Roland Dürre
Monday October 2nd, 2017

QUESTIONS (NOT JUST) FOR ENTREPRENEURS

A no more quite “green” but still young entrepreneur in his Unterhaching office (1993 ?).

On June, 7th,
I asked several human and general questions.

And I supplemented them on October, 1st by writing a few theses about what it means to “be human”.

The current social consensus – if such a thing still exists – is something I understand less and less.

Today, let me ask a few questions concerning our “social market economy”. If that is something we here still want at all – because, for a long time, it has now only existed to a limited extent.

The economy is supposed to serve the people. Rather than vice versa. The same must be true for enterprises. They, too, are supposed to serve the people – instead of people serving the enterprise.

The Definition:
An enterprise is a social system that has an economic goal.
The goal of an enterprise is to create products and/or to generate a service. They develop structures and organize themselves. Enterprises have a structure that should actually serve the interest of the people and not work against it.

The Rule:
Common good is more important than profit maximization!
In a social market economy, the enterprises must realize a shared common-good economy. Bowing to the influence of lobbyists in order to increase your own profit is just as forbidden as externality (Externalität – costs being externalized). The principle that profit is privatized but losses are socialized cannot prevail!

And there are more questions:

  • Why are enterprises allowed to offer things that nobody needs? And why can they then artificially create the demand for it?
  • Why do enterprises that produce in the sectors armament and tobacco have the highest margins by far?
  • Why do concerns so often act criminally?
  • Why are criminal enterprises then even subsidized or socially accepted?
  • Why is it permitted that, for enterprises that work in the health sector (medicine, pharmacy,…), the shareholder value is more important than the mandate to make humans more healthy?
  • Why have so many enterprises (social systems with an economic goal) shed their human-based concepts and become systemically independent?
  • Why do we still have disciplinary bosses?
  • Why is work still measured in time units?
  • Why do even high-tech enterprises have punch cards?
  • Why is there no transparency to incomes?
  • Why do we need human source departments?
  • Why do top managers often earn many hundred times more than their employees?
  • Why do you need marketing if you offer high quality products?
  • What is the duty of marketing, other than manipulate people towards consuming?
  • What kinds of enterprises do we have if – with the help of lobbyism – they change the rules to their advantage and thus generate no end of damage to the common good?
  • Why is the “fear to lose your job” (without further consideration) a free ticket if you want to keep useless economic and social structures and if you want to destroy the environment?
  • Why is “change and modification” not at all possible if it threatens economic interests?
  • Why do they always point out how great the economic risks are, but ignore or question  the chances in all the discussions?
  • Why does the interest of the shareholders always have priority over the needs of the other stakeholders (employees, customers, providers, … )?
  • Why do so many people believe that privatization is the magic medicine that solves all problems?
  • Why are communal and/or state-owned enterprises still frowned upon and considered second-class enterprises, although, for example, many local providers show that they actually know what they are doing?
  • What is the practical advantage of “ethical fig leaves” like “CSR“ (Corporate Social Responsibility) or “BGM“ (Betriebsgesundheits-Management)?
  • Why do we not understand that enterprises, as social systems, are closer to being biological units than machines where, by turning the right screws, you can control and increase the turnout and profit to your liking?
  • Why is the consumer in theory the “protected holy cow”, yet in practice he is always more the “disregarded and hunted animal that consumes”?
  • Why is the stakeholder value still the end-all-be-all?
  • Why is everything just about growth and maximization?
  • And many more questions …

Basically, we all know what should happen. Isn’t it terrible that everybody knows it yet nobody is interested? Perhaps because money is the only metric unit that counts and that everybody believes in.

The highest human right in the elderly FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) is no longer the “dignity of man“; it has become “the protection of acquired possession“.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

I looked upon the world with a child’s eyes. And all I could do was admire it.

On June, 7th, I asked a lot of questions, see here.

But perhaps it is better if you first read this article and then deal with my questions.

They were questions about how irrational we humans are.

Questions that hurt me.

Because we ruin the world and destroy ourselves.

Because we are a society where this is all common knowledge, and yet we DO NOTHING.

Because these questions as such are already hard to understand and you cannot find an answer.

However, it gets worse when I start thinking about what it means to LIVE.

And all the things we CAN DO, EXPERIENCE and CREATE.

Things we CAN DO

  • We can THINK.
  • We can TALK.
  • We can FEEL.
  • We can LOVE.
  • We can DANCE.
  • We can DRAW.
  • We can SING.
  • We can DREAM.
  • We can TELL STORIES.

Our EXPERIENCES

  • We are man and woman.
  • We have children.
  • We live.
  • We are at a loss.
  • We are helpless.
  • We must die.
  • We are torn between helplessness and omnipotence.

What we CREATED

  • Language.
  • Script.
  • Mathematics.
  • Music.
  • The wheel, the lever, the wheelbarrow, the bike
  • Tools, machines and the internet.

We have become so prudent that we actually feel and know:

We cannot continue in this way!

Yet we do nothing.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday September 30th, 2017

Isn’t Life Nice if You Are Not on the Phone All The Time …

Sometimes I am not sure why, but it seems that, these days, I never have time to write. Perhaps it is because I enjoy life very much and take plenty of time off. Which means that IF Blog suffers.

Consequently, for reasons of efficiency, I use ideas I discussed with other persons as a basis for my articles. Which is what happens today.

For instance, if I have a new business partner and we plan to exchange ideas quite frequently (cooperating), then I ask him not to send me emails but instead to switch to a chatter of his choice. And I start a thread for us.

Besides, I ask my business partner to only call in case of emergency (for instance if I am late for an appointment) or if there is something really important that absolutely needs to be talked about immediately.

If necessary, I initiate a shared document or a shared documentation room and then the cooperation can start.

Once in a while, it is necessary to communicate synchronously. It can happen either “f2f “ (face to face“) or, depending on the topic to be discussed, in a nice coffee shop or in a working environment (quiet office with white walls and preferably white tables).

If the location-time threshold is too high, then “f2f” is too much of a nuisance and we use telecommunication technology instead. The worst-case scenario would be the classic telephone, mostly we use the videophone. We synchronize our appointments in the chat, but only for the near future. Because appointments in the far-away future would unnecessarily impair our freedom. And who knows if, a few weeks from now, a meeting is necessary at all?

If we are a team (more than two persons), then the good telephone conference is out of the question. In that case, I usually insist on videophones. Because I consider it rather sub-optimal to have a telephone conference with several persons simultaneously.

🙂 Incidentally, a telephone call is nothing other than synchronous transfer of voice over IP.

But here comes my article:


My mobile number is public knowledge. It is on my internet page. It is easy to find me there. Luckily, nobody calls me, not even bad bots that, allegedly, visit my website all the time in order to do this kind of thing. The number is also part of my signature and I still send far too many emails. Because there are so many persons who are immune to learning and insist on email, even sending files (especially word documents) via email.

So much about internet nonsense

Image by Christian and Daniel (©
Visual-Braindump 2016) during the last Dornbirn PM Camp.

But even in normal circumstances, the telephone does not ring often. My friends only call me in emergencies, because they know that interrupting people through the telephone is
not just impolite but also detrimental to the person you call. If the telephone rings all the time, I cannot concentrate on my work. And I do not want to throw away the most precious commodity I have: time.

So I rarely use the telephone. For instance in order to exchange ideas at a pre-arranged time. Which, then, will happen quickly and efficiently.

More and more often, I replace the classic telephone by videophones, face time, hangout, skype or some such. Simply because then I can see the persons I communicate with, and vice versa. We sit in front of the computer anyway, because, during our exchanges, we also trade information on another level (perhaps visually or audio). And then we write the results down while we talk. Mostly, we also write minutes, not because we need to prove something later, but because we want to preserve our results and conclusions.

If I were to talk on the phone all the time – as I frequently see it around me – I would manage to do only a small fraction of the things I actually do.

And that would mean I wold not have any time at all left for writing IF Blog articles. Or to travel and see nice places.
Some people I know, especially if they work in huge enterprises, cannot work during the day at all because of all the meetings.

They do the work at night. They talk on the phone during the two hours they spend sitting in their cars. Because this is rather practical, isn’t it? And then they complain that they have no leisure time left. Sooner or later, they will suffer from a burnout. This is not what I want to happen to me.

Consequently, my telephone is on “do not disturb” for 12 hours each day. Then no incoming call can disturb me. If I actively monitor my telephone, I, of course, notice that someone tried to call me. And if necessary, I can call back. And then I enjoy being a nuisance, because, after all, the caller, too, had accepted that his call might have been a nuisance to me.
Well, some people annoy me. So much on cell-phone etiquette or #newwork 4.0.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday September 15th, 2017

My USP :-)

What is my value?

When I was young, some adults called me a good for nothing who, they were sure, would never amount to anything. One of them was my mother. She said it to my face more than once. At the time, it annoyed and hurt me. On the other hand, it was not so bad, because I definitely preferred becoming a good-for-nothing to becoming the same type of adult person I sometimes saw in my vicinity. In my mother’s eyes, those were definitely no good-for-nothings. And it must be said that eventually, I, the black sheep in the herd (as I often felt) did not turn out too bad, anyway.

Being able to drink your beer in peace is of huge value.

Today, I voice my opinion on many topics, often give presentations and impulses, inspire young and older, female and male persons. This is how I want to help them towards becoming a little happier and more successful.
Some young start-ups and also some already quite established enterprises can rely on me as an actively involved party. I help them to find the right questions. Because these are the requirement for change and innovation.

I build networks for people all the time (if I believe they should be networked) and then I am happy if everybody benefits.

Once in a while, I ask myself:
Am I qualified to do it?
It is a question I myself cannot answer.

But, during the thinking process, I at least found my personal USP (“Unique Selling Proposition“).

I owe my unique selling proposition to a combination of three specialties of my life-line:

  • Firstly: I have been working with, at and for computers since 1969. The Germans call it informatics. During the first ten years (in the 1970ies), I mostly did “industrial informatics”. Consequently, I missed out on the “toy” computers Commodore and Atari to some extent. As soon as UNIX found its way to me (or I found my way to UNIX), I caught up in the pc sector. That was in the 1980ies. During those years, I did many things. For instance, I had an intense involvement with several operation systems, such as process computers, communications computers, main frames and distributed data processing. At the time, it was called MDT and had originated at companies like Kienzle, Nixdorf,  Olivetti and, of course, also Siemens. I was also part of software developing teams for remote data processing, storage, banks, transaction monitors and many other applications. And in the process, I used and sometimes also developed various assemblers and higher languages.
My personal highlight was the development of a window manager where I was part of the developers’ team. It ran both on graphic and digit-based end devices and was called Collage. Collage was also a Siemens AG product. However, as was – unfortunately – so often the case during the phase of the slow downfall of the sector data processing at Siemens AG, it had no chance on the market
    Matters continued in the same way and this is how I basically experienced everything that is important in digital life first-hand. This is why I call myself – not just in jest – an IT pioneer of the second generation. The honour of having been part of the first generation belongs to the founding fathers of electronic calculating systems: Konrad Zuse and my first informatics teacher in 1969, Professor F. L. Bauer of TH Munich (today TUM).
    In the 1990ies, my programming shoes were hung on the wall in more than just the symbolic sense. I remained true to IT – well, nothing else was imaginable – and I tried to remain up-to-date as far as possible when it came to digitalization.
  • Secondly: all my life, I was extremely lucky in that I always learned a lot, especially during those phases of my life that came after school and university (unfortunately, university was not at all where I learned a lot)! Mathematics certainly helped me to remain a critical spirit. However, in many fields, I acquired the most precious knowledge initially from older persons and later also from persons my own age and younger. 
Quite a few teachers, also outside my professional field, became friends with me. Examples are Klaus-Jürgen Grün and Rupert Lay. There were other great persons too who accompanied me as teachers. It started with my time at Softlab – where I had a very wise boss. I had to attend “personality-promoting” seminars, because it was a requirement if you wanted a managerial career (at the time, I still wanted a career). From that time, I remember an enterprise that called itself TPM (Training Psychologic Management). It was situated in Frankfurt and their founder was named Uhlenbrock (or something that sounded similar). He was in charge of my first seminar on the beautiful lake Starnberger See, from which I really personally benefited a lot. In those seminars, I not only learned from the trainers, but also from the other participants I met. 
I also want to thank the many colleagues whose professional competence I looked up to and from whom I learned so very much for the craft. Later (in the 1990ies), I often went to workshops with Simon Grand of RISE, an institute at Hochschule St. Gallen. Again, I met many nice persons and great enterprises and had terrific verbal exchanges with them.
  • 
I spent the last ten years mostly on Barcamps, besides playing an active role for the development and propagation of PM-Camps. I had a great time and met even more wonderful people than in the years before.
    Last not least, I also have to thank my children. It made me truly happy that I was given seven children. More often than not, I believe that I learned more from and through my children than from all the rest. Consequently, I know that living and learning are synonymous.
    As long as you live, you learn.
    And as long as you learn, you are alive!

  • Thirdly: I have always been a revolutionist who got considerably more criticism than praise for his “strange” opinions. Today, I have a positive explanation: I think that total breaking in, as it was practiced on children as early as during the 1950ies, did not manage to erase everything in me. A bit of autonomy, joy of life and basic trust remained in me. And quite a few attempts at indoctrination were in vain.
    Well, when I was an employee at Siemens and Softlab, I soon discovered that this was not my world. And I had the wish to become an entrepreneur and was lucky enough to make a success of it. Consequently, I had the chance to build my own world, the InterFace Connection GmbH
    The first ten years were like a dream. Our success came around almost effortlessly and we went beyond all borders. Unfortunately, I later made a number of entrepreneurial and human mistakes. And a few times, luck just was not with me. The enterprise survived these misfortunes quite well – and I now have a few more experiences of the kind: “what you should not do” . I am happy to let others benefit from my own experiences.

So I will continue for a few more years and enjoy doing so. And a little feedback will always make me happy. 
Especially positive feedback.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Wednesday June 7th, 2017

Just a Few Questions.

Roland on his first day at school

When I was young
I had only a few questions.

And I was often sad.

The questions have become more.

It has become harder to answer them.

The older I am,
the more I appreciate
and enjoy life.

And I no longer look for answers.

Because I understand less and less.

But the questions remain …

  • Why do we hate? After all, we know that the person who hates will suffer from it, while the person who is hated has no problem with being at the receiving end of hatred?
  • Why are we greedy but never content? After all, we know that greed makes us unhappy, while being content makes you happy?
  • Why do so many people exactly what they do not want to do?
    Why can lobbyists and marketing experts manipulate people so easily?
  • Why is it so easy to control us?
  • Why do we act against what our body, our brains and our heart need?
  • Why do we not act following the principle: “Give first, take later”, instead following the principle “An eye for an eye”?
  • Why are we set against enjoying work”?
  • Why do we call for an order that suppresses us?
  • Why do we believe we could indeed act responsible if there were no rules but that it is always the others who, unfortunately, cannot?
  • Why are we ready to sacrifice freedom for a little more security?
  • Why are we not prepared to live in the here and now, instead destroying the here and now because we think of the day after tomorrow?
  • Why do we not enjoy our happiness, instead destroying it by fearing future misery?
  • Why do we plan for events that will not happen anyway?
  • Why are we afraid of things that only happen in our minds?
  • Why do we destroy the bodies of people that could easily be our own?
  • Why do we even make our children look smaller, although we know that we ourselves would not wish to be made to look smaller?
  • Why do we buy plastic yoghurt containers although we know that plastic destroys the world?
  • Why do we drive cars although we know it makes us lazy?
  • Why can we not give up habits that we know are evil?
  • Why do we speak in favour of what is wrong although we know it is wrong?
  • Why do we make war, although we know that wars usually do not solve problems?
  • Why do we wage war in other countries, although war has become unthinkable in our country?
  • Why do we help terrorism to grow, although we detest it?
  • Why do we ruin our planet, although we know we only have this one planet?
  • Why do we not give our body what it needs? How about sufficient sleep and exercise and a healthy diet?
  • Why are we afraid to experience our body with lust?
  • Why do we treat time so sluggishly, although we know that time is a commodity that will never return?
  • Why do we refuse to think, although we have brains?
  • Why do we think we are the crown of creation?
  • Why do we think our certainties and convictions are truths?
  • Why do we turn a world of nature into a world of culture by replacing the natural sound of the ocean with the cultural sound of a noisy mega city?
  • Why do we believe growth is a solution, although we know that “less is more”?
  • Why do we expect help when we are in need, but do not help others when they need us?
  • Why do we keep poisoning the air we want to breathe every day
  • Why do we crave security yet love solitude?
  • What is social interaction?
  • What is love?
  • How can we solve the balancing act between “individually and collectively”?

These are probably far too many questions.

However, if you give me another twenty minutes, I am sure I will find more.

And still, I cannot answer them.

But now I would really like to read your questions. And which of my questions are important for you?

Or do you even know some answers!?

Thanks!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Monday May 15th, 2017

Kick it Out …

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Sunday May 14th, 2017

I

About Me

I am now writing a personal article. I see it as a Link in order to introduce myself to persons I meet for the first time. Consequently, I want to tell you what exactly I am doing and who I might be. That is, in addition to the trivial and nice facts that I have a huge family and many friends and that I try to live my life consciously and to enjoy it.


Yesterday:

I am an ex-programmer for whom the time came in life to hang his programming shoes to the proverbial nail. And then I became a more or less successful entrepreneur in the IT sector.

Today:

Today, I am financially independent. I try to serve nobody. And I try to make good use of my time, both in my own and other persons’ interest; that is: I try to live.

Thus, I try to share experiences and knowledge and at the same time to learn as much as possible. My most important commodities are my body and my time. Consequently, I try to spend time only with persons whom I particularly appreciate and like. Just like I also only start “projects” of which I believe I will enjoy them.

Today at noon, in the Großhesselohe Forest Restaurant. Wearing a Trump cap.

As a “learning mentor at eye-level”, I try – above all but not exclusively – to help young people towards becoming a little happier and more successful. I especially like doing this for entrepreneurs and enterprises (above all, I like to help start-ups). My method is to “listen and ask stupid questions”. In small groups, I sometimes organize “dialectic workshops” (something like Fahnenbildung etc.). Mostly, I work without charging anything for it. Special activities, for instance if I help someone to sell his company, cost money.
I gave myself some rules, for instance that no meeting will ever take more than 60 minutes (maximum exception 90 minutes in particularly hard cases). Whenever possible, my appointments are arranged at short notice and as the necessity arises.

On the whole, I try to live following the maxim: “agile, lean und open“. This is a little like the agile manifesto, the application of which should not be restricted to software development.
.
Tomorrow:

I would like to spend the remaining years of my life as an activist for PEACE and SOFT MOBILITY.


Well, so much about me. With compliments!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Wednesday April 19th, 2017

Time-Out.

Also from the Bike. And the Internet. But Much More.

Fear thee not – it is not yet “OVER”. Starting tomorrow (Thursday, April, 20th), I will be gone. But I will not be on the island. Only on the peninsula.

I will try something new. Something I never did before and something I probably would never have imagined doing. We want to hike the Peloponnesus. With only our backpacks. It is not at all very heavy, yet it contains everything we need. This is how we intend to hike more than 250 kilometres on simple paths of the mountainous area from north to south. And enjoy life in a tavern each day. You know: with Tzatziki and Retsina.

Here is one of the reasons why I am now ready for this. For me, too, driving the car used to be a common means of transport. Now I no longer use it at all. Now, riding a bike seems so natural to me that I take it even for small distances. Well, old habits die hard, don’t they? But on the other hand, I find it is not such a good idea.

I miss hiking and jogging, especially since I stopped playing soccer. So I want to “leave the bike and use the feet” (installation #2). You can call it a continuation of my mobility program “leave the car and take the bike!“ (installation #1). Now I want to realize it in everyday life and when I travel.

8Consequently, it is going to be a hiking trip, instead of the usual bike trip. Our premiere route as backpack nomads, will be the  hiking tour E4 from Diakopto to Gythio. Between April, 21st and May, 1st, we will have time to do it. On Tuesday, May, 2nd, we will go back to Munich from Athens.

We will travel to and from Athens via Lufthansa. From Athens airport, we will directly connect to Corinth by train and then on to Diakopto by bus. There, a hotel we already know will await us and on the morning of April, 21st, we want to set out. From our destination Gythio, we will take regular Greek bus services back to Athens.


The valley station at Diakofto

As likely as not, our hiking will start as late as Kalavryta. After all, there is a stretch of 22 kilometres on our first leg between Diakopto and Kalavryta (in Greek: Οδοντωτός σιδηρόδρομος Διακοπτού – Καλαβρύτων) that is covered by a narrow gauge railway a part of which works with gear wheel drive. Thus, we need not climb up the hills and the train will take us from zero to 740 metres above sea level.

Incidentally, Kalavryta is a legendary place. It is connected to the Greek Revolution (1821). The place gained a notoriety that, for me, is rather depressing. In December 1943, the 117th rifleman division.  of the Deutsche Reichswehr destroyed Katavryta along with 25 villages, killing 700 persons in the process – as says a report about the “strictest form of revenge”. We will pay this place a short visit, remember its history and then start on our journey through the Peloponnesus.

In order to keep the backpack light, I optimized, or rather minimized out luggage. For instance, as opposed to when on bike tours, I will travel without my laptop. This is a first in many years. Consequently, there will be plenty of internet abstinence (after all, UE roaming is not yet possible, either) and you will not read any IF blog articles written by me in the next two weeks.

Regardless, it goes without saying that I will be happy if you give the IF blog an occasional glimpse. I recommend: just read it accidentally. Why don’t you type “term” in the search window and see what articles you get.
You know, now the IF Blogs contains 3,118 articles, more than 2,400 of them were written by me. On all possible and impossible topics. There should be something for everybody.
And if you like an article, feel free to share it – on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or wherever you wish. That would be nice and make the hiker happy. And by way of thank you, he will often think of you when he is on the Peloponnesus. And perhaps there will also be a report.

RMD
(Translated by Evelyn)

Roland Dürre
Saturday February 18th, 2017

Farewell to a Good Friend.

Eulogy for Werner Lorbeer.

On April, 25th, 2016, my friend Werner Lorbeer died. Unfortunately, I only heard about his death after he was buried on May, 2nd, which means I was not there. It still hurts. I will never forget Werner.

For almost one year, I have now tried to find the right words to say good-bye to Werner in my IF Blog. I could not find them. My memory of Werner is still as fresh as on the first day.

Over the last few years before his death, Werner, Josef and I met every few months in Munich. We talked about “God and the World”. But in particular, we talked about the future. And about what we could do to make the future better. We were no longer very young, but still full of plans and ideas. These meetings were always beautiful occasions with a strong feeling of togetherness.

Werner (in the middle) with me and Josef drinking our Frühschoppen at the Weißbräu im Tal (2012) – the picture was taken by a nice waitress.

Werner was a person who enjoyed life. He also took a lot of responsibility. He was sick for many years, but fought his illness and was active for many good causes.

And he also regularly wrote IF Blog articles. For me, this was truly a lucky strike. If you wish to read all his articles, click here.


Like me, Werner Lorbeer had attended the Jakob Fugger Grammar School. Soon after I started there in 1960, I registered for the school chess team and met him there. He was a little older than I and one level above me both at school and in chess for eight years.

Even in grammar school, he played an important role and soon became “students’ representative”. He was equally respected by teachers and students and supported by all. Later on, we – together with other friends – did quite a few things in the school magazine “Brücke”.

In those days – and that never changed – he struck me as a truly nice person. He was a shining figure who, in a very special way, always acted exemplarily and in a surprisingly wise manner. He always lived his values, which were always very close to mine, with consistency. In short: he was an enormously wise person full of empathy and he had tremendous charisma.

I witnessed how he always respected and appreciated other people in an exemplary manner. For me, he was a quiet haven who always was sympathetic towards our mistakes. That is something that stood in total contrast to me: I always saw myself as a hothead who made many mistakes.

Werner helped me to overcome the desperation I was often consumed by when I was young. I believe he was also my friend. My relationship with him was definitely full of friendship, love and warmth. I have reason to believe that these feelings were reciprocated, which makes me very happy.

Consequently, I would now like to formulate a few ideas about Werner and our friendship. Because I do not really know how to define friendship and love. Once in a while, I think I feel it, but I really cannot understand it. Just like I also do not know what really is the “meaning of life”.

During our youth, Werner and I often had discussions about this and similar questions. I always felt that Werner had understood all the questions that seemed to bring me to desperation. For me, his help was essential.

A friend of mine once wrote:
In my definition, friendship is something one human being on this planet cannot have room to experience with twenty-thousand people (in the intensity I would demand) on this planet with all its biological restrictions (sleep, day-night, bio-rhythm, winter, summer, mental capacity,…). Not even for one thousand.

As I see it, this is a nice metaphor for friendship. I, too, believe you cannot have zillions of friends in one life. And that friendship is a rarity. But that is not really an answer, either, is it? Love is probably something other than friendship? Perhaps there is a close connection between the two?

Metaphors such as “being prepared to die for someone”, too, make me rather sceptical. Also “similar souls” or “a lot of sympathy and a high degree of similarity when it comes to values, expectations, interests and needs” does not really help. “Blind understanding over time and space” also seems nothing more but a nice metaphor. Rupert Lay, from whom – similar to Werner – I learned many important things, once said:

Tolerance is if you accept that someone else is different from you. Love, however, is if “you want the other person to be different from you”.

I find that metaphor great. I think it is also true for friendship. For me, following it means that Werner was a true friend, because I not only accepted but wanted his “being different from me” both for him and for me.

🙂 So I continue looking for the meaning of friendship and love and still do not know what it really is. The philosophers are not really much help, either. 🙂

And I am and remain sad about my friend Werner having left us.

Here are two small articles about Werner’s life from the Augsburger Allgemeine and a  report  by “Pro Augsburg“ written after his death. He was always very intense and successful when It came to the well-being of our home-town. And he achieved quite a few things the Augsburg people are happy about today.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For many years, Werner’s illness had not longer been a secret to me. When I heard about it, I was very depressed and described my feelings it in the IF Blog in a very personal post.

Hans Bonfigt
Friday February 17th, 2017

(Deutsch) Etwas außerhalb der Legalität

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