual and we just meet at its end. Along the way, we meet as incarnations, as earthly situations, but our real lives will meet at the end or at the great beginning.
What are your plans for the future, short-term and long-term ones?What are your plans for the future, immediately and later?
My plans? I’m one of those people that don’t make plans. I make no plans nor do I have any in mind. What one could maybe call a plan is to follow the development of my land and to be tuned to that.
What else would you like to add?
About the self defence lessons that will be given at Katheti, it’s always a special experience for me to meet people who want to partake in some of what I know. In this experience, usually, the one who is in theory a teacher, many times becomes a student. This is what I like very much as well, it is making me younger (laughter).