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!

Hab Freude an deiner Arbeit oder ändere etwas! – 2 Okt 16

Gestern habe ich euch erklärt, dass wir zur Zeit sehr beschäftigt sind – aber wisst ihr was, wir lieben es! Natürlich ist viel zu tun und es gibt sicher auch immer Dinge, die nicht erledigt werden, aber wir freuen uns über all diese Veränderungen im Leben und das, was wir mit unserer Arbeit erreichen.

Ich hatte neulich mit Ramona ein längeres Gespräch über dieses Thema. Natürlich gibt es viele Leute, die weniger arbeiten als wir und die auch glücklich sind. Es gibt jedoch auch viele Leute, die weniger arbeiten als wir oder genauso viel und einfach nur unglücklich sind! Leute in ihren Büros, die von Morgen bis Abend arbeiten, heimkommen und sich von der Arbeit total ausgelaugt fühlen.

Das ist eigentlich eine sehr traurige Situation, weil man einen großen Teil seiner Zeit bei der Arbeit verbringt. Ich weiß, für viele ist das nur ein Weg, seinen Lebensunterhalt zu verdienen, aber man sollte sich sehr bemühen, eine Arbeit zu finden, mit der man etwas verdient und die man gleichzeitig genießt!

Ich sage euch, ich habe mehrere Freunde und kenne eine immer größer werdende Anzahl Indien-Reisender, die ihre Arbeitszeit reduzieren, weil sie erkennen, dass es im Leben nicht nur um Arbeit und Geld geht! Sie beschließen freiwillig, dass es in Ordnung ist, etwas weniger Geld zu haben – doch stattdessen den Alltag zu verdienen!

Für viele Leute ist das nichts, wovon sie nur träumen können. Du rufst vielleicht ‚Für mich unmöglich!‘, aber ist das wirklich so? Wie viel Geld gibst du realistisch für neue technische Geräte aus? Könntest du nicht auch mit weniger als der letzten Version deines Handys, Computers oder Tablets auskommen? Was ist mit Kleidung und Schuhen? Was ist mit dem täglichen Mittagessen auswärts? Sicherlich könntest du doch etwas von all dem etwas zurückschrauben, dann die Arbeit, die du nicht magst, etwas zurückschrauben und die extra Zeit zum Entspannen, Lesen oder einfach in der Natur verbringen? Und irgendwann eine Arbeit finden, die dir Freude macht!

Es gibt natürlich diejenigen, die dir nun sagen, dass sie mit ihren Ausgaben sehr vorsichtig sind und keine bessere Arbeitsstelle finden können – und ich glaube euch! Ja, ich weiß, es gibt auch diejenigen, die keinen Pfennig mehr ausgeben, als sie müssen und trotzdem lange Arbeitsstunden haben. Versuche, es zu genießen, das Beste draus zu machen und deine Augen für eine weitere Chance offen zu halten.

Wenn du keine Freude an deiner Arbeit hast, finde einen Weg, sie zu genießen – oder verändere etwas und finde Arbeit, die dir gefällt!

Enjoy your Work or make a Change! – 2 Oct 16

I explained yesterday that we are very busy these days – but you know what, we are loving it! It is of course a lot to do and I am sure there are always things that remain undone but we are happy about all these changes in life and the work we can do in this way.

I had a longer talk with Ramona about this topic the other day. Obviously there are many people who work less than we do and they are happy, too. There are however a lot of people who work less than us or just as much and are just miserable! People in their offices working from morning to afternoon, coming home and feeling exhausted from their work.

It is a very sad situation actually, because you do spend a big part of your time at work. I know, for many it is only a means of earning a living but you should do every effort to find a work that can earn your living and at the same time is something you enjoy!

I tell you that I have several friends and know an increasing number of travelers to India, too, who reduce the time they work because they realize life is not all about work and earning money! They voluntarily decide that it is alright to have a little less money – but enjoy the daily life more instead!

For a lot of people, this is not only something they can dream. You may shout ‘Impossible for me!’ but is it really so? Realistically, how much money do you spend on new gadgets and technology? Could you not do with less than the latest version of your phone, computer or tablet? What about clothes and shoes? What about eating out every day at lunch? Surely you could cut down on some of that, then cut down on the work which you don’t like and spend the time just relaxing, reading or out in nature? And, at some point, find a work you enjoy!

There are of course those who now tell that they are very careful with their spending and cannot find a better job – I believe you! Yes, I know, there are also those who do not spend a penny more than necessary but still have to work longtime. Try to make it enjoyable, make the best of it and keep your eyes open for another chance.

If you don’t enjoy, find a way to enjoy it – or make a change and find work you like!

Klau deinen Kindern nicht die Kindheit! – 30 Sep 16

Gestern habe ich ein wenig darüber geschrieben, wie Eltern versuchen, ihre Kinder dazu bringen zu tun, was sie wollen – natürlich weil sie nur das Beste für sie wollen! Es gibt jedoch Augenblicke, in denen diese Art von Verhalten zu weit geht. Das sieht man oft in Talentshows für Kinder und auch in Schönheitswettbewerben. Wenn Kinder dazu gedrängt werden, zu üben und Leistung zu erbringen. Wenn sie Stunden mit dem Üben und der Vorbereitung auf eine solche Veranstaltung verbringen. Oder wenn sie verlieren und dann weinend zusammenbrechen.

Ich glaube diese Art von Problemen beginnen, wenn Eltern wollen, dass Kinder ihre eigenen Träume leben. Wenn sie wollen, dass ihre Kinder dorthin kommen, wo sie immer sein wollten, was sie jedoch nie geschafft haben. Sie träumen von Ruhm und davon, bekannt zu sein, von Preisen und Anerkennung – und sie wollen das durch ihre Kinder erreichen!

Ein Kind würde nie selbst jeden Tag vier oder fünf Stunden damit verbringen, ein und das Gleiche zu üben, um es zu perfektionieren! Diese kleinen Mädchen, die ihr zu Prinzessinnen mit puppenhaftem Aussehen und Verhalten macht, würden auch gerne manchmal einfach im Dreck spielen! Sie wollen ihre Hände voller Farbe bekommen und würden gerne auf Bäume klettern.

Stattdessen lernen sie ein Verhalten, das für sie komplett unnatürlich ist und sie müssen trainieren und trainieren und trainieren. Sie verlieren einen Teil ihrer Kindheit, eine gewisse Unschuld und eine Freiheit, die nur Kinder haben, nur diejenigen, die noch klein sind und keine solche Last tragen! Doch du bürdest ihnen das auf!

Ich habe einmal ein Video-Clip gesehen, in denen Teilnehmerinnen eines Schönheitswettbewerbs für Mädchen die Frage beantworteten, was sie tun würden, wenn sie einen freien Tag hätten. Auf die Antworten ‚Auf den Spielplatz gehen‘ und ‚Nur fernsehen und spielen‘ folgte ‚Ich will Essen, ohne aufhören zu müssen!‘ Ich hatte das Gefühl, dass diese Mädchen nicht nur davon abgehalten wurden, wie Kinder zu spielen, sondern auch bereits dazu gezwungen werden, eine Diät zu halten, so dass sie gewissen Schönheitsidealen entsprechen können!

Es ist diese Art von Situationen, in denen ich mich frage, wie krank unsere Gesellschaft eigentlich ist! Dass das nicht nur akzeptabel ist, sondern dass die Menschen sich das sogar wünschen. Dass Eltern nicht sehen, wie das die Kindheit ihrer Kindheit ruiniert!

Nein, ich strebe nicht nach Ruhm oder Geld – sondern nach Freude und Glück! Tue das deinen Kindern nicht an! Lass sie spielen und Kinder sein!

Don’t steal your Children’s Childhood! – 30 Sep 16

I yesterday wrote a little about the way parents try to influence their children to do what they want – obviously because they only want the best for them! There are instances however when this kind of behavior goes too far. You can see that in children talent shows a lot and you can see it in beauty pageants. When children are pressurized to practice and perform. When they have to spend hours in a day rehearsing and preparing for such an event. Or when they lose and break down crying.

I believe this kind of issues start when parents want their children to fulfill their own dreams. When they want their children to go places they always wanted to go but never could. They dream of fame and being known, of prices and recognition – and want to achieve this through their children!

A child would never, by himself, spend four or five hours rehearsing one and the same thing every day so that it gets perfect! These little girls whom you train to be princesses with doll-like appearance and behavior, would just like to play in the dirt sometimes, too! They want to get their hands full of paint and they want to climb on trees.

Instead, they learn a behavior which is completely unnatural for them and they have to train and train and train. They lose a part of their childhood, a certain innocence and freedom which only children have, only those who are little and don’t have any such burden yet! But you put that burden on them!

I once saw a video clip in which participants in a girls’ beauty pageant answered the question what they would like to do if they had a free day. ‘Go to the playground’ and ‘Just watch TV and play’ were followed by ‘I want to eat without having to stop!’ I felt these girls were not only stopped from playing like kids should but also already forced to keep a diet so that they fit certain beauty standards!

It is this kind of situations when I wonder how sick our society has become! That this is not only acceptable but that people wish for this. That parents don’t see how this ruins their children’s childhood!

No, again, I will not go for fame or money – but for fun and happiness! Don’t do this to your children! Let them play and be kids!

Avoiding sexual Harassment of Homosexuals at Airport Security Checkpoints – 17 Sep 16

Today I want to write you about a very important topic Ramona and I were talking about in breakfast time. Well, maybe not VERY important. Or maybe not important at all…: What about homosexuals at airport security checkpoints?

Think about it: there is a rule that women get searched by women and men by men. With the new body scanners, a lot of people don’t need to be touched at all but if the scanner shows something, you will be touched, properly, by a person of your gender. This rule was obviously brought into existence to avoid sexual harassment – or lawsuits due to sexual harassment! No woman should feel uncomfortable by a man touching her. In the same way, no woman should pull out a man for further searching just to touch him from top to bottom because she feels like it!

But what about our gay and lesbian friends?

Following this logic, that would be their dream job! And going through airport security the biggest pleasure for homosexual travelers! But wouldn’t that lead to problems and issues? What can be done about that?

It’s very clear: we need a separate line for homosexuals! There they will receive checking by the other gender, to avoid any kind of problems and complains! A lesbian woman checking a lesbian woman? Impossible! A gay man being touched in intimate places by another gay man? Unimaginable! In this line, there will be lesbian women checking gay men and gay men checking lesbian women!

Yes, this is the way to keep any kind of sexual arousal and tension at bay!

 

Dear homosexual friends: please understand that I am joking – no need to fill my inbox with outraged messages! 🙂

Experience of Life brought our Ashram Boys back – 2 Sep 16

Today I would like to write about a bunch of boys, three to be exact, who have been in our lives and hearts for a long time – and two of them have recently come back to our Ashram as well! Anybody who has been here in the past six or seven years knows whom I am talking about: Pawan, Mohit and Jaysingh!

I wrote to you about Jaysingh nearly two years ago. In that time, we were a bit shaken about his decision to leave the Ashram but accepted it as what it was: the wish of a 16-year-old to explore the world. Following his example, even if a bit less drastically, our second boy, Mohit, did the same about half a year later, announcing that he would now rather stay with his family in their village and go to school there.

Pawan remained with us and had his own adventures, changing schools here and finding his place again as the oldest of the ‘Ashram boys’. Life went on, we kept ourselves busy and opened Ammaji’s Ayurvedic Restaurant.

About three months into operations, my father told me of a phone call he had received: Jaysingh was asking whether he could come by to visit. Of course, we replied! It would be nice to see him after so long and catch up on what he had been doing! He arrived and we found out that he had really had a taste of the ‘real world’ out there in the meantime: he had travelled to his various brothers and cousins living across the country and had worked in a few places to earn his money: as a daily labourer carrying sand and bricks for example and also in a saree factory.

It was this experience that made him ask me one thing: ‘Could I come and work here?’ He had seen how things really are in factories in India! Long working hours and cruel working conditions. His employer and supervisors didn’t scare away from hitting their employees for their mistakes. The machines were dangerous – if you didn’t take care, you could get your fingers cut off. Older workers complained about breathing problems, bad coughing and the like, all caused by the chemicals used for dying the sarees. With the long working hours, Jaysingh was always tired – once he had fallen asleep while working at the machine, ruining 80 sarees by this! Of course his employer was angry and hit him. Another time, a fire erupted and he as well as his coworkers had to climb up to a window to jump out from there and save themselves!

Briefly said, he has made his experiences and decided that he would rather come here and ask whether we would take him back, offering him work. He had been sending money home and would like to keep that up, too! Of course, for one of our boys we definitely have a place and he can even learn something as well! As a helper in the kitchen he will soon have gained some knowledge and experience which can go a long way for his life!

News travel fast, even in India and that’s how soon after Jaysingh joined us here, we got another boy returning to his second home: Mohit, too, rejoined us here. Both boys now learn how to make pizza, pasta and more! And what is great, too, is that they agreed to do some private schooling by the side, too – to finish their high school!

It is great to have them back – and they are happy, too!

Our German Waitress in Ammaji’s Ayurvedic Restaurant – 26 Aug 16

I have told you several times about my experience as a waiter in Ammaji’s Ayurvedic Restaurant. Today I would like to write you about the experience of a co-worker, our only permanent female staff member in the service team: my wife Ramona! 🙂

In spite of some hesitation in the beginning, Ramona actually started enjoying waiting on tables a lot! I mention her hesitation because I know she is a perfectionist and thought herself not able to actually do this work well. Such doubts were obviously unfounded and for no reason – now she spends hours every day welcoming guests, getting their feedback and serving them meals and water. And loves it!

The beautiful thing is that our guests love it as well – something that I had known from the beginning, even before we opened and Ramona used to take her place at the cashier counter while we were ‘in the field’. Once we had found a reliable person to man that computer, I asked Ramona to join us in direct contact to our guests.

The moment she steps to a table with a water jug in the hand, the eyes of all sitting persons go towards her in astonishment. When she asks, in perfect Hindi, how everyone is and whether they enjoy their meal, the eyes get wider and smiles appear on people’s faces: Oh, you speak Hindi? Great, great, we love it here!

Yes, that is a fact, even someone who would feel there is any little bit of imperfection in our food will forget about that the moment my lovely wife comes to the table. She handles any requests swiftly and of course people feel special being attended to by the owner of the place with her lovely way of speaking and acting. I cannot even count how many of our guests have requested to take selfies with my wife, proudly posting them on social media afterwards. And a surprising amount of guests has learned a few basic words of German at some time of their lives!

So while we are of course still taking care of our website, the emails, our guests and the school, also Ramona has found a new occupation that she enjoys!

Going to Germany with mixed Feelings for the first Time – 5 May 16

I am writing these lines while sitting in an airplane from Delhi to Frankfurt! Of course you will get to read this only later but I already know I want to share our reasons for this journey as well as our feelings with you.

The reason is pretty simple: there is some official paperwork to do which requires my presence in Germany. I need to extend my residence permission. I can tell you, would that not be the case, I would most probably not take this trip right now. Nevertheless, I am happy about our journey, too!

The past weeks, if not months, have been very intense! The time leading up to the opening of our restaurant had been filled with ‘last-minute work’ which had to be done before the real start. Then there was the exciting time of opening, with Babbaji’s knee surgery at the same time and after that the overwhelming response I have been telling you about!

I also told you how much I enjoy this new work and I can seriously tell you that as much as we have been busy with it and as much work as it was, it was also as much fun! That's how we fixed our exact dates and bought our flight all relatively late. We tried to get as many things done beforehand as possible, preparing everything in a way that Purnendu and Yashendu will be able to handle the new and old business without us, too!

We however will have a break from our daily routine with this trip and that, too, I am looking forward, too. It will be so great to see friends and family again and tell everyone of Ammaji’s! Of course they all know and have seen pictures online, but Ramona, Apra and I are looking forward to tell all about it ourselves!

Especially Apra has been looking forward a lot and for several days now! She remembers really many things from the last visits and is excited to do some of them again. She already had friends promise to go swimming with her, planned which pets of friends she would play with and even what she would like to bring back to her Indian brothers!

I tell you, friends, life is great and something to enjoy – there is always something going on!