Please read if the Aim of your Life is all about Money – 4 Oct 16

I yesterday wrote about parents who want to support their children financially, which is why they keep on earning and working and saving. There are others, however, who have already saved a lot of money, who don’t have children or whose children are already more than well established but who still work like crazy. Just for earning and saving more and more.

I have met quite a few rich people who have such a mindset. It seems as though money is the most important thing in their lives and nothing could keep them away from saving more. Now don’t get me wrong, of course it is wonderful for everyone who is able to earn and save a lot of money. There is a point however when there is not much of a difference anymore. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, you will not be able to spend it all in your lifetime!

This obsession with money is something I have seen all around the world. More and more and more to a point where it gets ridiculous!

I believe that this inequality would need to change. This wealth in the hands of people who cannot spend it in their lives no matter how much they try should somehow benefit those who are in need of support! Those who starve, who die because they couldn’t earn enough to even buy a piece of bread. Those who die because they cannot afford healthcare and are denied help that would save them.

If you have that much that you just earn more and more without even needing a single penny of it ever in your life, I would like to ask you to consider giving to charity. Help others with what you have! It will surely give you a much bigger satisfaction than counting the zeroes on your bank account!

Finally, just one more thing: it is never money that makes happy. I know, it is nice to feel secure. It is good to know you won’t starve. But money will not give you the happiness and love that friends and family can give you!

Bitte lies das, wenn sich dein Lebensziel rund ums Geld dreht – 4 Okt 16

Gestern habe ich euch über Eltern geschrieben, die ihre Kinder finanziell unterstützen wollen, weshalb sie immer weiter verdienen und arbeiten und sparen. Es gibt jedoch auch andere, die bereits jede Menge Geld verdient haben, die keine Kinder haben oder deren Kinder bereits sehr gut gestellt sind, die aber noch wie verrückt arbeiten. Nur, um Geld zu verdienen und immer noch mehr zu sparen.

Ich habe schon viele reiche Leute getroffen, die so denken. Es scheint, als wäre Geld das Wichtigste in ihrem Leben und nichts könnte sie davon abhalten, immer noch mehr zu sparen. Versteht mich nun nicht falsch, natürlich ist es toll für jeden, der viel Geld verdienen und sparen kann. Es gibt jedoch einen Punkt, an dem es keinen Unterschied mehr macht. Es ist egal, wie viel du verdienst, so viel kannst du in deinem ganzen Leben gar nicht mehr ausgeben!

Diese Besessenheit mit Geld ist etwas, was ich schon auf der ganzen Welt gesehen habe. Immer mehr und immer mehr bis zu einem Punkt, an dem es lächerlich ist!

Ich glaube, dass sich diese Ungleichheit ändern muss. Dieser Reichtum, der sich in den Händen derer befindet, die ihn ihr Leben lang nicht ausgeben können, egal wie viel sie es versuchen, sollte irgendwie denjenigen zu Gute kommen, die Hilfe brauchen! Denjenigen, die verhungern, die sterben, weil sie nicht einmal genug verdienen, um auch nur ein Stück Brot zu kaufen. Denjenigen, die sterben, weil sie sich keinen Arzt leiten können und denen deswegen die Hilfe, die sie so brauchen, verwehrt wird.

Wenn du so viel hast, dass du immer mehr verdienst, ohne einen einzigen Pfennig davon im Leben jemals zu brauchen, möchte ich dich bitten, an eine wohltätige Organisation zu spenden. Hilf anderen mit dem, was du hast! Das gibt dir sicher ein größeres Gefühl der Zufriedenheit, als die Nullen auf dem Kontoauszug zu zählen!

Schließlich nur noch Eines: es ist nie Geld, das glücklich macht. Ich weiß, es ist schön, sich sicher zu fühlen. Es ist gut zu wissen, dass man nicht verhungern wird. Doch Geld gibt dir nicht das Glück und die Liebe, die Freunde und Familie dir geben!

Please read if the Aim of your Life is working to save Money for your Offspring! – 3 Oct 16

I yesterday wrote that you should enjoy your work, as it takes a big part of your day. At the same time I mentioned that a lot of people could also cut down on work and work for just a little less money. They could really be happier in their daily lives. And this is something I would recommend to a lot of my Indian countrymen: work less and enjoy life more instead of working and trying to save everything for your offspring!

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I also save money and of course I also think about my daughter and her future. I know a lot of people however who forget that life is about joy and spending time together, too, not only about working and saving and saving and working!

You have managed to secure your own living and you are making money. Now you are worrying about your children. You have supported them while growing up and you are still continuing this support. You work longer than you would need to so that you get extra money.

Have you ever thought that it might be more important for your children to have you there in person, to be with you, have you as an example, a living and real person and not just someone their mother tells them about? Or whoever takes care of them – it is not only men earning money after all!

Finally, once you have taken care that your kids can go to a school and learn for their own education, don’t you think they will manage further on their own? That they should enjoy living their lives with every challenge that is included? You have made sure that they are able to take care of themselves – now let them put this into practice!

Really, I don’t say you should let your children down or never support them financially. You should however not forget living your own life or bury yourself in work so that whatever they know of you is that you always worked a lot!

I am sure your children will appreciate it!

Lies das, wenn es das Ziel deines Lebens ist, Geld für deine Kinder zu sparen! – 3 Okt 16

Gestern habe ich geschrieben, dass man seine Arbeit genießen sollte, da sie einen großen Teil seines Tages einnimmt. Gleichzeitig habe ich erwähnt, dass viele Leute auch etwas weniger arbeiten und etwas weniger Geld verdienen könnten. Sie könnten in ihrem täglichen Leben wirklich glücklicher sein. Und das ist etwas, was ich vielen meiner indischen Landsleute empfehlen würde: arbeitet weniger und genießt das Leben mehr, anstatt zu arbeiten und alles für eure Nachkommen zu sparen!

Oh, versteht mich nicht falsch, ich spare auch Geld und natürlich denke ich da auch an meine Tochter und ihre Zukunft. Ich kenne jedoch viele Menschen, die vergessen, dass es im Leben auch um Freude und die gemeinsame Zeit geht, nicht nur darum, zu arbeiten und zu sparen und zu sparen und zu arbeiten!

Du hast es geschafft, deinen eigenen Lebensunterhalt zu sichern und du verdienst Geld. Jetzt sorgst du dich um deine Kinder. Du hast sie unterstützt, als sie aufwuchsen und du hilfst ihnen auch immer noch. Du arbeitest länger als du müsstest, so dass du extra Geld bekommst.

Hast du jemals darüber nachgedacht, dass es für deine Kinder vielleicht wichtiger ist, dich persönlich da zu haben, als Beispiel, als lebende und echte Person und nicht nur jemand, von dem ihnen ihre Mutter erzählt? Oder wer auch immer sich um sie kümmert – schließlich sind es nicht nur die Männer, die das Geld verdienen!

Schließlich, wenn du sichergestellt hast, dass deine Kinder zur Schule gehen können und sich bilden, meinst du nicht, dass sie dann selbst ganz gut weiterkommen? Dass sie ihre Freude daran haben sollten, ihr Leben zu leben mit jeder Herausforderung, die dazu gehört? Du hast sichergestellt, dass sie auf sich selbst achten können – nun lass es sie auch ins Praktische umsetzen!

Wirklich, ich sage nicht, dass du deine Kinder enttäuschen solltest oder sie nie finanziell unterstützen solltest. Du solltest jedoch nicht vergessen, dein eigenes Leben zu leben und dich nicht in deine Arbeit vergraben, so dass alles, was sie von dir wissen ist, dass du immer viel gearbeitet hast!

Deine Kinder werden es dir danken!

The corrupt System of Religion – when Money can get you closer to God! – 10 Sep 16

I yesterday mentioned how money can bring you further in healthcare matters. That is not only a matter with doctors and in hospitals however, it is something you can see in nearly every sector and field of industry! In the religious industry, too!

Yes, the spiritual industry has not remained untouched from business either! Especially here in India, if you are rich and have sufficient funds, your money brings you a better treatment with any spiritual guru! Those religious godmen will grant you an appointment much faster than they would to any ‘regular’ devotee that does not offer any extra notes or coins! You also get closer to that guru if he feels you are worth it. That worth is measured financially however and not, as you may think, in spiritual terms! You just get a much better treatment.

Even temples offer this kind of system: in the so-called ‘place of god’, it is not hidden what is going on: there are printed tickets of different price classes. Those which are more expensive, let you access the holiest of places quicker and you are allowed to get closer to the deity. Ordinary devotees have to wait and see god from far!

So your pocket decides how close you are allowed to get to god. Some kind of skeptical person similar to me once made a joke: if I pay a bit more, maybe I can ask god to come to me instead! Why do I go towards him? He can come to me instead – maybe I have to just pay a bit more. And if I pay much more, he may even come to my house himself, personally. Then I don’t need to go!

Why not? If you can bribe god into forgiving all your sins, why would he not get bribed into coming to a rich devotee’s home?

God and religion – it is anyway all just business!

The Healthcare Industry got sick with the System of Money – 9 Sep 16

So today I have been, after quite a long time, to a doctor here in out next-biggest town Mathura. I once more got to see a system which shows that even in healthcare it is not really important how ill you are but how much money you have!

Before you ask me with too much concern why I had to go to the doctor, I can tell you that it was nothing serious or life-threatening! No, not at all – similarly to Ramona not too long ago, I now have a small spot on the back which has been itching for several days and doesn’t go away with our regular lotions. So I decided to show it to the same dermatologist. Ramona came along, as she knew him and the procedure there already. We walked up to the reservation counter and told my name and age for a consultation. Ramona added that it was an emergency and instead of the 300 rupees which you would normally pay, she handed over a 500-Rupee-note.

Oh yes, that’s how it works here in a lot of places! There is a regular fee and then another one, a higher one, for quicker access to your medical consultation. You get to see the doctor faster if you pay a bit more. Normally, that is called ‘emergency’ but obviously anybody uses this option who doesn’t feel like waiting!

The past times when Ramona had been to this doctor the extra two hundred rupees brought her in right after the next customer. This time she asked ‘So we will be next’ but the lady smiled and answered ‘No, it will take fifteen minutes’. Oh? We asked how come, we had paid for emergency access? ‘Yes, but there are two emergency cases before you!’

I joked with the offer to hand her another two hundred rupees to get in first but of course she does not have the authority to do that – and to upset another customer who had paid 500 rupees for getting in quick!

But this is where the system is simply wrong: what about all those people who can only pay 300 rupees? Each time one of the 500 rupee patients come, they are put back! That easily increases waiting time multifold, making it hours for them until they get to see the same doctor that others get to see within fifteen minutes!

This is however not only an Indian issue – only the system in the west is a bit different! In Germany for example, there is a general health insurance which is covered by the state and then there is a private insurance which is for those who are self-employed or earning an amount surpassing a certain threshold. And every doctor prefers treating those private patients because they can charge more from their insurance! Oh yes, they get better treatment, quicker access and even better doctors in hospitals than those who have general health insurance!

It is a sick world in which there is a preference in healthcare for those who have more money, by the same doctors and hospitals! I don’t want doctors to work for free – they have earned their money by helping others. However we need to find a way to get needed care to everyone, also those who cannot pay for it. Extra or at all!

Enjoying Moments in Life which cannot be bought with Money! – 4 Aug 16

Money is definitely not everything in life! There are joys in this world which are far away from anything that money can buy!

Yesterday, when the restaurant was about to close, a big monsoon rain started. It rained down hard and strong, lots of water pounding down. It is beautiful weather when you are sitting inside and looking out. We had to however still close the restaurant and go back to our bedroom! So Ramona and I wrapped the computer in a towel and a plastic bag, took an umbrella and then went very close to each other to the back of the Ashram. We were walking close, Ramona had her arm around my waist, I held the umbrella over her and we walked as slow as necessary and as fast as possible.

It was just great. It was fun, although our shoes got soaked. It was romantic as well, although the umbrella was too small and dripped water on our necks. It was beautiful.

A small thing to enjoy which does not cost a penny, which does not need anything, just a perfect moment and the readiness to enjoy. I want to fill my days with such instances – why don’t you try, too? It fills life with beauty and happiness!

Putting Film Characters on Clothes – not for the Kids but for Profit of Companies! – 21 May 16

A few days ago, I told you how much fun Apra had in Germany with just seeing the raindrops on our car! When we have been out there, I saw Germany from the eyes of a father of a four-year-old. While there are so many things that are really wonderful for the small ones, there are others which, I believe, are rather made for the benefit of adults, not children! One of these has to do with the story I told you about yesterday: Elsa and Rosa.

We went shopping a few times for different items. One was underwear for Apra. Already on our last trip to Germany, we went to buy underwear for her and reaching the floor of the garment store where kids’ underwear could be found, there was a surprise for Apra: underwear with pictures of Elsa and Rosa on them! Wow!

We bought them then and when we needed underwear again now, Apra got excited: ‘Can I have ones with Elsa and Rosa again?’ So we went for shopping with Apra’s German grandparents. And you cannot believe how many Elsa and Rosa we found in the stores all over the place! It was not only underwear, you could get shirts, pants, skirts, bags, caps, gloves, hairbands, socks, swimming suits and basically everything with images of Elsa and Rosa on it!

We managed to get out with only the underwear that we wanted to get. That is mostly due to the fact that she, herself was a bit overwhelmed with all the things she could see in the big mall we were in. Ramona however told us upon leaving the store: “If we lived in Germany, I would probably tell Apra that we would not buy anything with a face on it!” As we spend most of our time away from this massive offer and overwhelming marketing, it is alright if she gets such items from time to time.

Here, I really see the benefit of living in India and in a town like Vrindavan: we don’t have this overdose of offers! You can say that we don’t have the choice but when it comes to this way of marketing for the small ones, it is a big advantage!

Brands, images and children’s movie characters are not promoted mainly for pleasing the young ones. The main aim is to make them want more and more so that they pester their parents who then feel compelled to buy more and more – which ultimately fills the pockets of big corporates.

No, it is not the joy of children which is the first purpose here. And that’s how I am very happy that Apra has not developed the attitude of ‘I want this all’, probably due to our life in a small Indian town!

Mentioning Money in Job Interviews as your Reason to apply – 22 Dec 15

I yesterday told you about the job applications that we are getting for the teaching vacancy at our school and that we had to refuse several people due to their overly religious attitude. There were many others, too, who had come for the job – and seeing them, it is once more nice to recognize the variety of different types of people within the human kind!

You may remember the applicant I told you about yesterday who did not primarily care about money. There were others however who thought very differently about this matter – and didn't hesitate to say so!

A man with a modest amount of English vocabulary for example was asked why he wanted to apply for a job at our school. He answered: ‘Because I am in financial trouble: I will marry in April!’ Oh yes, the arranged marriage concept of India brings responsibility and also pressure – but Ramona couldn't help but think how very romantic this sentiment was! 🙂

Another applicant was asked why she had replied to the advertisement and was very frank about it as well: ‘For the hike!’ Momentarily, Ramona was confused until she understood that the lady in front of her meant a higher salary! She kept on talking: ‘I mean, honestly, I think that everybody applies for that, we are all looking for the hike! And for that, we have to leave one place and look for another.’

Well, Ramona thought, at least she was being honest. That would be a good characteristic! Her next question however brought an answer which made Ramona smile: ‘Why did you choose teaching for your career?’ – ‘Because it is my passion!’ That’s a relief, we thought you were all about money!

Now a serious advice to anybody who is going for a job interview, be that at our school or another or in general any job interview: the question why you would like to change or why you would like to join the place you are applying for will almost definitely come and you can easily have a good answer ready for that! It would be good to get some information about the place you will go to before and then honestly answer what you like about that place.

If you heard about our school that it is a charity school, free for poor children, you could answer that you liked that and would rather earn your money supporting a worthy cause! That’s just an example – you will surely find something you like about the place you apply at except for the money!

We noticed another pattern in the replies particularly of female applicants – but more about that tomorrow!