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Moments Can Last Forever

by Steven Hofwijks & Nathalie Hofwijks-Powel 

On June 14th, 2015 the foundation “Stichting Parels in Zijn Hand” or SPiZH (English translation, Pearls in His hand), organized a father’s day celebration in Ashiana, a home for the aged, in Paramaribo, Suriname.  The goal of organizing this day was to especially give the neglected men/fathers (men that do not get regular visits or who have been abandoned by their families) a good time, to show them appreciation and tell them that God has not forgotten them.

Because I work in development financing, certain questions started to arise during the period leading up to this event. My thought process automatically reverted to project design and the question: is this initiative sustainable?

According to the Oxford dictionary[1] sustainability can be defined as: “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level”. To be more specific the question that I had was “will this initiative be able to keep these neglected men/fathers happy forever?” The quick and easy answer to this is No.  The follow up question one could ask is: “is it worth doing if it will not have that lasting effect of happiness for people?”

During the course of this father’s day celebration I sat down with several of the dads and spoke to them about their lives and how they were doing.  During my conversations it became evident that these men were not thinking about “how may I feel tomorrow?” They were living in the NOW, which means that this specific pleasant experience would be one that they would be able to cherish forever.

Chapter 37 in D Kahneman and A. Tversky (Eds) (2002) state the following: Pleasure and pain are attributes of a moment of experience, but the outcomes that people value extend over time[2].

Creating beautiful moments for people may seem very unsustainable at first glance, but the reality is that we cannot measure how valuable or durable one pleasant moment is for any given individual. I want to encourage anybody who has the means to help those in need. Your efforts are not in vain, because beautiful moments make beautiful memories and beautiful memories are priceless and sometimes even timeless.  Its not be necessary to wait until next Father´s day to make a difference.

For more pictures please feel free to visit : http://parelsinzijnhand.weebly.com/early-fathers-day-celebration-in-huize-ashiana.html

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/sustainable?q=sustainability#sustainable__6

[2] D. Kahneman and A. Tversky (Eds) (2002) “Choices, Values and Frames New York”, Cambridge University Press and the Russel Sage Foundation.

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