The waiting list for tickets was almost as long as the number of a 94 lucky attendees at the first Good Life event at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel on Saturday.

It was humour, of course, that put us all in a good mood even before it all started when the organisers, therapists Gavin Sharpe and Dufflyn Lammers asked the audience for three rounds of applause with standing ovations – pretending the successful event was over – for the camera and just in case very few people returned back to the room after the first coffee break.

But we all did, even after the second coffee and the lunch. The day lived up to its expectations from the start and it was hard to say good-bye.

The theme of the day was to discover our authentic selves by transforming our relationships with love and money. But the true question set from early on was: How is it possible that in a time of such unprecedented wealth we are in so much pain? The World Health Organisation claims that 280 million people in the world suffer from depression, and the number is dangerously on the rise. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Over 700 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. That’s where humour stops and serious learning begins. Not about how we escape the pain but how we meet it.

Gavin told NEWS.MC that he wanted to organise the event “because the time is right. People want to talk. We have all gone through this strange thing called the pandemic and we are all trying to make sense of what that was about… At the same time we have war in Ukraine, the threats of nuclear war… everything that gives us a sense of security and grounding feels more tenuous. And as human beings we are hardwired for connection. We need connection. And I think this is the time to come together.”

At times deeply emotional, informative and very inspirational, the first edition of The Good Life will definitely have a follow-up in 2023.

All proceeds this year are dedicated to Child CARE Monaco. Its president Martine Ackermann said the money will be used for the new projects she is developing in south India, adding: “I live in Monaco, where people have everything and a lot of them are unhappy. I spend a month a year in India, in places where people have nothing and they are very happy.”

NEWS.MC will confirm the 2023 edition as soon as the date is set. In the meantime, interviews with Gavin Sharpe and Martine Ackermann are available on our website.

PHOTO: Dufflyn Lammers, Martine Ackermann and Gavin Sharpe Jack Brodie