As a change artist I always try to give a good example.
I wrote “try”, as making mistakes and being human is one of the things I want to show people.
When my kids are hitting me, to get my attention, I want to tell them calmly that I don’t listen to people hitting me.
And yes, sometimes after a hard week of work, I might not be calm enough when I tell them that.

When people asked me why I was not married, my answer has always been: because my girlfriend has not asked me yet.
I say this because I think that in today’s world if we want women to be equal to men, it should be as equally accepted that women ask men to marry them.
The reaction of men and women has been very funny. Even women that consider themselves real feminist have been objecting this idea.
A little bit similar to men that want the income of their wife and still want them to do the whole household.

For me changing the world, happens in the small things. Not just standing on barricades, but also taking stand in my personal life. A little bit like the famous story about Gandhi and eating sugar. Gandhi knew that he could not ask people to do something he was not prepared todo himself.
I can get angry at my kids for not being able to control their emotions, but if I would hit them, my actions speak louder as my words.
but I digress.

Last X-mas, we went with our family to an outside drink with a few concerts. Actually two friends of mine performed a concert.
One of them I have not seen performing in probably 15 years or so. He used to be in my favorite band. A local small band that never brought out any records but I loved for their songs. It was lovely to see how Christophe has evolved over the years. He used to be a shy singer hardly speaking in between songs. Now he was alone on stage and he owned the stage in his own way. Lovely.
Then Kurt. I met Kurt when he played in Streetwalker, a cliché Rock&Roll band that was a mix of Aerosmith, Rod Steward & The Black Crowes. We have been bumping into each other a lot over the years. Some years ago a friend told me he had started a band singing in “Gents”, the local dialect of my city. Although I personally can’t speak it and I’m not really love “Gents”, I saw how Kurt with his band Biezebaaze, made the dialect a lot more popular among youngsters. Another nice example of be the change you want to see. His song Loetzebollekezoetse was even used in Joppe’s class to teach Gents.

The way Kurt acts on stage, is  interacting a lot with his audience. For most artist, I think that playing at a X-mas drink, is not really rewarding, such an audience doesn’t really pay attention. That is not possible with Kurt, again he is the change he wants them to be. He actively makes connection with his audience. When people are leaving, he interacts with them. He asks for songs from the audience. When they ask for a song he has already played: he says so and adds “you should come earlier… ” all in his funny big mouth style. When he asks for the 5the time for ideas for songs, Els goes on stage and asks him something. Kurt starts playing Verdammt ich lieb dich from Mathias Reim, I did not know she knew he knew that song. Couldn’t she ask something else?
Although he usually plays for big crowds, it’s lovely to see him play around with this small audience. Our 3 kids are getting tired, yet Kurts enthousiasm keeps us there. (And that is what the organizers want of course. )
Be the change you want to be: show my kids that music is more then the kids music they hear on the radio (which is funny as Kurt writes lots of these dutch songs). It’s especially nice to see the smile on my kids face when he plays my favorite french song

And then Kurt says something like: there are people here that I know for 15 years or so. (It’s more like 20) and they are married (not true) and have 3 kids.
Yves could you step forward? Oh no not again. He has pulled this trick on me a few years back, when he was playing in Drongen because I was wearing an old “Streetwalker” T-shirt. I go forward a little, that’s not enough for him. I should be alone in front of the stage. Then he asks Els to step forward also. What is he doing?

And he hands the microphone to Els. Ohoh. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. And then she ask THE question.
Yves will you marry me?
I had forgotten that X-mas fell on the 25the. And that we were 15 years and 5 months together.
As I want to be the change I want to happen, I also think I should do things when I have the opportunity and I said YES.

PS: What change is so important, you are willing to wait 15 years for it?
PPS: She even gave me a ring, that she bought before, but she did not have it with her, as she prefered the moment over the tools…

19 Responses to “Be the change you want to see…”

  1. Joke says:

    Keineig! Proficiat!

  2. ToF_ says:

    Fabulous post. Congratulations ! 🙂

  3. Irene says:

    Congratulations, Yves!

  4. Anna says:

    It’s always a big step, Yves; no matter how many years you have been together, it’s a new commitment in your relationship (went through that myself :-)).
    So very happy for you! Best of luck and happiness to your family!

  5. Congratulations! May your life and your family continue to blossom.

  6. yhanoulle says:

    hi Anna,

    Time will tell me how right you are.
    Jerry Weinberg says that at least every 7 years you have to renegotiate your relation. I can see that already from the past 15 years.

  7. […] For you, we hope it gives a small impression of our live in 2011. Update: As we released this video on the 22 December, we missed an important event of our year. […]

  8. Awesome! Congratulations Yves.

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  11. […] message because I want to ask you a few things. Currently I spend my spare time (next to organizing my marriage) putting a book together called  “Who is agile”. In “Who is agile”, you can read the […]

  12. […] a bunch of instruments and record songs and play in several bands. One of my bands does a lot of wedding gigs, we’ve probably done over 100 wedding parties by now! Music has always been my oasis, a […]

  13. […] A few months ago, Els asked me -after being together for 16 years- to marry her. […]

  14. Badri N Srinivasan says:

    I got your PairCoaching mail today and I saw that I was a bit late in wishing you…!

    However, seeing your post I felt nothing is late if you just take that first step to reach out and connect….

    Congratulations, Yves !

  15. […] Last year, uploaded the video on the 20 december. Funny enough, the most important event of the year still had to happen. On 25 december, Els asked me after 15,5 years to marry her. […]

  16. […] the job well. I wonder, is this the general experience with au-pairs or just rumors? The last part; it took me 16 years to convince my wife to ask me to marry her. I’m not going to jeopardize our relation buy fooling around. And I doubt that is what au-pairs […]

  17. Silvana Wasitova says:

    I just stumbled onto this story of yours – having heard only snippets of it 2 months ago. Soo sweeet! How sweet of Els to chose “the right moment”! How sweet of you to live out your conviction, while also dropping hints here and there for Els. How brave. How true. Inspiring! 🙂

  18. yhanoulle says:

    Thank you Silvana.