Hans Bonfigt
Friday July 21st, 2017

The Power and the Glory

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Thursday July 20th, 2017

A Day With Love …

Exactly one month ago, I turned 67. Few people brought me a present, because my friends accept that I already have all I need. And that I do not care for useless gimmicks . I appreciate that this is how my friends treat me.
Luckily, once in a while, there is a person who makes an exception to this rule.
🙂 I am grateful for these exceptions, too. Paul, for instance, gave me the book:

A Day With Love by Moshen Charifi

It was a good thing to get this book because I often have the impression that I was born into this world equipped with many eyes. I already saw and experienced very much with my eyes.

Unfortunately, however, those eyes closed more and more as my life continued. Perhaps it was because of my socialization at home or at school or for whatever reasons.

Now, as I grow older, I get the impression that my eyes re-open to some extent. It is a process that you probably can also describe as “learning”. Consequently, I believe that “learning” can also be a synonym for “living”.

To say it in a nutshell: so far, I read half of the book and I notice that reading it has again re-opened several of my closed eyes. And this is how it also, again, added to my happiness.

The content of the book is quite banal, and yet it is totally breath-taking.
On a beautiful summer day, “LOVE” and “INFATUATION” meet to go for a walk. “Infatuation” wants to learn from “LOVE” and “LOVE” – who formerly also used to be “INFATUATION”, is happy to share her knowledge with “infatuation”.

While walking through the wonderful summer, they get into a dialogue about love. The experienced “LOVE” supports “INFATUATION” as she seeks it.
This dialogue turns into a wonderful and great metaphor that helped me to become a little more peaceful and happy.

I almost wrote “I found a little more love”. However, this sounds a little too strong for me and I also do not yet know if I am already prepared to accept such a huge thing (or if I will ever be).

The dialogue between LOVE and INFATUATION is full to the brim with small but wonderful insights. For instance, “infatuation” explains one of her weaknesses by the fact that she does “not want to lose face”.

However, the reply LOVE gives – in my words – is that you cannot lose face, you can only lose the mask that camouflages your face. Actually, I do, indeed, have many masks and I am always happy if I manage to lose one of them.

This is only one example out of many insights, all of which are part of the metaphor.

For me, the special quality of the dialogue between INFATUATION and LOVE is remarkable and particularly beautiful. It is the ideal pattern of how peaceful communication can be. It has not happened often that I witnessed and understood in such a nice way how non-violent communication can work.

I was deeply moved by how LOVE kept trying to hand her experience and knowledge down to “infatuation” in a way that was not indoctrinating. Without any form of arrogance or presumptuousness. How LOVE manages to relate to INFATUATION. And how she absolutely refrains from hurting or making INFATUATION look smaller because of her superiority.

And it is just as nice to read how INFATUATION reacts, replies after thorough contemplation and asks clever questions. And how LOVE again deals in a precise way with these questions.

Rarely have I understood so well – without any theoretical indoctrination – what the words consideration and communication mean.

Now I will imitate Paul and give the book to a few other people.

(Translated by EG)

My only regret is that I have never met the author Moshen Charifi. But who knows, perhaps that, too, will happen one day!

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 19th, 2017

Let me Say a Few Words …

Travelling in this world (1984)

What I heard on my travels.
Maybe something to think about.

Although or perhaps because I (almost) no longer go anywhere by car, I travel the world more than ever. And I experience many exciting and beautiful things. In particular in connection with the persons I meet when travelling. From them, I hear so many wise, new and important things.

And whenever I hear something that goes right to my heart, I remember it and write it down. To this end, I created a document that I can read everywhere. This morning, I read some of it while sitting on my Sunday sofa – and here is what I thought:

“What a pity that nobody else can read this“.

So now I am going to copy a few sentences/paragraphs from there – mostly written in the last few days – and share them with you.

Social solidarity is the central issue. It is the only way to make sure we can live together in peace. My formats – both the ones I realized and the ones I envision – aim at promoting tolerance through participation. I want to abolish prejudices and experience the added value of doing things together.
(Simon – speaker, trainer, moderator, doer, founder of the Kempten Founders’ Village, world-improver, expert for the young generation, spouse and father – whom I met one week ago in Kempten. Here is an excerpt from an email he sent to me).

The worst managers are those who are proud because they saved their enterprises from many wrong decisions.
(Founder – I do not remember who said it, I only remember I heard it last week during a business plan award ceremony)

Transition & Speed!
(Stefan – entrepreneur, IT expert, chess and billiard player, father; motto for the next year)

Re-write the script of his life
Human – you really have reason to be proud!
(Sociologist – in the Bayerischer Rundfunk; about the social change caused by the young generation)

What if no meaning is found – if only nameless horror remains?
(Walter Benjamin – philosopher who made me thoughtful; he is being listened to and read a lot)

A problem is a state of affairs that cannot remain as it is (and consequently must be solved)

Management seminars are “trickster seminars”.
(Gerhard Wohland – @GerhardWohland, learning counsellor; every truth is tomorrow’s error; spoken on the Dornbirn PM Camp 2016)

Optimism is something you always have room for more of – at least as far as I am concerned.
(Andreas Stichmann – Interview partner on the radio, author, word-game prize winner, literature; I just heard him on Bayern2 “radioTexte – Das offene Buch“)

I wish you all a nice and peaceful Sunday!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday February 28th, 2017

Prejudices, Aversions and Resentment will not bring PEACE.

The Way to PEACE Starts Inside Myself.

Last year, I spent a few days in the philosophic seminar with my friend Klaus-Jürgen Grün. Each time, I learned many new things. One of the topics of our philosophic research was resentment.

Staying with Klaus makes me thoughtful, staying at certain places encourages me to reflect.

Consequently, I started thinking about my own resentments. For me, aversions, resentments and prejudices are the little sisters of hatred. I want to find where they are inside me in order to prevent them from growing further and from taking possession of me.

Like hatred, they are a paradox. They, too, are directed against the “others”, but mostly damage the person who has them inside. Like fear, they happen between the ears and will make you aggressive and unhappy.
And that is certainly something that is not necessary. I do not wish to harm myself because I am prejudiced against others. After all, it is not logical, is it?

So I try to become aware of my aversions and resentments and ask questions about them. I know that they are based on prejudices, i.e., on totally irrational assumptions. And that they can cause terrible judgement in advance.
Basically, this is all about how everything goes without saying in my life. I find a new prejudice inside myself every day. They all cause negative communication and unfair treatment.

What is worse: I noticed that the very characteristics I hate most about myself are those I dislike in others. That is when I think I should first look for my own mistakes and, where possible, correct them. And after that, the world will already look totally different.

Consequently, it is a lot more constructive for me to start on the way towards PEACE inside myself. This is how I will become stronger, instead of pushing myself down because I get annoyed about others. Because it is as useless as a canker, gains me nothing and will harm nobody but myself.

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday September 22nd, 2015

Is ‘Social Justice‘ just a Misunderstanding?

Yes – if we continue to hold onto what we have been considering the definition so far! /1/

According to this definition, everybody, strangely, thinks him- or herself socially just yet at the same time laments about the growing injustice in this world.

It seems that this discrepancy is insurmountable.

ApfelpflückerWe are simply too much in love with our unclear terminologies. In fact, we actually wallow in the concept that ‘social justice‘ has to be some kind of ‘moral, egg-laying wool-milk-sow‘, rather than just a minimum standard for human behaviour consisting just a few rules even evil persons have to stick by!

If, however, we accept this definition, we soon find out that ‘social justice‘ tends to have little in common with ‘romantic equality‘. Instead, it has a lot to do with not-so romantic ‘voluntariness‘. And that this is why politics in general have an inherent structural problem when it comes to generating ‘social justice‘, even if it very industriously tries to find and remove ‘legal loopholes‘. It is easy to show this in three steps. All you have to point out is:

   A)  the common principle of ‘exchange justice‘,

   B)  the principle of ‘equal treatment and equality of results‘ and

   C)  the particularly apparent ‘distribution justice‘.

Let us take a closer look at all three of them:

   A)  After all, we basically have a very special form of ‘exchange justice’ when, in the name of ‘social justice‘, people demand fair prices and fair incomes!

For instance when it comes to: here the aromatic Alp Butter, there the ridiculous one-euro-eighty; or here the super manuscript and there the low fee. If we were to demand ‘equality of values‘, then we would need the general ‘principle of exchange justice‘! But how to objectively determine this ‘equality of values‘ for every individual exchange process?

For instance: would one ounce of gold be too much for a bucket of water in the Sahara if it means the difference between life and death? And are 50 cents too much for two litres of milk if someone has a lactose incompatibility? Or what is the adequate fee for a manuscript which, later, will only be pushed underneath the one too short table leg?

Doesn’t this mean that the ‘evaluation‘ of an exchange object is by nature a very subjective thing and that this value has nothing to do with equality? Especially since said exchange only takes place because all the parties concerned see the object of exchange differently, which is why each considers his own deal profitable.

Naturally, this ‘exchange profit‘ is just as unprovable as the ‘exchange value‘; but it is also clear that any profit can only exist and be proved if the exchange has been voluntary! Which means that an exchange is always ‘socially just‘ if none of the parties concerned has been forced to accept it!

Of course, this voluntariness in an ‘exchange‘ does not guarantee that both parties can get what they hoped to achieve. Neither is it a protection against erroneous decisions, such as for instance the imprudent purchase of low-price milk regardless of lactose incompatibility. But this is not necessary, either. Because the evaluation of the ‘exchange profit‘ is subjective, which means that it cannot later be forced into a wrong equality measurement just because someone had erroneously and intuitively assumed that this ‘equality‘ in an ‘exchange profit‘ is closely related to ‘social justice‘!

Consequently, we can conclude that prices and incomes are always socially just when they can be accepted without one of the parties having been forced to accept!

    B)  Now let us discuss the allegedly socially just ‘equal treatment and equality of results‘!

Again, our equality mania brings us into a similar logical one-way road, as can be easily shown with a simple example: If, under the aspect of equality, you ask a retired lady, a sportsman and a six-year old boy to pluck apples from a four metre high apple tree with a ladder standing at its trunk, you will get considerably different results; the help you will have to give will, indeed, be rather diverse, before all three candidates will have plucked the same amount of apples – which means they have equal results.

Since, however, there are no two identical individuals on this earth, you will never get equal results if you treat them equally, and vice versa!

And regardless of this fact being absolutely obvious, we keep demanding equality along with social justice. But if equality were really socially just, then the state of affairs where all persons are poorly off would, according to justice theory, be the best that could happen, wouldn’t it?

Luckily, nobody believes this! But still we insist that the logical consequence cannot be to stop seeing equality as a manifestation of social justice.

    C)  The tendency towards equalization is particularly apparent when it comes to discussions about ‘fair distribution’!

To distribute something means to hand out from a supply. Fair distribution demands that this has to done following certain rules. However, the fairness is most obvious when the owner does the distributing him- or herself, because then it is his or her will alone that counts. To be sure, it might be reasonable to consider the expectations of third parties, but that is not demanded by social justice! Social justice is served by the protection of ownership rights.

But it gets truly difficult when you cannot clearly define ownership, as it is the case with all political systems because the spheres of interests of the distributors and the recipients will often be identical. Conflicts are unavoidable and the ‘just solution‘ of said conflicts are not just a theoretical challenge, but mostly no more than a noble goal!

Compared to this, private persons and enterprises have a rather easy life, don’t’ they? All they have to do is not cheat, not steal, not use violence and not break contracts – and already they are just. They need not abide by more rules than that!

When all is said and done, this consideration not only generates a theory of justice, but also a surprising solution for economic and social politics: why not move as many decisions as possible to the private sector – since this is where you have clear and, according to what has been stated above, ‘socially just‘ circumstances?

Well, I assume this will remain wishful thinking, because many will still refuse to abandon the inacceptable ‘equality saturated‘ definition of justice! And they will be even less willing to forego the potential increase in power derived from this ‘usurpatory definition of equality‘!


/1/ Dagmar Schulze Heuling; „Was Gerechtigkeit nicht ist“; Nomos – Verlag Baden – Baden

Roland Dürre
Thursday July 23rd, 2015

Ada Lovelace and Unschooling?

Here is my introduction to the presentation “Learning in Innovation” by Bruno Gantenbein  “Learning in Innovation” as I would like to see it tonight. What I am going to say is meant to connect the person ADA LOVELACE both with the term “unschooling” and with “project management”.

Ada Lovelace 1836, Gemälde von Margaret Sarah Carpenter (1793–1872)

Ada Lovelace 1836,
Painting by Margaret Sarah Carpenter (1793–1872)

ADA LOVELACE was a very controversial lady. As I see it, she must have had a very exciting – both successful and desperate – life. Even reading about her in Wikipedia gave me the following ideas.

If we want to become masters of our profession, we have to exercise the “best practice” of great masters and make use of humanity’s experiences condensed in “design patterns”. Until we reach a dead end – where we have to say good-bye to what we learned. Now you have to rebel and question “things” like “but that is how we always did it”.

Consequently, learning means familiarizing yourself with patterns and sticking by them.

Learning in innovation, however, calls for breaking with patterns. Breaking old patterns and developing new patterns will lead to creative destruction. Thus, living in a social community means you have to not only accept but even use the compromise between your individual needs and the collective rules for your own unfolding.

We love the formatted life, because it is secure and comfortable. We are prepared to subjugate ourselves under morals, because we want to be good.

On the other hand, we crave for freedom and novelty. Because we know that a moralising society will take away our freedom and confine us, at the same time making us look small.

This is the case both in private life and in our work life (if the distinction is still permitted at all). In the social communities of our private lives, we permanently manoeuvre between often paradox positions. And the same is true for our professional lives.

Because the enterprise where we work is also a social system, albeit with an economic purpose. Leadership is communication and communication is, again, a balancing act – between listening and speaking.

I do not know many biographies more laden with the conflict between autonomous self-determination and external control than those of the great mathematicians and Mrs. Ada Lovelace. Spontaneously, the only other person who comes to mind is Nietzsche, who was born a little less than 30 years after ADA LOVELACE.

I think we can only be “good” project leaders, managers and leading personalities if our important projects are a success. To me, it seems like the most important project for all persons are their own lives. If we want to meddle in other people’s lives, the first thing we have to do is make our own life a success.

However, our own life can only be a success if we focus on the really important things and if we change habits detrimental to life. Consequently, I have to be prepared to unfold my own life autonomously and bring order into it. In my personal life, I chose my mobility. I try to avoid unhealthy mobility as far as possible. It is very simple, isn’t it? –

How am I supposed to live a self-determined life if, for example, I cannot even manage to do it with respect to my own mobility? Consequently, I have to change and practice. Instead of letting myself be externally controlled.

Well, this is what I associate with the disrupted life of ADA LOVELACE.

During the presentation by Bruno Gantenbein, I would recommend that you look for parallels with your own life.

(Translated by EG)