Helping Hands of the Week (12 April): Ruud Jansen

ARIRuud Jansen is already waiting at the gate before anyone has arrived to open it. As soon as the gate is open, he is the first one to get to work. This might make him the perfect candidate for our feature: the Helping Hands of the Week!

This enthusiastic volunteer is the hidden force of the House of Plenty.

He’s never heard and rarely seen, but he’s always there and always working hard. He’s working on the electricity imperturbably.

What is your share in the House of Plenty project?
“I like to help out on the installation of gas, water, light and so on. I am currently working on the installation of the electricity.”

Why do you contribute to the House of Plenty project?
Ruud doesn’t have to think about this deeply. “I really like the project. The project makes evident how we can do things differently. It’s easier to achieve things by asking questions and cooperating with others than by being fixated on the financials. Don’t think about how to make things work financially and fixate on the profit. Think about what you really like to do and how others can help you.

WWhich forms of abundance are you confronted with in your work and life?
His answer to this question is salient and different from the answers of other ‘helping hands’. “This arouses the question of scarcity. In our wealthy country everything is abundant. I have a shortage on storage space in my own house, but when I’m on vacation in a small tent with hardly any space to store my stuff, I feel great.”

How are you dealing with abundance now?
“I put all goods which are useful but abundant together in a corner of the house and eventually take them to a shop specialized in recycled goods. I am also part of a trading circle,” LETS-Nijmegen, which is, according to their own website, a local trading circle for services, knowledge and goods.

What do you need, what are you looking for? Maybe a reader can help you out?
“I am very much involved with awareness of the way we think and work. The mental legacy of ‘Geweldloze Communicatie’ (‘Communication without Violence’ is a wonderful tool’, he explains. “I’d rather call it ‘Connecting compassionful communication’ and I’m looking for people who are interested in this notion. I like to talk about it and I want to get on the road together which others to try to create abundance of connection and compassion.” At Transition Town Nijmegen you can apply for this project (in Dutch). Ruud is also construction his own website, which is only available in Dutch.

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