What makes human beings special is the complexity, intensity and depth of their relationships. There is something exceptionally rich in what we manage to develop together. We benefit so much from others and the diversity of those values that are sometimes called “soft.”


Being a humanist is not limited to education. Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism). It is that deeply rooted belief that there are values that transcend us and shared by human beings that nurtures my life.


I have been educated and grew in an environment that was a legacy of what “humanities” are, sometimes called “liberal arts”. Humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture. Humanities use methods that are primarily critical, or speculative, and have a significant historical element—as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences. The humanities include languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and arts as well as maths and sciences.

Family is the source of life, love and humanity


Nothing is ever as important as family links, even if they can be distant and even estranged. Talking about one’s family is impossible. I am fortunate to be married to Dr Francine Godet since 1970 and we had four children who blessed us with grandchildren. It is the biggest adventure in life: it is never easy, sometimes unstable, often source of joy, but above all it is unique. It is not a tranquil stream: it is a journey. There is no school for it.