Jean Beliveau in the BC Cold

One of the most inspiring interviews I’ve done in my five years on the radio was with Canadian peace walker Jean Beliveau. Jean left his Montreal home to walk around the world 11 years ago. Today he’s still walking and on August 18th celebrated his 56th birthday. He’s now roughly 1000 km from his return to Montreal and a long-awaited reunion with his wife, Luce. What a journey it has been. Read the latest newsletter on Jean’s walk and follow him as he discovers what it’s like to camp in his own country with bears, squirrels and other forest inhabitants.

http://wwwalk.org/en/newsletter/20110817/newsletter-65.html

I encourage you to listen to the interview I did with Jean.

https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2011/01/20/jean-beliveau-%E2%80%93-a-dream-walk-around-the-world/

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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“A smile doesn’t think money” Jean Béliveau

On his 45th birthday on 18 August 2000, at 9.00am, Jean Béliveau left his family behind to undertake a mission—to walk around the world through all 5 continents. At the time, his partner Luc invited the media to witness and chronicle this ambitious undertaking. Nobody showed up. A few days ago I met and interviewed Jean for my weekly radio programme, Voices from the North. At the time of our meeting Jean had worn out 49 pairs of shoes, personally met four Nobel Peace winners (including Nelson Mandela) and logged over 70,000 km on foot during his journey dedicated to the UNESCO Decade, 2001-2010: the INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD.

A film About the Peace Walker

He had already crossed the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia before landing in New Zealand in October. He was in Mangonui on a rest day before embarking on his last four days of walking to bring him to Cape Reinga and the completion of the international phase of his walk. He will then fly with Air New Zealand to Vancouver to reunite with his family and begin the final 5,000 km phase of his pilgrimage across Canada to his place of origin in Montreal.

When Jean Béliveau arrives in Vancouver in a few days the media will show up. He’s a celebrity of sorts in Canada now and the whole country will be watching as he makes his way on foot across the country. He shares his name with a Canadian hockey legend and his journey will surely take his fellow Canadians back to another legendary journey on foot by the late great Terry Fox.

“I feel like the walk is not my walk anymore. It is the walk of humanity, of these people who came with me in hope of a better world.”     ~Jean Béliveau

In our hour long interview Jean shares the story behind his walk. He readily admits it may have started out as an escape from an unfulfilling life in business. As he says: “I played the game. It left me empty.” His ten years of walking around the planet has filled that emptiness with purpose. He has found his mission. He couldn’t return to a life of materialism after this. He no longer defines the undeveloped world as poor. “Africa time” and the immense smiles of the so-called impoverished of that continent showed him there’s so much more to life than the increasingly internationalized ‘American Dream’ of material prosperity. As Jean said to me; “A smile doesn’t think money.”

I encourage you to visit the brand new website exploring the entire world wide walk of Jean Beliveau. The stunning website—filled with some of the 6,000 photos Jean has taken along the way—was kindly donated by someone Jean met on his pilgrimage.

This walk which began so quietly in Montreal in August 2000 has taken on a life of its own. I hope the happy, fulfilled walker I met will be able to retain his integrity and humility in the months and years ahead. I believe he will. And along the way he will inspire many others to follow their dreams and contribute to a world of true meaning and peace. It has been my great pleasure to meet Jean Beliveau. 

For the complete inspiring interview click below:

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Fill your heart with love for little children and you will never grow old.

Dr. Thomas Barnardo

I just received a call from a friend who’d visited with us on Tuesday. Nevi Morrison is a humble man who serves humanity with grace and presence. He happened to pass a man on the side of State Highway 1 south of Whangarei earlier today. The man was pushing a pram with a Canadian flag on it. Nevi, New Zealand born, lived many years in Canada and couldn’t resist an opportunity to check out this unique traveller. The man turned out to be peace walker Jean Beliveau. I have emailed the contact shown below and hope to host Jean in our home and to interview him while he is here. More on that later.

In the meantime here’s a little about Jean from the Barnardos New Zealand  website at http://www.barnardos.org.nz/About/Overview/News-and-media.htm

On 18 August 2000, at 9.00am, Jean Béliveau left his family behind to undertake a mission – to walk around the world through all 5 continents.

He has already crossed the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia and is now preparing to land in New Zealand at the end of September. Starting his walk at Bluff, he will proceed to walk the 2,000 km length of New Zealand where he will finish at Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island.

New Zealand is the 63rd country in which he will have traveled and the last before he returns to Canada where he will complete his journey from Vancouver back to his original starting point in Montréal – hopefully arriving around October 2011.

His goal is to walk 75,000 km and by the time he reaches NZ he will have walked 68,300 km. He has worn out 48 pairs of shoes and the wwwalk will be the longest walk around the world without returning home.

Jean is dedicating his journey to the UNESCO Decade, 2001-2010 INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD.

Throughout his journey, thousands of people in many countries have been involved in either supporting or participating in various activities to help Jean raise awareness for a culture of Peace for Children.

For more about Jean please read: www.wwwalk.org

Throughout his journey Jean has been supported by the generosity of others.

As part of his New Zealand walk, Jean has chosen to support Barnados New Zealand as his charity of choice.

Jean Beliveau

When Jean Beliveau arrived in New Zealand in October to begin his walk up the length of the country, news media dubbed him “the real Forrest Gump”. He had, after all, been walking around the world for ten years, and New Zealand is his 63rd and last country before he returns to Canada in 2011.

But there is a significant difference between this amazing man and Forrest Gump. Jean Beliveau is walking for a purpose: to promote the UNESCO international decade (2001-2010) for peace and non-violence for children. Jean’s dream is to increase child rights and secure the ideal of children and youth living free from violence.

Jean has now walked from Bluff to Christchurch. When he arrived in Christchurch on 4 November he was greeted by Barnardos staff who walked into the city with him, to the wonderful sound of bagpipes.

When you talk to Jean it is clear that without that purpose, and his dedication to peace, he would not have been able to keep walking for so long. “Without the cause, I couldn’t walk very far at all. It’s a crazy desire, and I still wonder why, but I know it comes back to wanting to encourage change for children. This is a big opportunity to spread an important message,” he says.

Jean said there was great excitement as they walked. Along the way, he made an impromptu visit to Christchurch City Council and met Mayor Bob Parker. He has an uncanny ability to be able to walk anywhere – including into Council meetings!

It is clear that Jean is loving his time in New Zealand so far. He says “I feel comfortable with the culture here. The people make me feel at home.”

Jean has had amazing support from Barnardos and when people tell him they want to do everything they can to support him, he reminds them that the feeling is mutual. Jean is collecting donations for Barnardos as he walks and he has had some generous donations from the likes of Dunedin Lions Club and Papanui Rotary Club in Christchurch. Donations in support of his walk can be made at www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/wwwalk.org

So, keep an eye out for Jean in a town near you. And if you would like to offer accommodation or other support for Jean, please just let us know!

If you want to get involved, please email Deborah Morris-Travers, Advocacy Manager at Barnardos NZ: Deborah.travers@barnardos.org.nz

Check out more information about Jean Beliveau’s walk around the world.

A little about Barnardos from http://www.barnardos.org.nz/About/Overview/Introduction.htm

At Barnardos New Zealand, our guiding principle Ko Ngā Tamariki I Te Tuatahi – Children Come First informs everything we do. Our child and family services, early childhood care and education, and our information and advocacy programme all have a clear focus of putting children first.

We work closely across our services and in association with other community and government agencies throughout the country to best meet the needs of children, young people and their families.

Barnardos opened its first service in Mangere in 1972. Over the past 40 years, we have supported more than 10,000 children and families each year, reaching even more through our advocacy work.

Barnardos New Zealand is a society registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, and is registered as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005 with the Charities Commission.

A few more details about Jean Beliveau from his website:

Jean Beliveau

PEACE FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
On August 18th, 2000, at 9:00 am, Jean Béliveau left Montreal, Canada. His goal is to walk around the planet to promote “Peace and non-violence to the profit of the children of the world”. He is traveling alone with a three wheeled stroller to carry a bit of food, his clothing, a First Aid kit, a small tent and a sleeping bag. Jean plans to walk across all the continents, from North America to South America, then across to South Africa, up to Europe, then the Middle East, South and Eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand and finally back to Canada.
This journey will take 12 years to complete which is in accordance with the United Nations proclamation: 2001-2010 – International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World
 
www.wwwalk.org
 
The “wwwalk” stands for “world wide walk”.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Hiker on the Appalachian Trail

 “In the summer of 1952 Mildred Norman hiked the entire length of the 2,050 mile Appalachian Trail. She was the first woman to accomplish this feat….On January 1, 1953 Mildred became the Peace Pilgrim and began her first walk across America from coast to coast. Over the next 28 years she was to walk more than 25,000 miles, carrying in her blue tunic her only possessions. She lived a pilgrim’s life, in utter simplicity and spiritual trust. She walked and talked her message: ‘This is the way of peace—overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth and hatred with love.’ The Peace Pilgrim’s life was born in a vision that came to Mildred Norman at the end of the Appalachian Trail and it was to be her life mission: a pilgrimage for peace.”

The above words are from (or inspired by) the booklet Peace Pilgrim: An Extraordinary Life by Ann Rush with John Rush

Some years ago, while living in Peria in the Far North, I received a vision. It is a vision in which every land is traversed with walking trails, trails which transcend borders. Along each trail are planted (by the children of each country) durable species of fruit and nut-bearing trees. These trails will be part of a worldwide network of Paths for Peace. Imagine young men and wome – instead of seeking initiation into adulthood through alcohol, drugs, thrill-seeking or war – walking the length and breadth of their countries for peace. They shall be sustained along these walks by the edible foods planted there.

Peace Pilgrim was one woman working for peace with single-minded purpose. Imagine thousands or even millions of similarly dedicated souls collectively creating a world of peace—with their hands (planting) and their feet (walking). Imagine a world without borders united by carefree, healthy, happy hikers singing songs of peace.

Imagine a multitude of Paths for Peaceresplendent in beauty and diversity of flora and fauna, climate and terrain – representing the incredible diversity of the human family. These diverse Paths for Peace will represent the unique path towards peace each of us walks daily and the unique paths to peace each of the world’s religions represent.

This is my vision for peace. Will you help it to manifest by holding it in your heart?

 

Possibly related post:

World Peace is Inevitable

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

 

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Appalachian Trail Scenery