I believe in God. Some people call it nature or creation. I believe that whatever you do in this life, you’ll get it back in this life and you can’t get away from that. You can’t hide. Your conscience is always going to remind you. No matter what you do in this life, 100% of it you’ll get back. It will impact on your relationships, on your relationships with your children, your partner…I’ve learnt this through my experiences. I’ve been through hardship, trouble in my life.
I travel a lot, and in my travelling, the first thing I found out is that all humans are equal. It has nothing to do with their race, colour…It’s about language. If I can speak Dutch, then I can communicate better with Dutch people and they can understand me. But when I don’t know their language, that’s when differences come up, either on their side or on my side.
For me, any two people are always the same. When I see someone freezing on the street, I feel bad for them no matter whether they’re my colour, if they have my beliefs; it’s just a human. You can see a person is suffering in that moment: whether from bad weather, starvation…
Mostly I was in Eastern Europe. After communism fell, I remember returning and things that to us might seem normal were so precious. Even MacDonald’s was so precious to them. In the first few years, people were lining up to a hundred metres for MacDonald’s, which here of course is normal. So when I get their language and I get close with them, they open themselves. And what I saw is that greediness that you see amongst rich people in no matter what country, what race, what religion, is the same – and it’s going to destroy you. Because life can be so simple. When you’re up there making money and you forget your family and your child. Then suddenly you see your child is in a bad condition, well first you have to blame yourself. Where were you, you know? And you say “well I provide everything – I give them my money”. But that’s not what he needs or she needs. They just needed a friend. So then she’s going to get close to somebody and share her life and it may be the wrong person – someone who might direct her towards the wrong things. If I was a good father or a good mother then I would also be a friend: someone with whom you can share things.
I don’t identify with any particular religion. For me all religions are the same. They believe in God. And in all religions exists the hope that somebody’s gonna come and gonna save everybody. About this point, I can’t make a comment. For me it’s just about having some meaning, so that even poor people can have hope that something good will happen. God for me is something that helps you avoid doing the wrong thing or harming other races or people – or even from making money. Because no billionaire can make their money without some kind of cheating. They asked one billionaire how he became a billionaire and he said “inside the law, there are illegal things and if you know them, you can get rich”. Like tax avoidance is one thing. In some places like in China they kill you for things like that. But I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe we have the right to punish people. Because at the end, they’re going to get it back. From outside people look like they have a perfect life, but then they suddenly go down.
In my past I thought money was everything. And I went through a stage of making a lot of money. And then I got trapped with loans and debt, which I really didn’t want. I was raised with an old lady who was a little poorer than most people. She never wanted money from me. She was a Muslim but I twice got married; once with a Christian, once with a Jew and we never had a problem. So long as people know each other and get close, they won’t have problems. Not with religion anyway. I had problems because I didn’t know how to take life easy. I look back and I see how time passes and I get to the age of 60 and I remember when I was 30, when I was thinking “when I’m 40, I’m gonna be something”. But I wasn’t.