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A Plea for More Humility

This night I could not sleep well. I tossed and turned in bed, waking up again and again. Perhaps it was the alcoholic drinks, unfamiliar to me, at the wedding of two dear people to which we were invited in The Hague. Maybe it was the romantic ceremony on the beach that made me sentimental.

Anyway, I was wide awake in my cozy hotel bed next to my favorite person sleeping peacefully. My life partner, husband, friend and confidant for more than 20 years, 12 of them as a married couple. I listened to his deep, steady breaths. But the dream gate remained closed to me.

So many thoughts went through my mind that night. I decided to write them down. Even as a young journalist, I got into the habit of always having a paper or dictaphone handy on my nightstand. Now the cell phone serves that purpose. I am a night worker. In the dark, the best ideas visit my mind.

Sleepless in Den Haag

But back to sleepless in The Hague. The most important thought besieging my brain cells was how grateful I must be for this life. To whom ever my gratitude is due – to the universe, to a higher power, because faithful in the sense of the Catholic Church, from which my parents had me baptized, I have not been for a long time. The church is for me only an institution with mostly deficient “ground staff”, to which I would not like to give even mental allegiance. But certainly there is something which directs our destiny. Let’s call it the universe.

I feel blessed by it, richly endowed. This became clear to me once again during these night hours. I am grateful for my extremely harmonious and enriching partnership, which gives each of us the necessary freedom and is based on love and mutual respect. I am thankful for my two unique sisters, my family that always stays together. I am thankful for my over talented and often doubting daughter who finally found her way and life partner in Thailand. I am thankful for the people in my small but close circle of friends, on whom I can rely in good and bad days – and they on me, of course.

Humility in the heart

Even though times have become more difficult for all of us in recent years – I too have had ups and downs – due to the pandemic, the Ukraine war and much more. Nevertheless, we should pause much more often and be grateful for what life has given us instead of always complaining about what is lacking.

With humility in our hearts, the road is less rocky and the glass is half full again instead of half empty. At least that’s how I feel. And with a positive attitude, daily interaction – regardless of the stage – becomes so much easier.


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