How to deal with the Knowledge that you won’t be alive much longer – 28 Oct 15

After having written about financial difficulties and difficulties in human relations, I would today like to write about a completely different issue that shakes your world if it comes up: if you get to know that you or someone who is very close to you has a bad illness or other health problem. I am obviously not talking about the common cold – no, I mean the news that someone has cancer, accidents in which an injured person loses a limb or becomes paraplegic. How to deal with such a situation?

Obviously, I will not give any kind of medical advice. For that, you will find a lot of qualified doctors who can help you through any possible therapy. I want to look at how you can emotionally and mentally deal with these situations.

Illness and death are the two situations in which you only have one option: to accept.

This is something that is much easier said than done and I am aware that anybody who finds himself in this position knows truly how difficult it is. If you know about the possibility that you may not live more than a year or two. If you know that you will never again feel your legs. If you know that your complete life will change because your partner now doesn’t have arms anymore.

The big point here is that you actually have no other option than to accept. Accept the facts and then make sure that you make the best out of the situation in front of you.

If you or your loved one know that the time for one of you is strongly limited, make every effort to make these days, weeks or months the most beautiful ones. Create lots of happy memories for those who will be around longer. Do things that you always wanted to do but always kept for later. See the beauty of this world together with those you love. If you have any talent for writing, I would even suggest to note down what you are going through so that others in the same situation can draw strength from your experience!

If you survive whatever it is that you have gone through, even if it is with a loss and a clear change to your life, appreciate every single second you are alive! For nearly every situation, there is someone who is in a worse situation. Have you seen the video of a motivational speaker who doesn’t have arms nor legs? It is incredible to hear him speaking about the joy of living!

Accept whatever it is that you have to live with now and create your life around it accordingly. Once you start accepting, you will notice how many caring people are around you who are ready to help and support you in every way they can! Accept not only your situation but also help of others when you need it.

It is difficult, of course, but once you start accepting, it will get easier and you will be able to see positive things in life again!

Devotion or Lack of Devotion responsible for Success or Failure of Relationships – 6 Jul 11

In the last weeks, while working all over Germany, I have given a lot of individual sessions. There were two sessions that I felt I would especially like to tell you about in one of my blog entries. They took place one after the other.

At first, a woman came to me who told me she is now a bit older than 60 years. She was determined to make a change in her life at that age. She did not come for counseling to ask me whether she should or should not make this change but already had decided that she definitely would change. She came because she had a bad conscience and felt guilty. She wants to separate from her husband, who is 80 years old. They have been together for 40 years and have two adult children. She said now she would like to do something for herself.

Just right after that, a young couple, both in their thirties, came to meet me. They have been in a relationship for three and a half years but as they live quite some distance apart from each other, they could only meet on weekends. Sometimes he came to her town, sometimes she visited him. Five months ago, the young man fell down from the roof of his house where he was working. He broke his spine and is now in a wheelchair. He is still being treated in the hospital and she picked him up to come to me together. They now make plans how they will go on living their lives with this change. They decided to move together, close to where she works and are happy that they can now make this step.

If you have read the two paragraphs above and came until here, I think I don’t need to tell you much about what was going on in my mind. It is the same that you are feeling now. These two stories are about the same topic but the persons go in completely different directions. The topic in common is clear: devotion. To both couples something happened that nobody could prevent. For the older couple, it is simply age. Everybody gets older. For the young couple it was an accident, something that can happen to anybody and at any time. In one story there is no devotion, even after spending this much time together. There doesn’t need to be a proper reason for separation, the lack of devotion is enough for the wish to leave. In the other story there is a lot of devotion. It shows the commitment, strengthens love and gives a nice feeling to the couple and to whoever hears this story.

Sexual Abuse of Handicapped Girls by Charity Organization – 7 Mar 11

Last week I got to know about horrible news. In Panvel, close to Mumbai there was a charity trust, a NGO, a non-governmental organization, which was running a home for handicapped girls from 12 to 16 years old. Some of them were deaf-mute, could not hear nor talk.

Medical reports proved that 5 of these girls have been sexually abused.

The police arrested 4 people of the organization and are now trying to find out more. What they know for now is that these helpless girls were abused and that the organization even made business by offering them to men. They were renting them out, sending them to people’s homes and picking them up again from there. It is like trading humans.

How horrible this experience must be for these children! They are not able to resist in any way and cannot even explain what they experienced. Several of them however must have been aware of what happened! Locked in their own body they had to endure, unable to do anything against this crime.

What kind of person does this? Who are the sick people who pay for such a crime? And even take pleasure from this most horrible way of raping and abusing children? It is sometimes unimaginable that such people exist in this world!

But still, this is not a singular case! It is only one nursing home that was discovered for their dirty work now but what about the hundreds or thousands of such institutions all over the country and the world which are never inspected? Nobody knows how many such places exist where children are badly abused. In all countries where there is a lot of poverty, you find such homes and orphanages where the conditions are simply horrifying. I know that abuse and violence is very common there although these are the places where there should be love and compassion.

These children, orphans or children who are handicapped – physically or mentally – need our love more than anything else. We need to provide them an atmosphere of love because they may not even understand our words. It is a sad state that this world is in if these children cannot even get the love that they need.

German System in Every Detail – 8 Jul 10

When we told yesterday’s train story to Thomas and Iris, they laughed, too, and said that it was a very typical German feature to want to have things proper, the way they should be, how you planned it and how it was organized. Sometimes there might be an easier way or it would be just unnecessary to go through all the planned steps but for a German mind it is clear to do it the way it was thought through before. And there is a plan and system for everything!

Thomas told me about a story which made me laugh, too. In a bus there is always a seat or two reserved for handicapped people so that they are surely able to sit down. There are cards, like identity cards, that certify that a person is handicapped and to what degree.

This special seat was occupied by an elderly lady. Another woman of approximately the same age entered the bus, which was otherwise full, and steered towards that seat. She said to the sitting woman: ‘This seat is for people who are physically impaired!’ The answer came promptly: ‘Well, I am.’ And she pulled out her card to show it. Seeing this, the lady who was still standing got a triumphant smile on her face, pulled out her own card and held it out nearly shouting: ‘Yes, but you see, my percentage of disability is higher than yours! I have the right to sit on this seat!’

We had to laugh about this comparison of how much impaired you are and the system behind it that it is only right and just if that person can sit. Well, of course it is, but it is also funny and I just hope that at least one other person then got up and offered their seat to the second lady so that they could both have a pleasant bus ride.

More Support in Education for Handicapped Children – 19 Oct 09

On one of the last days I read in the newspaper that the Indian government now decided that there should not be school fees for handicapped children. When I read this news I remembered my visit to the school where my friend Thomas works.

Thomas is here now at the Ashram and also our friend Helga who also works at the same school. We are also friends with their principal who visited the Ashram in the summer. They all were happy to see our school after I had seen theirs. And when I was there I also wrote in my diary how great work they are doing for these children. The government also supports this financially as I heard and provides transport and a certain budget to buy education material.

In India this awareness just seems to start. I will be very happy to see that handicapped children as well as poor children get more support in their education. Because, as I always say, they are the future of our world and we need to take care of them.