Digital Transformation and New Mobility – Paradise or Hell?

Or:
Our Brave New World seen with the eyes of the entrepreneur, IT pioneer, blogger, father and biker Roland Dürre.

When he still worked at the GLS bank, Carsten Schmitz often invited me to attend nice events. I met urgewald and Katrin Frische when she was “telling stories”, and many more people of interest. Now a board member of the HOHENFRIED e.V., Carsten is responsible, among other things, for networking, fundraising and financing.

One of the things he initiated is a loose series of presentations in Berchtesgaden:

“Civil Society Initiative with Current Topics at the Lederstubn“

And he asked me if I would be interested in supporting his project by giving a presentation. Which, of course, I will gladly do. After all, this is an excellent opportunity to thank him for all his hospitality and at the same time do something beneficial for a good cause.

Plakat13Juli-Lederstubn

Since I assume that the audience will be quite diverse, the first thing I plan to do is ask them about their interests and then sort the input. And then the resulting list will be discussed in good order, a little like an OpenSpeech.

Consequently, I expect it to become a really open and interactive event that will be great fun for all participants – and that will also make people thoughtful.
I will go there by train and use the Bayern-Ticket.

Currently, I plan to take the S-Bahn train S7 from Neubibert on July, 13th at 14.31 hours and then change at Ostbhanhof and in Freilassing, arriving in Berchtesgaden at 17:30 hours. I plan to return on the same day, starting from Berchtesgaden at 20:31 hours, which means I will be back in my bed around midnight.

Of course, I would be delighted to welcome friends among the audience. I will gladly take you if you wish to use part of my Bayern-Ticket.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday June 28th, 2016

BREXIT

Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svgWell, here is some personal comment of mine on the, as I see it, disgraceful BREXIT discussion.

 

  • The persons who went to give their opinion in GB decided. They probably do not like the EU and, to them, the disadvantages for their country seem more obvious than the advantages. It is something you cannot rationally discuss anyway, because there are too many pro and con arguments on too many different levels. You cannot weigh them or put them into metric systems, either. When all is said and done, this is about emotions, which means the decisions are gut decisions.
  • The outcome of the vote, however, should be accepted by all, both the extra-wise ones in the EU and those who voted in favour of GB staying in the EU. And in particular those who could have voted but did not. If now the entire world starts feeling morally superior to the Brits, then this is, in my opinion, the opposite of appropriate.
  • Also, you should not forget that neither the British Government nor the British Parliament are strictly obliged to act according to this referendum. In other words: so far, nothing happened. And, as so often in politics, nothing will happen. The only thing that will probably happen is that the money flow comes to a standstill – or perhaps it will be camouflaged differently 
Now they do a bit of cheating – and with every single day that goes by, the topic #brexit will become more and more remote. Only a few thousand EU functionaries will try to find a solution that makes it possible for the British Government to not lose face before their voters and at the same time for the EU not to take serious damage. It will all happen as was shown to us when they discussed the TTIP behind closed doors.
  • Personally, I do not believe the EU is an important or even critical factor for Europe’s future. Well, it is simply an extra administrative office. I am far more concerned about the NATO and the numerous national and nationalistic tendencies. They keep extending the NATO, not taking into consideration the worries and fears of our neighbours. I sadly miss a discussion on this issue. And it is quite possible that national interests will be promoted, rather than minimized, due to the current state of affairs.
  • Looking at the EU as an economic unity, I am disappointed.
    • As an economic unity, the EU, and in particular the EURO, perhaps had a positive impact only for Germany (as the leading nation) and a few small countries like Luxembourg (as financial centre of Europe’s concerns and banks) or Estonia (as the gateway to Russia). All others are more or less on the loser’s side.
    • Even in privileged Germany, we have huge problems, such as the pronounced polarisation between the poor and the rich (more and more poverty, making up for more and more extremely rich persons) or when it comes to education. This, too, is probably one of the developments the EU is responsible for. And that, for instance, Spaniards have to go to Germany if they want to survive economically is just bizarre. In other cases, they talk of economic refugees who must under no circumstances be given asylum. We all agree that humans must not be discriminated against because of the colour of their skin, their gender or their religious beliefs. But they may easily be discriminated against because of where their passport has been issued – systematically and in a very differentiated way.
    • I think a region has the right to contest central attacks by concerns or ruthless dumping prices. Whenever in history they tried to balance the powerlessness of those who suffered injustice by subsidies, they usually failed or achieved the opposite of what they had intended. And in the end, it always led to unjustified personal gain.
    • For me, it seems particularly sad that the power of the lobbyists seems to have grown at all levels in Europe. They are now in a position to control all of Europe.
  • Looking upon the EU as a shared living space gives me a sense of failure. I witness no end of regulations. Today, small enterprises, especially in the crafts, are threatened in a way that was hardly ever so drastic, at least as far as West Germany is concerned. 
Many things have become worse, rather than better: for instance the mobility concept in the public transportation sector. To make up for it, they now started an unbelievable charm offense in favour of individualized traffic with the combustion motor, probably on the instigation of Germany. 
The EU was not even able to standardize network mobility over the last few years. Your simple smartphone user will notice this whenever leaving his home region. There is no doubt that politics look at the advantages for the capital, the concerns and the banks. They totally forget that they should be serving the people. And the EU functionaries are basically system agents who are, first and foremost, concerned about their own well-being and money – often even more so than most of those on the national levels.
  • Looking upon the EU as a political unity, I am disappointed. Just look at the example we just witnessed with the impossible behaviour and the completely non-existent solidarity when it came to refugees. Besides, who is responsible for our state policy when it comes to Russia, etc.? All I see is dangerous deficits.
Here is another provocative note: 
As globalization continues, the only confederation that should prevail is the UNO. Because problems will be more and more global, rather than regional.
  • The political structures and the arrogance of the EU functionaries absolutely remind me of such grey systems as the Comecon. We are all well aware of what they brought us. Allegedly, there was a time when there was only one brand of bread produced in the entire USSR and most of its vassals…
  • Is it really such bad news if GB will become a number of smaller systems? Isn’t that the logical consequence of a development they already initiated in soccer a long time ago?
  • History as I personally experienced it teaches me that, basically, after a big system collapsed, all parties concerned were happier than they had been before. I cannot talk about the Roman Empire, because I do not know about it. But I know not a single Slovene, Croatian or other person from the formerly big Yugoslavia who mourns its demise. I went to Yugoslavia in the early 1970ies and can easily sympathise. During my bike trip to the Black Sea, I met a Serbian who said that some persons in Serbia will now have to kiss their dream of a Great-Serbian Empire good-bye. .
The situation is similar in Czech Republic and Slovakia – I never met anyone in Prague or Bratislava who wanted the ČSR back. 
And there are precious few who actually lament the fact that the aforementioned Comecon and the USSR no longer exist. I know quite a few ex-GDR citizens who could not be less enthusiastic about having the old systems back. 
Permit me to be a little polemic. 
If the FRG were to disintegrate in a reasonable way, the Bavarians probably would not be totally unhappy, either. But then, even those counties that are, at least financially, totally ruined – such as Berlin-Brandenburg – would probably stand a chance at getting a little healthier, instead of sitting down and collecting alms from other counties for eternity. Speaking of which: eternity might actually be a short time, because regardless of what most politicians assure us of, the situation in the communities and counties all over Germany keeps deteriorating (basic needs, infra structure, education, incomes,…).
  • On free movement: I hear all the time that free movement for EU citizens is a huge advantage when it comes to choosing your place of work and residence. And that the Brits destroyed the future of the “young generation” because now they cannot work in the other European countries as easily. 
I am not sure if a social system with the dimensions and diversity of Europe can function at all. I am sure some control is necessary. 
Here is an example: 
In China, most of the people would like to live in Peking. Of course, that is not possible. Consequently, people who want to live in Peking have to meet certain requirements. For instance, they have to have graduated from university or document ample riches.
  • Another advantage often stated in favour of the EU is that we have no border controls. I would gladly accept border controls if that meant we do not need the total digital control state. Intelligent border controls (see railroad or airports) will not cause queues, either.
  • Last not least: 
I do not like a Europe of nations all of which are prepared to sacrifice freedom for security and where quite a few look more like dictatorships and corrupt systems with fascist tendencies than functioning democracies.

 

Final remarks:

I am for diversity and against stupidity. I am worried that huge systems might promote stupidity. Consequently, I am in favour of a EUROPE of connected and linked regions who will gladly and voluntarily integrate themselves into the federation. Meaning: a EUROPE that follows the rules of subsidiarity.
I dislike a EUROPE that dances at the puppet stings of concerns and business interests. I dislike a EUROPE that is reigned by party oligarchy and first and foremost follows lobbyist interests. All of whom use fear as the main motivator for business transactions.

I want my EUROPE to be administered in an agile, open and slim way. It should respect human rights and individual/private affairs, decide in an ethically responsible way and, where necessary, be prepared to give up property.

My dream is of a social, humane Europe that fights radically for peace and will not export weapons to any place in the world. Of a Europe that seriously lives like it understood the message that our planet has already been destroyed to a huge extent. And that we cannot continue to destroy our environment and nature, which also goes for our microcosm. I mean a Europe that will not subsidy environmental sins (kerosene), that will do without irrational, gigantic projects (S21) and that will promote quality on a broad range. I mean a Europe that, at long last, forgets its ideologies and dogmata, like that “all problems can be solved by growth”, that “life is basically a fight of all against all” or that “children need to be educated and people need to be punished for their sins”.

Consequently, I am glad that the Brits courageously voted for the BREXIT. Regardless of the fact that I found the prejudices and what was called self-evident – both of the BREXIT supporters and their opponents – often rather stupid and incredibly hypothetical (speculative). Both sides claimed the right to predict the future and justified their assumptions with arguments that I found simply ridiculous and criminal.

We will probably have to get used to the fact that the scale that measures dishonesty in political agenda is open at the top. Still, the vote for BREXIT is a strong signal. It sends the message that we cannot continue as before. Perhaps it will bring movement into politics and make the ladies and gentlemen a little more thoughtful. But then, I am rather sceptical. The citizens will probably have to do it themselves.

But I think the first reaction of the EU partner governments is also quite wrong. They said the exit has to happen quickly and it must be guaranteed for all times (!?) that they can never re-enter. That strongly reminds me of a family where one child wishes to move out and parents who do not like the idea threatening the child with the information that he or she can never return. Fifty years ago, such behaviour was absolutely normal, I experienced it more than once.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Saturday June 25th, 2016

Great Britain: You did it again …

Erst 2012 enthüllte die Queen das “Bomber Command Memorial”, welches die Männer und Frauen ehrte, die mit aberwitzig hohen Verlusten erfolgreiche Einsätze gegen Deutschland flogen, welches sich anschickte, ganz Europa zu unterjochen.

Roland Dürre
Friday June 24th, 2016

The Birthday Address I Never Delivered.

Vielleicht hilft ja die Lektüre dieses Buches?

Well, perhaps reading this book will help?

My birthday was a few days ago. Now I am 66 years old. I very much appreciated all those many good wishes I received and would like to thank you here and now. It felt nice to know that so many people remembered me.
Unlike so often in my life, we did not invite anybody to celebrate a huge party with us. Regardless of 66 years being a nice number for a celebration, I somehow did not feel like celebrating.

Maybe there will be a party next year. Basically, there is the rule: “no party, no address”. But still, as is my habit whenever I celebrate a birthday, I prepared a short speech. Because I enjoyed doing so.

🙂 Here is my “virtual birthday address” for all my virtual guests:

It took 66 years for me to really learn how to be absolutely happy with my lot. I learned to really enjoy my life. Now I have felt truly happy for more than one year. Even happier than I used to, although I certainly had a wonderful life and everything was basically very nice, indeed.

To be sure, I still get annoyed when something irrelevant, where it is totally useless to get upset, happens. Besides, I sometimes still feel aggression growing inside me where it is absolutely inadequate. And I also often despair because of something that should not really be a reason for despair.

But other than that, I am happy. There are two exceptions.

The first is the fact that I really hate to realise that my life will inevitably move towards its end. And I still fear death and at times really am extremely anxious about it. But then, death and dying is part of all life. You cannot change this and that is why I simply try to accept it and not make a huge affair out of it. Even if this is hard, I manage to cope more and more often.

The second is actually worse. I understand less and less what happens around me. Both on a small and huge scale.

A short time ago, a friend I had been able to recruit for my “project peace” wrote to me. We had been talking “tolerance” and “neutrality”. Those are certainly basic requirements for peace. However, he asked if maybe the fight for resources was not the biggest threat for peace. He also gave a few examples.

  • Water shortage in the Near East.
  • They accuse the USA of having fought the Iraq War because of crude oil (regardless of the fact that, according to the BR, no US enterprise is oil drilling in Iraq. All the drilling is done by the French, Canadians and Chinese).
  • The Neue Zürcher Zeitung visited displaced Jesides in their camps and asked them some questions. The answers were that, no matter what happens, they cannot return home, because both the terrorists and their Sunnite neighbours had knocked them out. Due to high birth rates, the Sunnites needed the extra space.
  • Gentrification shows that the fight for resources (a place to live) also concerns the social freedom in cities like Munich.

You could add to the list without ever stopping. Both on a small and a large scale.

For me, it is always painful to see that good food is simply thrown away while somewhere else in the world people go hungry. Or when I see the dead hedgehogs and toads on the peaceful streets where I live. Or when people die on the motorway because someone absolutely needed to drive 200 km/h. Or when I see what in general happens to our planet.

I just read that a functionary of the IHK umbrella organization said environmental protection was the opposite of quality of life. He asked if we really wanted to go back to the times when we went over the Brenner with 34 PS.

Or how about the Polish minister who found words in favour of a policy that does not want the Polish people to become a nation of vegetarians and cyclists.

These are all things that make me sad. We live in a society where waste is made a behavioural maxim. And where wars and violence are the consequences of the fight for resources. Can this really be true? And I am truly devastated. I would really like to do something to change this state of affairs. Because then my heart, too, would feel (even) better. But I have no idea about the What and How.

This is more or less what I would have said if there had been a party.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

On Friday,

the arcis-vocalisten

will sing in the Himmelfahrtskirche in Munich Sendling,

I am last-minute advertising this unique concert, but not only because tickets are still available. Above all, I point you towards this concert because it is going to be n absolutely unique experience. One that you will not wish to miss!

One specialty about it is that it is sung a-cappella, which means there are no instruments, let alone an entire orchestra to accompany the singers. Naturally, this is much more demanding for the singers, since nobody plays along with what they are supposed to sing.

Another specialty is that there will be a world premiere:

Markus Fritz is himself a member of the choir. He is also the composer of the work
„De Tranquilitate Animi“
after words by Seneca!!!

You will also hear the “Missa in F Major” by J. G. Rheinberger and the motet Opus 74 No. 1 by Brahms, as well as a few Kaminski songs.

FlyerACapella

If if would not be staying in France this Friday, I would definitely be among the audience.

Not only, but also because Evelyn (EG) sings in the choir.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday June 14th, 2016

Microsoft Buys Linkedin – spontaneous contemplations.

Just a few ideas about the deal …

Zeitgenössische Ganesha-Statue

Contemporary Ganesha statue

Well, this news came as a surprise to me, regardless of everything else:

Microsoft buys Linkedin for 26 billion dollars.

The reason for my surprise, among others, was that, basically, this looks like a fairly low price. After all, a “German” enterprise allegedly offers more than 60 billion for an enterprise that some emotionally consider a “criminal rat shop”.

There might be good reasons (Gründe) for Microsoft to make the deal. I, too, estimated that Linkedin was a little of an underestimated outsider among the really big internet players.

And I also thought the buying strategies of Linkedin, for instance when taking over video2brain and other great enterprises such as slideshare were rather conclusive.

Now, it looks to me like all these activities were just meant to make the bride look a little prettier and thus make more money.


My first question when I heard about the deal was

Why do the customers of Linkedin (an enterprise) not get a vote when it comes to selling Linkedin (that same enterprise)?

And I immediately had to correct myself

Well, the customers do have a vote – all they have to do is remove their account!

If all the customers were to do just that, the whole affair would soon come to an end. Except that, if radically realized, such behaviour would mean leaving all these systems. From A to Z. In other words: you would personally have to disappear from the virtual world. And that is not an option for me.

When all is said and done, you come to the conclusion that it is not just the virtual reality and not only the internet enterprises. Instead, this is all also about my real life: how I live, what I eat, my mobility, my clothes, my energy level.

Consequently, I will reduce my ideas to one question:

What economic system are we in if, according to Prof. Otte, a threshold value of more than 6.1 billion US dollars was moved over the last year through “merging and acquisition” (M &A) world-wide, which is a record number?

And my question gets more precise:

How is it possible and legal that an enterprise can accumulate or get this kind of money and that it can happen at such speed?

I know a book by Georg Zoche, with the title World Power: Money (Weltmacht Geld). Of course, money is power. Consequently, it makes me very thoughtful how concerns can become so rich (=powerful). Mind you, this is happening at a time when our planet slowly but certainly dies and humans kill and torture each other. Because they are poor and consequently become victims of war entrepreneurs.

I am sure you all remember scene 4 of the first act in Shakespeare’s drama »Hamlet« (written around 1600):
“Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.“

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday June 13th, 2016

Project Peace – Roland!

This year, I started the project PEACE. I already told you before mentioning the great   contribution made by Jolly why I think the project PEACE is so important any why I want to focus on this project in the future.

There are so many things this project needs:

A unique logo and the best of all manifestos. A lot of money with the potential to reach a billion persons (which is google’s criterion for its applications). A great “community”. The best partners from all sectors (film, photography, art, marketing, media, music,…), ideas for the coolest activities for peace. And the right kinds of activists!

I am currently thinking about what to put into the manifesto. Here are a few pieces of the mosaic I am experimenting with:

In a very basic way

Peace is the only way!

Peace is the basic requirement for everything else!
Peace has no need to justify itself!

A little longer

YES!
Peace is possible!
We badly need PEACE!
We live in PEACE with ourselves!
We live in PEACE with the world around us!
We work hard towards PEACE!
There are many of us!
It can be done!

AND

If you want PEACE, you need no justification!

Or

Peace beats war!
Humanity beats inhumanity.
Love will always conquer hatred!
Tolerance will always beat intolerance.

Which means

No tolerance for tolerance!
War against war!
Hate hatred!

But these are only ideas and proposals of mine. I look forward to your ideas. Thanks a lot!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday June 12th, 2016

Project Peace – Jolly!

Earlier this year, Jolly and I started the project PEACE. The video you can watch below is a wonderful result of our kick-off meeting.

It is a little longer than 61 minutes for you to absolutely enjoy. You will get positive inspiration and many impulses. So why don’t you take a little time and one of several beloved partners and just watch it? Find a comfortable position and relax in front of the screen.
🙂
You really want to totally relax – for those of us who like their alcohol, why not with a glass of red wine?

Because Jolly is really an exceptional person and first-class mentor. Consequently, his seminars and presentations are the reason why many people have become happier and more successful persons. I am one of them.

The project PEACE is the most ambitious I was ever involved in. We are at the very beginning and what we need is friends, partners and supporters.

I will also constantly write in the IF blog about our progress in terms of ideas, concepts and activities of the project PEACE. So far, all I know about it is that I never did anything more aspiring. For me personally, it is the greatest possible challenge.

The next thing I want to do is publish my kick-off presentation in the IF-blog!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday June 6th, 2016

My Morbus Scheuermann

Or:
The Rich and the Poor. How Life Treats You.

Äskulapstab, gemeinfrei

Aesculapian Staff. free for all

I mentioned it a short time ago, so maybe now I should write a little more about it: my Morbus Scheuermann.

Disagreeable experiences

I made with general practitioners and specialists.
When I was a child and an adolescent, my experiences with doctors were mostly (well: always) negative. First there was our general practitioner. Whenever I had to see him, I had to spend a long time sitting in the waiting room. The short time with the doctor was never really conducive. Except that you got a recipe and a few pills.

The “house visits” that occasionally took place if you had a high fever also reminded me more of being visited by the pastor than by a man of medicine. And they, too, only resulted in a recipe for the medicine you would have to take. And the cold or whatever it was you suffered from did not go away any faster for it. In fact, the “household remedies” were always much more help, at least when it came to no longer having to suffer under the symptoms.

ENT doctors, too, want to live – and they want to live well

My experiences with the experts – also known as medical specialists – were by no means any more agreeable. One of my worst experiences was when, at the age of almost ten, my tonsils were removed during the most beautiful spring although nothing was wrong with me at all. The motivation both on the side of my parents and the doctor was that I was going to grammar school in the autumn and they wanted me to be more robust than I had been during my primary school days.

Ever since then, I have suffered from chronic problems in the throat. I already wrote about how I suffered under this ENT doctor in this article.

The cast given me by the orthopaedic specialist

The older you get, the more taboos you break. Today, I will out myself by telling you one of the things I never talked about because I found it embarrassing. For a few years, I had to spend every single night in a corset of plaster. It was probably during and until shortly after puberty.

The reason was my Morbus Scheuermann, along with an orthopaedic specialist who wanted to become even richer. Once, during one of the many serial examinations (also with x-ray) that, in the 1950ies and 1960ies every growing person had to subject himself to (why?), a resourceful medical practitioner found out (rather by chance) that my spine was not totally straight. Instead of running properly, it had a slight bend to the side, a little like the letter “S” curving to the left and to the right. Well, it was the famous illness as diagnosed by Mister Scheuermann.

So what is normal?

I myself did not notice anything about it, neither did I feel handicapped. Even then, it seemed a little absurd to me that everything had to be straight and symmetrical about the human body. Consequently, I never regarded the Morbus Scheuermann as an illness. To me, it was more like an anomaly. But even then, I had the suspicion that a totally straight spine is an anomaly. Perhaps such a thing as a straight spine does not exist. All you have to do is increase the measuring precision.

By the judgment of my parents, I often had a bad posture and they thought my body was never upright enough. However, for my parents, an upright (physical) posture was extremely important. “Boy, you must not stand around so sloppily”, or “lift your chin and show your chest” – this it what I had to listen to all the time. Even today, I remember it very well, and I am truly fed up with all these permanent admonishments.

Consequently, the Morbus Scheuermann was something that fit perfectly for explaining it in the eyes of my parents. And we had to go and see the orthopaedic specialists.

Today, I think an “upright spine” is far more important than a straight one. And an “upright attitude” is more important than how you carry your body. But, as opposed to the slightly crooked spine, the “not exactly upright” one is not an illness. Consequently, there is no therapy for gaining an upright spine and attitude …

As soon as you discover an illness, you need to cure it

So as soon as you have discovered an “illness” you have to “cure” it, although I do not know why. They measured my body – and in particular my spine – and then designed a cast in the size of my torso. At its sides, it had inserts. You can imagine them like small building blocks. These blocks pressed the body into an “S-“ shape that ran contrary to the wrong “S”. A long time later, I found them in the basement and had mixed feelings when throwing them away.

From then on, I had to squeeze my torso into this cast from neck to hips and sleep in this position. Since I was rather in control and at the time still rather obedient, this is exactly what I did. After all, in those days I was still ready to listen to reason. But – naturally?! – it helped nothing. My spine is still bent the wrong way today…

Perhaps it will help to make me “unfit for military service”

When I was 18 and had to go to the military medical examination, I thought that my Morbus Scheuermann might help me to avoid military service for medical reasons. Would that not have been a fair trade for my anomaly? But that hope, too, ended in disappointment.

Because the determining report for the second examination I had demanded was written in the hospital of the famous professor Guiliano (or some such). He was a very famous orthopaedic specialist and had his own hospital in Göggingen. Which means he was even richer than the other orthopaedic specialists. My memory of his name is somewhat vague, which means it might be wrong. In his hospital, you got your appointment together with thousands of other patients, so the reports were written as a collection.

The doors were opened and closed

So there I sat on a long bench in the hospital of the famous professor. On the same bench, waiting to be called before and after me, sat comrades in arms. They, too, had a Morbus Scheuermann and they, too, did not want to serve in the army. There were two doors. Whenever one person exited, the next was permitted to enter.

It stroke me that those of my comrades in arms whose term it was before mine exited from the left-side door with much happier faces than those who exited from the right-side door. However, when I realized what that meant, it was already too late.

The right door opened and I was called. And a nice young doctor told me that a Morbus Scheuermann, especially such an unobtrusive one as I had it, was no reason not to do your military service. After all, everything else about my body was quite fine. He said he was sorry, but I was fit to serve. And then, my face, too, no longer looked happy.

John can do it and Little John has to pay the price

Later, I heard that the boss of the hospital sat behind the left door. The doctor working behind the right door was his assistant. And since the boss was an active pacifist, he wrote in his report that all the young men he had examined were unfit to serve. In order to arrive at the right quota, his assistant had to write that all the young men he examined were fit to serve. Well, this was a typical example fofwhat it meant to be an assistant and also a good example for job-sharing. …

Consequently, my Morbus Scheuermann and my year in the cast were no help at all. Since I was also extremely clumsy when it came to conscientious objection, I had to serve in the army. And I served for 18 months – which, however, I considered more like a mixture between forced service and forced labour.

Of course, the assistant doctor was absolutely correct. A Morbus Scheuermann will not make a difference during a battle. And when there is war, you probably have no time to even think of it. Your ability to yell extremely loudly and make persons march up and down the road is not at all restricted by it. You can also easily teach the battalion and instruct freshmen how to use their weapons. And when it gets serious, I am sure it will not be a hindrance when you shoot other persons who have straight or crooked spines.

It is now more than fifty years …

Four persons wearing white shirts influenced me most when I was young. One of them was a general practitioner who liked prescribing expensive medicine and handing me on to experts. The ENT doctor performed the operation and stole my tonsils. The orthopaedic specialist is responsible for me having to spend many nights in a cast. The only one who actually sometimes took away great pain was the dentist.

In my perception, all these four were the richest persons I knew in the big city. They all oozed money, drove big cars and lived in great mansions. At the walls of their houses, you saw pictures showing foreign countries they had brought home from travelling those countries. That was something absolutely unattainable for me and my parents.

How life plays out

In my horizon, the only persons who were even richer than the doctors was the family who owned the meat processing company in Thannhausen where my two aunts worked. Said aunts had both not been trained in any profession, because they had been brought up to take over their father’s restaurant and farm. Except that destiny played havoc with their plans.

Because my mother’s family was expulsed from “their paradise” in the Sudetenland. As opposed to her sisters, my mother had had to leave her small paradise earlier, because there was no heritage left for her. Instead, she had to go to boarding school in the city and study at the university.

This is how she could work as a teacher after the expulsion and have a far better life than her two sisters. Strangely, though, she never understood how lucky she had been. As long as she lived, she always complained about how she had suffered under being sent away from home as a young girl.…

Money is not all in life

As I saw it, the Zimmermann family of Thannhausen deserved its wealth. After all, they produced delicious sausages and meat, all of which I rather liked. Their products were driven to Dinkelscherben in short freight trains and then made their way into the entire world. It was an excellent example for our economic miracle
I found all of this rather attractive. But what impressed me even more was that the meat producers had their own airplane and, behind the villa and the company building, their own tarmac.
😉 Well, I guess it was the business plane.
Those were the days.

Regardless of the doctors having seemed such rich people to me, I never wanted to be a doctor. The job looked just too amoral to me. It sounded slightly better to be an entrepreneur. Eventually, however, it was more or less by accident that I became an entrepreneur.
Such is life.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday June 5th, 2016

Vacationing on our Planet: the Cyclades

Today, Barbara and I woke up in Adamas, the harbour city of Milos. It was the eighth time we slept on our trip. The first time was on noisy Piraeus, then we went to the isles. We spent two nights on glamorous Santorini, three on the quiet island of Folégandros and two more on Milos. Much of the time was on the water, where we used three big ships and went on short trips on three smaller boats. Especially on Folégandros, we also did a lot of hiking.

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Milos was also a place where we had wonderful hosts, which is true for the entire journey, during which we spent our time with very agreeable people. I was surprised about hardly ever meeting Germans. Yesterday, we were again the only Germans on a trip on board a ship with fourteen persons from France, Great Britain, Island, Canada, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.

Today, at 14:05 hours, we will go to Serifos, where we want to spend two more nights before going back to Piraeus and then taking the underground train to our last overnight stay in an Athens hotel before boarding our train back to Munich.

It was an agile and slim trip, with little luggage and the simple idea that we visit a few Greek islands on the Cyclades. Barbara had prepared well, but she had made no actual plans except the flights out and back in and the first hotel in Piraeus. The entire route of the journey materialized on the way. For example, when we left Munich, I did not even know that Folégandros exists. But then, the recommendation by our landlady in Santorini was so unmistakable that we simply had to go there. And as it turned out, a ship left on the next morning. …

Under the Greek sun, I had an idea. As we all know, some people call such a trip “vacation”, so here is what they wrote: “Let us meet again after your vacation “. Well, fact is that what I did here is exactly what I do at home: 
I was on the move all the time, although not with my bike. And I learned, worked, wrote articles and enjoyed life. And I tweeted. Yesterday, I spent 11 hours on my Account rolandduerre (https://twitter.com/RolandDuerre):


Insight
My life is one long vacation on this beautiful planet earth – some kind of travel&work on earth. 
#ponderings  on #the meaning of life


I cannot get rid of this idea, which is why I will now relate it to you.

Isn’t my entire life one long “vacation” on the planet earth?

It has now been 66 years for me here as a resident. I was welcomed in a very friendly manner. However, as I remember it, the next few years were those during which I was to be educated, schooled and directed towards being a good and high-performance person. I even had to sleep in a (medical) cast – in order to correct my “Morbus Scheuermann“. That was when my joy about being a child was over. I was unhappy, because they wanted to convert me into something I did not want to be and neither did I understand it. I often heard the sentence: “If you continue in this way, you will end up a total failure!“ 
Luckily, I “continued in this way” at least to some extent. And in retrospect, I should have done more of this “remaining the same”. And what followed then were fifty more or less happy years. Now considerably fewer years remain to me than I have already lived. For instance now, during our Greek journey.

I am absolutely determined to enjoy the few remaining days of my trip through the Cyclades as much as the years that probably remain in my life. But I am just as determined to use them well. For happiness and for my project PEACE (FRIEDEN).

RMD
(Translated by EG)