Reg Jones is a 61-year-old retired aircraft engineer from Australia who has been visiting Bali for many years and moved to the island three years ago.
What’s the greatest lesson life has taught you?
When you see people suddenly die, it’s a reminder that we are all
human and none of us know how long we will be here; none of us have time to waste; we should always make sure our loved ones know how we feel; and we should cherish every heartbeat. I have a great quote – sadly I can’t remember who should get the credit for this – but if you live every day as if it is your last, some day you will be right!
What’s most important?
It’s important to do the best you can to maintain your health.
What advice would you give the younger generations?
Don’t smoke, and drive carefully.
Are you worried about dying?
Yes, especially if it’s slow and painful, or even fast and painful.
What was the happiest time of your life?
The happiest time was, and still is, when I see the “love light” in my girlfriend’s eyes.
And the worst?
The day I was called to identify my mother and father after they were killed in a car accident.
What’s humanity all about?
Humanity is all about humankind helping and looking after each other, showing kindness and sympathy when it is needed; it is out there, but not as widespread as we would hope. There seems to be more “anti” humanity around, but I like to believe that is only because it gets more publicity.
Why are there so many conflicts in the world?
Because so many people want to have power. It’s never really about religion, or oil, or state boundary; it is always about who has the most power. Some humans are happy enough to have the biggest house, or the fastest car, but there are many who want power, on a multitude of levels, from the small-town gang leader through to world leaders.
Is a peaceful world possible?
Not unless you can organize a world police force that is humane and trustworthy, to police the peace.
How old do you feel?
Usually about 20 years younger than my actual age, unless I am sick; then it’s the opposite – about 20 years older.
Is one lifetime enough?
You need one lifetime to learn and make plans, and another to put your plans into practice.
How has Bali changed?
I have seen a lot of new buildings appearing on what used to be agricultural land.
Has tourism been good for Bali?
I think tourism is great as far as helping the economy in Bali, but it’s probably having an adverse effect on the culture.
What’s the major difference between the East and the West?
Family values seem to be held higher in the East. Road traffic seems to be more chaotic here, with little regard to any rules. However, in Australia, for example, people drive so fast that when accidents do occur, they are often horrific due to the high speeds involved.
Have you ever doubted your religion?
Sometimes I doubt all religions.
What makes you so sure about that?
I sometimes think there is some kind of power struggle happening between religions, too.