Roland DürreThursday May 9th, 2013
Please forgive me for writing this article on Ascension Day – nowadays better known as “All Father’s Day”. I just experience, once again, how people have been traumatized because other persons (and their social systems) think they own the absolute “truth”. That hurts. Consequently, here I am again, trying to make a statement about virtues and vices. Even at the risk of talking beyond my own competence.
I doubt if such as thing as “the truth” even exists. We with the all the limits of our human existence only have certainties. They have nothing to do with the radical term “truth”.
Yet it is those certainties of ours we torture each other and ourselves only too often with. Consequently, I hope that the time for these truth claims will someday be a thing of the past. Just as I believe that words like guilt, morals or even revenge should become something we no longer need.
Unfortunately, it still happens that so-called truth is used for dogmatic purposes and then demanded of as many persons as possible, often using psychological force. And the subsequent moralizing makes us suffer and causes unhappiness and illness in many of us. That is bad!
The important virtues for a life lived with responsibility and social conscience are tolerance, ethical behaviour in the sense of humane decisions made according to shared and ethically responsible values, transparency and civil courage!
For instance, I believe humans basically wish to live autonomously and yet socially acceptable in communities. And that human happiness is nothing other than succeeding in making the opposing ends individuality and collectiveness meet in a healthy way. And the rest should be manageable autonomously with respect, ratio and common sense!
If we can do that, we will also re-discover our courage and joy in life.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreThursday May 2nd, 2013
Ethics and enlightenment, too, are some kind of belief.
This sentence was something that really was hard to digest for me.
I used to believe that I am a non-believer. After all, I question everything and follow the principles of enlightenment and reason. I try to behave “ethically” – meaning that my decisions are based on a balance of values following a value system I myself worked out in a very responsible way. That would be a value system I consciously strived hard to achieve, having taken pains to finally arrive at a formula that is compatible with the world consensus which, for instance, can be found in the Golden Rule or in the UNO Charta. We are talking a value system where tolerance and civil courage are extremely important.
And then it dawned on me that this certainty of mine is also just a belief. It means that I, too, believe in something like the Christians, Jews and Muslims believe in a personalized God, or like other religions believe in their deities or just something higher in general. Or like the atheists happen to believe that there is no God. And they will probably soon come up with the foundation of a religion of their own. To be sure, this sounds logical, but then it seems to be a contradiction in itself.
Incidentally, I never asked myself the question whether or not there is a God. At least not as long as I can remember. Simply because I know I am not good at these kinds of topics. After all, it would mean that I know I know nothing.
Today, I would say: “I think I know nothing”. Well, I do not know anything and neither can I know anything… It all happens just between the ears. And how should I know if something we humans ourselves invented actually exists?
It is also part of my belief that there is no absolute truth. This is also because truth happens between the ears only. Besides the fact that “between the ears” is often a very chaotic place. As I see it, the head is capable of a lot of fantasy, but it is probably too small for reality. So how could the result be some absolute truth – if it was we ourselves who invented or felt everything?
Consequently, I now believe that all we think we know is just belief – some kind of religion. And the only hope that remains for me is that my own belief – in enlightenment and reason (which probably do not exist either, because they, too, are only our experience) – will be more help to me than the belief of others. Especially when they want to force their belief onto me (and others) – and threaten to punish us when and if we do not convert.
My second hope is that my belief in enlightenment, ethics and reason is probably a little more humane and ethical than all the varieties of believes you come across in this world.
However, I kissed the illusion that enlightenment, reason and ethics are absolute truths good-bye.
(Translated by EG)
Well, this is one of those texts you can only write during a lonely train trip – in this case it was from Munich to Stuttgart.
Roland DürreSunday February 24th, 2013
I fear many things. Death and the devil make me nervous. I am afraid evil things might happen to people I am care about. The enterprise is always on my mind. Will we manage to get the turnover we need? And also, I very often fear I might make a mistake – or have made one in the past.
When that happens, I ask myself if, maybe, this is not a little over the top. Basically, I am, after all, not a fearful person, am I? Most of my worries are, apparently, some sort of “fear of the bogeyman“. And I think I am far too worried about all the many accidents that might happen.
But then, to my surprise, I notice that other people are mostly even more worried than I am. And some of them are really suffering.
The richest of my friends suffers from the fear of losing his livelihood. Whenever I ask him what he thinks he will need all that money for, he tells me he might get a really complex illness – and then he would wish to get the best possible medical treatment. Which really might be quite costly.
Another one of my friends gets a nice pension and lives in his mortgage-free house. His wife is younger than he and a civil servant. They also have additional security to fall back on in old age. But he is afraid of what it might mean financially if he were to become a nursing case. Mind you, the financial side is more worrying for him than the actual fact of perhaps being “nursing case”.
The couple has some children and are always worried something evil might happen to the kids. Mother is afraid that her daughter might act “stupidly”. After all, she wishes for her offspring to have a better start in life than she had …
One female friend can never leave home without carrying her mobile phone, because otherwise she would be afraid this might be the one time the cell-phone would have been necessary for saving her life …
This is how I can think of more and more people who are no longer courageous. Instead, they let themselves be downtrodden by fear. Full of anxieties, they have abandoned the flourishing of their life in many dimensions. Instead, they have reduced their horizons totally needlessly.
And then I remember that all this fear basically happens between the ears. And that the better off we are, the more we get strangely worried. And the more safety there is all around us, the more we feel exposed.
Those are the people I wish to address with vehemence:
Abandon all fear! Take heart!
Because happiness, too, happens between the ears. And happiness is what we want to promote. It will give us even more courage. And joy along with it. And with joy, there will be success. That is the only way to minimize fear.
My good intension is:
I want to promote feeling joyful about the small things in life, thus not giving fear of all the evil and potential risk and hazards around me the slightest chance.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreWednesday February 20th, 2013
I keep encountering a strange fear of transparency and clarity. Basically, I cannot understand it.
Let us assume I have private things stored in my attic or basement. Nobody is supposed to know about these things. For instance the uniform of a club where I do not want anybody to know about my former membership. Or maybe some fetish because I am superstitious. Or the latex costume and the leather whip. Not to mention dirty things such as Dildos.
Or assume I own a pistol. A piece of beautiful mechanics, but unfortunately it is subject to the weapons legislation.
I want nobody to know I own it. Perhaps my bourgeois soul would be ashamed. Or I might be afraid of betrayal. That would probably be a good reason for my desire that nobody should ever know about this perhaps unpleasant part of my private life.
Perhaps it is only some “forbidden” books I am hiding. Or books where I would find it embarrassing if anybody knew I read this kind of stuff. Or maybe pictures with memories I do not wish to share with others. Or a very intimate collection of letters I want absolutely nobody to read.
These are all examples for my real, non-virtual privacy that does not consist of “data”.
I could hide all these things in a chest and secure them with a huge lock. The key to said lock could be hidden in a very secret place. And I could write a note saying “On my death, please destroy unopened” and attach it to the chest. And I could hope that someone will then respect my wish.
Except what use would it be? Is it at all realistic?
If I refrain from putting the self-perceived disgrace of my life into a chest with a lock or destroying it, there will come a day when someone notices it. That day will be the day of my demise. On that day, someone will have to clear away my household utensils. Then he will find all of it – and start wondering.
And then there is an end to my privacy. Well, at the time, I will not really mind, will I?
Basically, books, letters and pictures are not really objects, are they? I could digitalize them and store them in the Cloud. But that is something I will write another privacy article about.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreTuesday December 18th, 2012
A short time ago, I told you in the IF blog about the Christmas Greetings I received from Klaus-Jürgen Grün. Klaus-Jürgen belongs to the realm of philosophy. He is a good friend of mine – and I learned a lot from him.
At TEDxRheinMain, Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Grün gives a presentation about the mechanisms of the incorrect speech.
„Political Correctness is basically nothing other than the fear of having to accept your own evil.”
Here is his presentation on Youtube:
Or also: why the word “because” should be replaced by the word “although”. Especially if “because” is often used for reasons of “moral justification”.
(Translated by EG)
You will find another nice presentation by Klaus-Jürgen Grün on my youtube-channel “rolandduerre”:
The Art of Negative Thinking …
Roland DürreSunday December 16th, 2012
I received very special Christmas Greetings from my friend Klaus-Jürgen Grün. He and his team at PhilKoll live in the realm of philosophy.
I am now downloading it to the global and eternal internet. As we all know, said internet will never forget. After all, I wish to share nice texts and preserve them for posterity.
In his award-winning article: “On the Basis of Morals“, Arthur Schopenhauer tells us his definition of the festival of love:
But for me personally, there is no better prayer than the closing lines of dramas in ancient India (and also those of English plays performed in front of the king).
They were: May all living creatures remain free from pain.”
Somewhere else, he reminds us that the so-called religion of love
clearly is deficient in a huge and important aspect, in that it limits all its regulations and leaves the entire world of animals without rights.
It is different in moments of happiness
for the Brahmin or Buddhist. Instead of roaring a „Te Deum“, he goes to market and buys birds. Later, after having walked out of the city gates, he frees them.
No further comment!
(Translated by EG)
Arthur Schopenhauer (* February, 22nd, 1788 at Danzig; † September, 21st, 1860 at Frankfurt/Main) was a German philosopher, author and university teacher. On October, 18th, 1813, he earned his doctorial title from the University of Jena for his work: “Ueber die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde” – About the four-fold root of ample-reason-axiom.
Well, that is almost 200 years ago now!
I took both the picture and the signature from the central media archive Wikimedia Commons.
Roland DürreSaturday December 8th, 2012
Yesterday, we had a beautiful InterFace Christmas Party. A total of 200 persons, consisting of employees and their families, celebrated a successful 2012.
At InterFace, too, we have the principle: “No Christmas Party” without “Christmas Speech”. Here is my little speech, more or less verbatim, after the obligatory welcome address (and the interruption by Jean Paul ).
(Welcome all guests)
It is now almost thirty years for me that I have been with InterFace AG. I started as a no-longer-quite-young founder – after all, I was already at the terribly old ager of 33 when we established InterFace Connection. Compared with some of our young friends who today successfully lead start-ups, this sounds rather old. Now, I have turned entrepreneur senior. Consequently, I take it as my prerogative to come up with a few personal ideas and, if possible, speak a few wise words.
What is the meaning of life as you get older?
My personal reply is: as long as you add new experiences to your life and keep learning new things, it is a joy to live. Learning has many meanings: understanding different things that initially looked quite strange to you. Understanding new things. Moving ahead mentally. But also being able to finally put something into words which you had already intuitively felt.
It is my true delight that, again, in 2012, I was allowed to learn many new things. As I perceive it, there were actually more new things to learn during this year than in many other years of my life before. That makes me happy. When I prepared for this speech, it was my idea to give you a short list of what I learned in 2012. The list, however, grew so long that the word “short” would have been a lie.
Consequent, I will now restrict myself to a topic that should not be overrated, yet it is important in some way or other for all of us. I mean the term “success”.
In many Christmas Speeches, you will hear the noun “success” – the same is true for the attribute “successful”. Today, many speak of a successful year 2012. Well, so do we.
But what exactly is success?
There is no objective/neutral definition of success. Every person, every enterprise, every community has to specify individually what success means to them and what criteria they have for measuring said success.
But then, how to be successful? As I see it, it looks hard, but it is quite simple.
In order to be a success, you need a good education. It is about experience, competence and knowledge. Additionally, you probably need a few humane qualities, such as “being a good listener”, “having emphatic competence” and “liking people”.
That is the basis. Now all that is left is to have the necessary courage for the future. We will certainly not be able to achieve anything if we are afraid. So after we have courageously started, we have to find the right amount of joy. Both for what we do and about the job we did well.
All we need then is a small amount of luck – and then it is almost a law of nature that we will be a success.
In the end, we should share our success with many others. If we, then, even manage to take the people around us like they are and accept how they work, then the path towards “happiness” is not far away.
So here is my wish for the New Year! Let us together try many new things and diligently work on our qualities. Let this be what gives us courage for the future! Let us take the people around us like they are. Let us share our knowledge, our experience and our success. Thus equipped, we can confront all future challenges with a heart full of joy of the material and of life. And we can thus give happiness both to ourselves and others.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013!
Roland DürreWednesday December 5th, 2012
Even though I decided to no longer have an advent calendar, I am still taking the liberty of writing down a number of “adventy” ideas.
In December, the nights are long. The days are cold and a biker will suffer under the ice-cold and wet North-Wester. Having spikes on the tires makes it even harder to accelerate as you are illuminated by the cars’ headlights. You find out that the gloves you wear are too thin for this cold weather after all and the cars smell even worse than in summer.
It is a good time for getting thoughtful and also for sentiment and suffering. And the biker will start pondering about life, the universe and everything. And why he believes that our still so very male world can only improve if it gets a little more female. After all, we use the female article in German when we speak about “the“ world, don’t we?
And then he remembers Ina Deter, who, in our modern times, unfortunately has long since been forgotten. In 1986, this here was a very important song:
Ina Deter & Band – Frauen kommen langsam aber gewaltig!
You do not want to miss listening to it. And in Youtube, you will find many more great songs by Ina: “Mit Leidenschaft”, “Neue Männer braucht das Land”, “Keine Gnade”, “Ich habe Angst”, “Zusammenleben und Freisein” … These are all very special songs!
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreFriday October 19th, 2012
After the “fish bowl” of the first section and a short break, we continued with our technological IF Forum “Project Coaching” on September, 25th, 2012 here in Unterhaching. Our only female speaker, Nadja Schröer-Petranovskaja, spoke after Jens as the second of three speakers. She sensitized us with her stories on “purpose, non-meaning and chances in life“. And she motivated quite a few among us to start a little project management for our own lives.
The Third Technological IF Forum was about “Project Coaching“, part of which was “Best of PM-Camp“.
Nadja, too came all the way from Hamburg to Unterhaching for her presentation. That is not the only reason I wish to specially thank her very much for her rather unusual contribution on projects and coaching. I recommend you visit her website henneei.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreMonday October 8th, 2012
A very simple sentence. Only eight words. A friend of mine heard it as the motto of an event. She considered this sentence important enough to use in one of her own presentations:
There is no True Life in Wrong Life.
That is how the sentence found its way to me. It seemed to be special to me. Consequently, I looked up where it originated. And, surprise, surprise, I found out it is from Jürgen Habermas. Well, I remember the “Non-Hierarchical Discourse” (“Herrschaftsfreie Diskurs“) and many more concepts I find important.
I spent quite some time thinking about this sentence. Both in a resigned and positive way. And I found numerous interpretations. And then I came up with a variation:
In False Life, Too, True Life is Possible!
Logically, this sounds like a contradiction. But that is not how I feel about it. Rather, I think my sentence might well complement the sentence by Habermas.
My sentence makes it clear what a huge challenge it is to lead a true life.
But: is that not also true to the same extent for freedom? Don’t you need a strong will and immense effort in order to “live in freedom”?
Consequently, I found a new definition of freedom for myself:
A person is free if he or she manages to live a true life even in a wrong life.
I will add this definition to my “Freedoms”.
(Translated by EG)