Sunday Column (85)

I might be a bit lazy writing my blog at times, but you might have seen the posts last week. An up and down that usually depends how much time I have at the weekend.

This week I had a good week. I think anyway. No alcohol all week which was nice. I even managed to meet some friends without drinking. Whilst this sounds awful to admit, I think we all drink to much. Tony Blair admitted it in his book too. The whole society likes a tipple. It is just when you decide not to, you stand out, and almost feel awkward. Like an alcoholic because you don’t do it. It will be, similar to smoking, one day socially unacceptable to drink. It’ll come.

This week had one story. A story that will write or already wrote history. The story of the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. 33 men. 33 stories. 33 families. I was crying when I saw the first one coming to the surface. It is human tragedy, and we all like to watch it. But it is real. The psychological pressure, the strain on the health, being separated by their families.

I remember more human tragedy. 20 years ago the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then 9-11 which will be 10 years in 2011. Or 7-7 in London which is 5 years ago. Events at the opposite side of the spectrum of good and evil, but emotionally both up there with the rescue of those 33 men. I was there when all of those things happened – here on earth. I saw history in the making.

It is remarkable how these events let humans grow closer together. How things like wealth, health, religion, money or possessions become so unimportant. When it is about survival. When it is about helping each other. That is what these events bring out of the human race: the pure basic instinct of being good to each other, and to cherish the love you can give, independent from status, religion or any background really.

Although I just wrote about Colin last week. Children have these instincts widely available. Because society hasn’t taught them about money, possessions, status and evil yet. And they haven’t been taught yet that a drink is essential to be part of the cool gang. And 10 years ago smoking would have been on the top of this list too. Will being a vegetarian be normal one day too?

On Friday we went out to an “all you can eat” buffet. It was really nice, a good night out. I was stuffing my face – because I could and because I enjoyed it of course. But in my opinion this is all the same attitude and behaviour.

That is where my thinking turns to Buddhism. Life is about love, sharing and caring for each other. Life is about healthy, moderate living. A life independent from status, money and possessions. Life is a lot about learning, and personal development.

Of course I am not there yet. But sometimes I wish I was.

Thoughtful, and happy.
Volker