La Caloterie, FRANCE - Farmer
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in October 2016
60 years living in the same house cultivating the same small piece of land. What more to say? I’ve known Bernard for years. He is a small farmer selling his vegetables in the market near my hometown in the north of France. Having worked for him a few summers, in the market as well as in the fields, I can describe him as this type of simple and extremely wise person, living in the same house since he was born, and not needing much to be happy.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
With the film maker Almodovar!!! Can you arrange it for me? … On the other side, I would not know what to say to him …
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
Archery? well …unfortunately, I don’t practice kyūdō but I would have loved to and even teach it! it’s seems really relaxing…
To you, what’s that main characteristic that all human beings have in common?
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
The person who does live without constraints, who wakes up in the morning and thinks “everything is fine” … happiness is also a choice, one can choose to be happy, one can choose a way of life that makes him happy.
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
It would be to review the right to carry guns. Personally, I see the US as an arrogant country, which is withdrawn and should open more to other countries. I never went to US and I don’t want to. It looks like it’s a two-faced country with a nice image we can see in movies and a completely different one when we look at documentaries showing American people.
What do you need?
All I need is happy kids and a happy family. Most important is to have healthy and blooming kids and a wife who is doing well. I would have probably answered something different twenty years ago but when you’re engaged with a partner and have a family, it becomes the most important thing even if … Is my wife going to see the interview? I don’t say it then! [Laughs]
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
I don’t know. When I’m given money easily, I spend it very quickly because it seems to me that it has no value. I prefer to earn it with hard work.
I’d buy a forest then, so I could walk around freely without anyone telling me that it is a private place … and anyone could join me if they want to.
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
To be 20 years younger! That would make my life easier. I have a physical job so…
If you had to create a company, what would it be?
That’s a tough question as I already have my company.
It would be a company building wooden houses … small wooden huts everywhere! With 20 motivated guys like me, that would be cool!
Can you sing something beautiful?
In tune? I don’t know …I could sing Gainsbourg or maybe Brel … maybe the song “Quand on n’a que l’amour” (when all we have is love) but it’s too difficult to sing.
What are you afraid of?
You won’t believe it but I’m afraid of speed, on a highway.
I drive at 100km/h (62mph) but not 130km/h (80mph). I’m afraid for other’s safety. Speed is really the only fear I have, I’m not afraid of spiders, not rats or anything else.
What is your dream?
My dream would be to go around the world for a year and cultivate in a variety of countries to discover different techniques of farming, I could cultivate sweet potatoes in Africa, watermelon, rice, millet, anything but it’s difficult to realise this dream because I cannot take my house with me! And even in France, I would love to go and cultivate in different regions.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
I’m afraid to see a very connected world where every individual is in front of a screen.
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?
Why people get influenced? Why aren’t they happy? Why do they want to go on war? I don’t get it! Why are they get influenced? Why don’t they dare say no? That’s something they should learn, including myself!
Why do people do things they don’t like?