Peace, with Jo Berry

March 04, 2020 Kim Forrester Season 5 Episode 7
Peace, with Jo Berry
Peace, with Jo Berry
Mar 04, 2020 Season 5 Episode 7
Kim Forrester

Jo Berry is a British peace activist and public speaker with an incredible personal story of tragedy, courage and reconciliation. She is the founder of the non-profit organisation, Building Bridges for Peace. On this episode, Kim Forrester chats with Jo about how we can draw upon empathy, acceptance and reconciliation to generate greater peace in our lives, and in our world. 

Show Notes Transcript

Jo Berry is a British peace activist and public speaker with an incredible personal story of tragedy, courage and reconciliation. She is the founder of the non-profit organisation, Building Bridges for Peace. On this episode, Kim Forrester chats with Jo about how we can draw upon empathy, acceptance and reconciliation to generate greater peace in our lives, and in our world. 

Kim Forrester:   0:00

Kim Forrester:   0:00
It's perhaps no surprise that the most peaceful nations on Earth also tend to be the happiest and the most prosperous. We need peacefulness, it seems, to truly thrive. You're listening to the Eudaemonia podcast. I'm Kim Forrester, and today it's time to pay tribute to peace.

Intro:   0:21
Welcome to Eudaemonia, the podcast that is all about flourishing. Plug in, relax and get ready for the goodness as we explore the traits and practices that can help you thrive in life ... with your host, Kim Forrester. 

Kim Forrester:   0:44
Jo Berry is a British peace activist, public speakerand founder of the non-profit organisation, Building Bridges for Peace. She is the daughter of the Honourable Sir Anthony Berry, who was killed by the IRA in the Brighton Hotel bombing of 1984. In the year 2000, Jo meet with Patrick McGee, the man convicted with planting the bomb, and this meeting kick started a decades-long campaign for peace, and conflict transformation. It's an absolute honour to be connecting with Jo, today, to explore how we can draw upon empathy, acceptance and reconciliation to generate greater peace in our lives and in our world. Jo Berry, its such a delight to connect with you. How are things with you today?

Jo Berry:   1:27
Things are really good and I'm very excited to be speaking with you.

Kim Forrester:   1:31
I'm absolutely honoured to have you here on the Eudaemonia podcast. Let's start with what peace means to you, Jo. What does it feel like when you have truly found peace in your heart? Or is this something that you're still sort of searching for?

Jo Berry:   1:46
You know, when I was younger, I thought peace was something that I achieved and then that was it. Now I see that peace is a journey. And because I engage with life - because things happen, because I hear about trauma, or I meet people who are upset, or I hear about injustice, or I get angry, or, you know, my daughter's having a hard time - I've realised that it's a journey. And it's a journey all the time; being mindful of what's happening with me emotionally, what are the thoughts I'm having, engaging with my thoughts and emotions ... and all the time, transforming and working with how I am. And actually, I don't even want to achieve peace now, as a state, because I want to feel passionate. I want to feel upset when I when I hear about suffering and injustice. And so it's more, now, what I want to be able to do is find a way to always transmute and transform the feelings, and work for peace; work to create a better world. So it's definitely ... the emphasis has definitely changed for me.

Kim Forrester:   2:46
I think that peace is just one of those states that we perhaps pursue with the idea that we're going to make it; it's a goal, and then we'll have it forever more. I think happiness is another one of those things. Is peace, therefore, something that you consciously realign with whenever you can and whenever it's appropriate to do so?

Jo Berry:   3:06
I think that's what it is. You know, for me, peace is about seeing the humanity in everyone. Peace is about accepting everything as it is; not wanting to change the past. But it's not, you know, it's really not there all the time. Whenever I give my talks, I talk about the times when I do get angry and want to blame, and want to make someone wrong and me right. You know, and have to go through the whole process again.

Kim Forrester:   3:30
Well perhaps there's a message in that, Jo. The fact that being at peace in our life can also mean accepting when we are not at peace. Would you agree with that?

Jo Berry:   3:41
Yes, definitely. I'm very at peace that I am wounded, that I'm in the process of healing. That I live in imperfect world. You know, there are times when I meditate when I feel very peaceful. But then I'm also aware of what's happening in the world. And I want to be aware of what's happening in the world. And there's acceptance - I live in an imperfect world but, in that, there is also a peace.

Kim Forrester:   4:02
So you're certainly still striving for something, though. Even though you accept it's an imperfect world, and that you will have these unpleasant emotions as well, you are striving for greater peace in your life and in the lives of people in the world. Do you feel, therefore, that peace is something that we can ... is it a capability that we can expand within ourselves and, certainly, within our societies?

Jo Berry:   4:24
Yes, definitely. I wake up every morning wanting to bring something positive into the world - wanting to empower young people, wanting to support people in their post-conflict healing. Whatever it is, I want to make a difference in the world every single day. You know, my father was killed in the terrorist attack when I was 27; I'm now 62. And that's been true, you know, every day since.

Kim Forrester:   4:47
Listening to your story and hearing more about what you've gone through, I can see that peace is perhaps actually made up of several components - things such as empathy, or active listening. The honouring - certainly - of dignity and of human rights. Why do you feel these elements are important in seeking peace? And do you feel that peace is possible if any of those elements are missing?

Jo Berry:   5:08
Well, I suppose peace for everyone, in the sort of vaster a sense of the name, is when everyone on our planet lives with safety, has enough to eat, has shelter, is safe to practise their religion. Their home is secure, they can grow their crops, they're not hungry, they can get along with their neighbours. You know, a lot of different things. Peace to me is very much an active peace for the world. Now, how do we get that? And I believe we get there through ... and I believe it is possible ...  but I think perhaps we're a long way off. But it's about everyone challenging hatred in their lives, making sure they haven't got hatred in their heart. Doing what we can to share our resources. Everyone taking their part to be a positive change maker. And for each person that's a different task, a different journey. You know, for a young woman I'm working with in a poor part of London - as a Muslim young woman who receives a lot of judgement and hatred - you know, for her it's going to be a different task to someone I met in the India, recently, who's working in Sri Lanka to heal the conflict there. You know, we've all got our own task and what that means to us. Now, for me, it is a lot to do with empathy, because I believe that we only have an other - or an enemy - because we haven't heard their stories. As soon as you hear someone's stories, they are no longer our enemy or our other. And my work is very much to challenge the idea of an other, because I see that stopping us creating peace. Because if we see people is an other, we're not going to want for them the same safety, the same needs that we have in our own life. And so, for me, empathy ... and that's like an unbounded empathy. It's an empathy, perhaps, where everyone is hugely important. Because if I hear your story, I'm going to want for you the same potential happiness that I want for my loved ones; the same fulfilment. So I'm going to ... I'm going to work to make sure that you're fulfilled; you're happy; that you have a sustainable life. So, to me, empathy ... and this isn't just choosing who to empathise with, it's everyone - you know, is a key. Because we really need to be able to empathise. We need to bring empathy to our politics. You know, we need to bring empathy to our foreign policies. We need to bring empathy, to, you know, to those who are marginalised; who are oppressed in our own community. Those not being heard.

Kim Forrester:   7:30
I love that you talk about how it's about bringing it back to the individual. And I feel that there is a practice that is widespread, and it's sort of misconceived. This idea that 'I am me and the world is out there', right? 'I am me and society is sort of somehow divorced from, and separate from, myself'. And I feel that it's really important for people to understand: we, as individuals, make up a society. Correct? So if we want a peaceful world, therefore, and peace on Earth - what a wonderful, wild concept that is! But if we truly want to live in a peaceful world, is it important for us to bring it back in to our own environments, and perhaps be more willing to create peace in those smaller, personal conflicts that we've got going around in our personal lives?

Jo Berry:   8:19
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. We need to heal the relationships. And also, you know, the ones which, you know, it's impossible to heal but we can still heal the part that's to do with us, but it might not be appropriate to meet them. It's not always appropriate to meet people who we've had a negative conflict with, you know. Sometimes it's not safe. But we could do the healing inside ourselves. It starts, I think, with us. You know, our family, our relationships, our community. And to recognise that we all have an other; we've all inherited this idea of an other in the culture we've been born in, the country. You know, we all can get manipulated by the media to think these people are impossible to communicate with; they are less than human. And to catch that, you know, to catch that moment when we've started demonising people. Maybe some terrible atrocities happened and, you know, there are people responsible. Well are we, at that moment, seeing them as less than human? And that is like, really understandable. You know, it's part of the human nature. But actually, can we stop and take a few breaths and think, 'OK, so what's their story?', you know, and see them as different from their behaviour. Because I think we are more than our behaviour.

Kim Forrester:   9:33
'What's their story?' That reminds me of an interview I did last year with Marina Cantacuzino who founded the Forgiveness Project, there in the UK. Do you see forgiveness as being something that is necessary in peace building?

Jo Berry:   9:48
Actually, I don't. And I might surprise you. And I think this is because I've met amazing people who are also stories in the Forgiveness Project, who say for, whatever reason, they don't want to forgive. And yet they're doing incredible work with their other, with bring different sides together. And the reasons they can't forgive have to do with, perhaps, justice; perhaps they don't know who killed their loved one, or sent them a letter bomb, or whatever it is. And it doesn't affect their ability to be compassionate. I also know people who say they have forgiven and they still have an other in their life. You know, it's about - more about - some kind of moral righteousness. So I don't think forgiveness is an indication of anything. For some people, forgiveness is really important, and that's great. And for some people it's not, and that's great.

Kim Forrester:   10:40
I actually think that's quite liberating, that answer. Forgiveness is very personal and incredibly difficult sometimes, Jo. So I feel that, if you're saying that we can perhaps seek peace, amplify peace - even if we can't necessarily find it all the time - and we can do so without necessarily having to find forgiveness for those who have transgressed, then that's actually a really powerful concept to carry around. Listening to your story of the first conversation you had with Patrick McGee, the man who planted the bomb that killed your father, it occurs to me that it takes a lot of courage to seek peace, Jo. It takes a lot of courage to become vulnerable in our opinions and our positions, and it takes a lot of courage to reach out and see the humanity in people that we have deemed to be the other. Are we not setting ourselves up for more hurt if we let ourselves become that vulnerable?

Jo Berry:   11:39
Yeah, it's a really good question. And I think I took a huge risk, and I could have gotten hurt my first meeting. You know, these days I do a lot of restorative justice and restorative processes, where you bring people together who have had a history of pain - whether its a neighbour dispute or someone killing someone through driving and having a moment of forgetfulness or drugs, homicide ... all sorts of different situations. And there, it's all about preparation and risk assessment, before you bring people together. No, I didn't have any of that. I just did my own risk assessment. I decided that he wasn't gonna kill me. So that was it. And that I was going to go. And, looking back, I was extremely vulnerable. And I think that was because I wanted to make it the most likely that he would open up. It wasn't a conscious thought, 'I'm gonna be vulnerable.' But I definitely was very vulnerable. And I sort of feel I got away with it, you know? And I'm not sure I would recommend this - this way of going about things. And I think I was very lucky to get away with it. But also, I was very, very clear of why I want to meet him. And it was not to change him. It was not to get any response from him. All I wanted to do was put a face to the enemy. I wanted to be able to look into his eyes and see some of his humanity. And that was about healing me. This has all been about my own healing and how, you know, how can I feel better? And so I took the risk that I would be able to look into his eyes and see something.

Kim Forrester:   13:12
It's really interesting that you advise against what you did, necessarily. And you talk there about preparation and risk assessment. Do you feel that we actually need to be ready for peace, in some way? Or is the time always right to become more peaceful in our lives and in the way that we interact with those we're in conflict with.

Jo Berry:   13:34
Now, there's two parts to that question. I think the first part is, how do we recover after trauma, after violence, after conflict? And I think a journey is always possible if we have support. Of course, a lot of people in different countries, you know, don't have support. They're on their own. You know, there's too many people who have gone through trauma and violence, so there's no way they can get counselling or therapy. But I think, if someone can get the right kind of support, and whether that's trauma therapy or counselling ... I mean, we have different things in place in the UK, and I'm actually trying to improve it for victims of terrorism because it's not always clear that people find the right ways of getting support. But I think it's possible to go on a journey of healing, and that we know what we need and we can recover. Even if we don't get justice. You know, even if we don't know who killed our loved one. You know, even if there's still terrible injustice around. We can still go on a journey of healing. And I think, as human beings, we have a huge potential for healing. So that's one side. That's just, like, our own process. But if someone can't heal, I'm not going to judge them because the chances are they don't know there's a choice to not go for revenge; they don't know there's a way of being heard, which will help them to move on. Or can't access it. You know, maybe the're overwhelmed with their pain and therefore revenge is the only option that they can see. You know, I do understand that. And then the second part of the question is about, how do we move on in respect with other people, who, perhaps have been our other, or have hurt us? And I think to me, that's about creating safe places for people to be listened to. I created a safe place when I first met Patrick because I was also a facilitator, and I think I facilitated him to open up. Ideally, there'd be someone neutral to do that role; to create a safe place. And more than ever, we have people trained in facilitating safe places who understand what has to be in place when we have a safe place, and we can hear someone else - someone who has a different perspective; who is our other; who represents our enemy. And I think healing can happen. Miracles can happen. I've seen it. As soon as there's a connection there - a recognition that 'Okay, your pain is my pain. You know, it's the same. We have the same needs. We both have mothers, we both have fathers, we both have children' - then that otherness can go. And then it's about us healing together. And I think that's sort of a wonderful way forward; for us to recognise that, you know, we're all healing. We're all traumatised, and we're all healing.

Kim Forrester:   16:07
What's interesting - you were talking there about a safe space, because you're obviously talking from your perspective. Obviously - or I'm assuming that - Patrick also needed to feel safe stepping into that environment, to start speaking with you. Do you feel that it needs to be a safe space for all of the parties involved?

Jo Berry:   16:23
Oh, definitely. You know, if I'm working in my restorative justice hat on, it's just as important that the guy in prison for homicide feels safe as well. We're there to protect the space for both parties ... well, for all the parties. And I think I did make it safe  for Pat to open up. I was with him yesterday and he's written a book, and we were going through some of the parts where he talks about me. And, you know, he's talking about his moment of epiphany, which happened at the first meeting. And that epiphany was when he stopped justifying and stopped talking about 'we', and he himself became vulnerable. And I think that epiphany ... he would say he was disarmed by my empathy. If I'd gone in there arguing, you know, 'I'm right, you're wrong. You're a bad person', then he would have stayed in, for him, it was a safe place of righteousness. But that changed for him, and then he became vulnerable. And I think that's because he felt, he did feel, safe to open up.

Kim Forrester:   17:19
That's what I immediately felt from your answer there. When you're talking about a safe space for the parties involved, you're not necessarily just talking about physical safety, which is quite obvious. There's a sense here that you're talking about an environment where people feel safe to self reflect. Where people feel safe to be vulnerable. Where people feel safe to have the courage to admit the choices that they've made and the consequences of those choices. Is that what you're referring to when you talk about a safe space?

Jo Berry:   17:49
Yes, a safe space is an emotional safe space. So it's a safe space in that, you know what's going to be talked about and there are no surprises. That's really important. A safe space that you know you're going to be heard. You know there's some ground rules you're going to obey. So you're not going to start shouting at people, judging people. It's more about, 'I'm going to talk about my experience and the impact of what's happened on me.' So there's a lot of preparation to create that safe space. I think the first time I ever meet with people, they might want to do a bit of ranting or, you know, just like saying it as it is. By the time we have the face-to-face - the fourth or fifth meeting - then people are more able to speak in a respectful way. And that's that's hugely important.

Kim Forrester:   18:32
We're obviously talking about your story, which is quite profound. And the peace reconciliation that you deal with, it's really quite violent and dramatic conflicts going on in the world. But it occurs to me that, if we have these smaller conflicts that are going on in our families, or in our communities, in our workspaces, does it pay for us to create, or at least attempt to create, that kind of safe space where we can come together and try to resolve these conflicts through peaceful resolution?

Jo Berry:   19:04
Definitely. There's a lot of work being done about creating businesses to be more restorative, because that's going to impact on the emotional well-being of everyone that works. You know, reduce the stress, reduce conflict, and improve the well-being, which has got to be good because then people will work harder; they'll want to come to work. So I think it's really, really important to create restorative processes. And that can be have a safe space where people can bring their conflicts, to find ways so people can challenge each other. I think challenging is a really important part of this. So it's not about just accepting people's behaviour, however inappropriate it is. No, it's about finding ways to challenge, so people can choose to change rather than being told to change. I think the old way is, like, we make people change by force, and that does not enhance self esteem or enhance well-being. So, but we can challenge people in such a way that they hear the impact of what they've done, and then they themselves can decide, you know, how to change and what they need for those changes to be implemented.

Kim Forrester:   20:10
We've sort of skirted around this question a little bit, but I just want to go straight to the core of the question here. In your experience, Jo, which way does peace flow? So do we need peaceful environments in order to experience some form of inner peace? Or do you feel it's more important to find peace in our hearts that can then sort of ripple out to create peace in the world around us?

Jo Berry:   20:33
I think all of it. I mean we need to, I guess, start with ourselves and start by giving up revenge. Start with noticing when we blame people. Starting with asking, 'What do I need right now in order to heal?' But then we also need to create peaceful structures, too. There's a lot of violence in our institutions. So how can we change that? I was with some young people yesterday from different parts of the world. And they were talking about a situation at home where, you know, the violence comes from their politics. And I can see it also in my country. So how can we change it there? But I think it's all about relationships. You know, we have to create the relationships and change the relationships, and then that will move from grassroots to those that can make decisions.

Kim Forrester:   21:21
Well, let's go there. Because many countries spend far more on war than they do on peace. In fact, I believe there's only one or two nations on the planet that actually have a Ministry of Peace. What can we do as citizens, Jo, to influence more peaceful policies at a governmental level? Or is there nothing you feel we can do?

Jo Berry:   21:41
Yeah, that's the question I'm asking myself. And as you say, we spend far more money on war, and we make money out of weapons, which I just think it's just appalling. So how can we change that? So I'm part of an national networkthat's creating different departments of peace around the world. And I would love to do more, myself, to bring empathy into politics. So there's organisations that are working in that area and I'm linking with them. And I think it's important to support people who are out there, working grassroots, nonviolently, to change the politics in their country. That's one thing we can do, is to find the people ... you know, we can't all be out there demonstrating. We need to be very creative in our non-violence as well. We need to find different ways of challenging any kind of hatred, and we need to be supporting the people - finding the organisations that are working in that arena - and support them. And, you know, never give up hope. You know these days, with social media, there's a lot we can do to challenge the hatred on Twitter, to find the people who are having a hard time and support them. And every day, just 'What can I do to bring more love and compassion into the world on every level?' It's got to be the question.

Kim Forrester:   23:00
For me it always comes down to what we're choosing to amplify. A lot of people will see a post that they totally disagree with - it's hateful or it's it's full of violent language - and their reaction will be to share that post. And I find that amusing-slash-disappointing, because I think we need to understand that what we share, we're amplifying. Would you agree?

Jo Berry:   23:21
That's a lovely way of putting it. Yeah, I think that's definitely true. And it's about amplifying those who are doing really good work. And that's where you come in, and the work that you're doing with your podcast. You know, it's absolutely brilliant and what we need more and more. And I think, actually, there are more ways to hear these stories, you know, more than ever. So we can fill our days with inspiring, uplifting stories, which give us hope to cultivate a sense that, you know, we are changing things.

Kim Forrester:   23:51
Now, you have actually known and worked alongside Patrick McGee for nearly 20 years. Does peace become easier, Jo? Does peace become more automatic, or do you have to keep putting in the same amount of effort on a daily basis to find a semblance of that same kind of peacefulness? 

Jo Berry:   24:12
That's a good question. I don't know. I almost feel as my self-awareness grows, it kind of almost gets harder; gets more subtle. But then, it also does get easier. You know, the amount of times that recently I've gone into full-blown blaming someone and hurt someone is probably less. But I can still ... Actually, I'm not sure that's true. I remember, even recently, I did something that really hurt all my daughters, so I'm not sure that it doesn't get any easier. Yes, and no. I think I'm happier in myself, and my self esteem has grown. So I've got a foundation there that's much stronger, and my self esteem and my self care grows every day. So that makes it easier. But I can't stop watching out for the moments when I'm caught unawares and I'm judging someone or, you know, making someone less than human. You know, I still have that there -and maybe I'm someone who always will. I don't think that's true for everyone, but it's certainly true for me.

Kim Forrester:   25:11
You've been criticised by people, from the very beginning, for actually trying to reconcile with Patrick - or for reconciling with Patrick McGee. Why do you feel that people prefer conflict and division over peace seeking and reconciliation? Is this something that we sort of fall in automatically? Are we used to it? Or is it inherent in our nature to create conflict?

Jo Berry:   25:36
Yeah, another deep, great question. I think it's the idea that we are born into a sense of our tribe, our people, our community. And, we are mainly caring - for most people - we just care for this group. And I think that that comes, perhaps, from a time when we had to just look after our tribe or we wouldn't have survived. But I think we are born with this conditioned state of 'only our group matters'. Now, what I've done is gone outside that group, and met the other; met the enemy. And this enemy actually hurt quite a lot of this community. And they see it as betrayal. They see that I've betrayed that tribe. Now, from their reality, I have. I understand that. That is what I have done. What I am saying is, 'What is betrayal?' And what - to me - what betrayal is, is betrayal of my heart. And my heart sees the humanity and connection with everyone on the whole global human family. I see I'm part of that. I want to go beyond this tribal way of thinking into a new way of thinking; of seeing, 'Actually, you know, if you're hurting over there, I'm hurting. Because we're all connected. We all have the same humanity.' I would be betraying my heart if I had an enemy. But that is like a shift, and that's a different reality. And so then, it's not like one's right, one's wrong. They're just very different. And so people who come from the idea that I've betrayed my father - and I've met many people like that. I had someone say, 'I loved your father. Therefore, I can't support the work you do.' And I really, really understand that. From their perspective, that is their truth. But I am saying, 'Let's experiment. Let's see if we can create peace, you know. And, actually, that means not having an enemy.' And so, therefore, that's why I've done this. It's about looking at things really differently.

Kim Forrester:   27:31
That's a really powerful concept for my listeners to perhaps think about. Because not all of us are going to be ready for peace and reconciliation. Not all of us have the courage or even the capabilities - the skills, the knowledge - to sort of seek peace in our lives and in our world. But what we can all do, Jo, is we can at least allow those who are seeking peace to do so with our approval, with our acceptance. Perhaps even with our encouragement.

Jo Berry:   28:02
Well definitely. And you know, one of the hardest things for me and many other people is lack of resources. And, like it's very hard for me to get funding or to prove I've made an impact in the world. A lot of what I do is for, you know, for hardly ... I do it with very tiny resources because it is not seen as something that should be supported. So that can be hard. And I'm not the only one. I think, many people doing this work can find it difficult. In terms of support, I think, now I have people around me who understand, and who are incredibly supportive, and really get what it is I'm trying to do. So I do feel very supported. But I think, if people can find others like me -  and of course, you know, thousands, millions of people who are working to heal divided communities, you know - and to, as you say, I love that word, amplify the work that they're doing then I think that would be fantastic.

Kim Forrester:   28:58
The Eudaemonia podcast, Jo, is all about flourishing in life. So how has seeking peace in your life enhanced your daily experience of life? Has seeking peace with Patrick McGee inspired you to reconcile with others in your life?

Jo Berry:   29:17
Oh, it's opened so many doors to me. You know, when I was in India last week, at the peace conference, I just felt so happy and blessed to be meeting these incredible peace activists from around the world. I love that, on Thursday, I'm going to be with these amazing young people from age 17, 18 and giving a keynote for their conference. They've asked me to visit them. And I have these incredible opportunities to make a difference. And I love that I care about people, and that I can amplify - you know I have a way of amplifying - what I feel and what I think. And I get to make a difference in the world. I mean, I think that's an honour. I love that I have the inner resources now so that, when I am hurting, I know what to do. You know, I've ... my emotional intelligence has, you know, gone up from nearly zero, like back in the eighties. I don't know where I am now. There's still a way to go. But, you know, like I'm definitely emotionally, I think, quite intelligent in that, you know, I know how to listen. I know how to make it safe for people to open up. You know, there's all sorts of skills that I've learned through working with Pat. You know, I've learned about boundaries, which wasn't something I really knew about, sort of, pre meeting him. It's been a crash course in learning a whole lot of things that, now, I can enjoy in life and pass on to others.

Kim Forrester:   30:46
I love how you come alive when you answered that question. You absolutely come alive. And that's precisely why I create this podcast. I want people to understand that if we can conceive of these concepts - if we can start to integrate them - we can feel more inspired, more alive, even through the challenges of life. My last question, Jo, is one that I ask every guest on the Eudaemonia podcast. Can you offer a simple daily exercise - this could be a practice, a mantra, a ritual - something that can help my listeners feel more peaceful in their daily lives. 

Jo Berry:   31:22
Yes. So I'm not someone who does the same thing, every day, at a certain time. Like, I like that idea, but I'm not someone ... But what I do do is, I make sure that I tell myself every day, 'I am doing my best. Every emotion I have is understandable and I'm transforming my pain into my passion for peace and my ability to be compassionate.' I think all the pain that we have can - it's like an alchemy - can be turned into becoming more passionate. So there is a purpose to having all the negative feelings. But without telling myself, 'I am doing my best', you know, 'I approve of myself. I love myself. I have self worth.' Without those positive messages, I wouldn't be able to do the work that I do. You said earlier on about, you know, being courageous. Well I've felt such fear. You know, such pain. But I was always, saying, you know, 'I can work with this. This is understandable. Right now I am terrified. This is understandable. But I am doing my best.' And sometimes it's baby steps. So those that are struggling, right now, I'm asking, 'What's the baby step you can take today?' And it can be just to say, you know, 'I know what I need, and I am doing my best. And, today, I might reach out to one person, and that's enough.'

Kim Forrester:   32:47
Well, that is truly beautiful. And I can see that it's because peace is about seeing the humanity in others. But what you're saying there is, perhaps we can start by seeing the humanity in ourselves, and accepting it.

Jo Berry:   33:01
Definitely. It starts with seeing the humanity in ourselves, and I think we're so ... it's so easy to be hard on ourselves. But actually to go, 'We are all doing our best, right now, with what we've inherited.'

Kim Forrester:   33:14
Jo Berry, if people want to learn more about you, the work you do, and perhaps help support you in your drive for greater peace and reconciliation around the world, where can they go to find out more?

Jo Berry:   33:25
I have a website for my charity, and they can contact me there. I am developing my own website, but they can get ... they can write to me at

Kim Forrester:   33:37
Joe Berry, just an honour and a delight to have you here on the Eudaemonia podcast. Thank you for gifting your time and your wisdom. I truly appreciate it.

Jo Berry:   33:45
Ah, thank you. It's being amazing. I feel very blessed.

Kim Forrester:   33:49
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.' You have been listening to the final episode of the Eudaemonia podcast, season five. I'll see you back here again for season six, kicking off in late April. In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more about how to live a truly flourishing life check out my instagram page, @iamkimforrester or visit for more inspiring podcast episodes. I'm Kim Forrester. Until next time, be well, be kind to yourself and be a beacon of peace.