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Welcome to the real world! Last month I talked about how January always feels like a trial month. February came and now there’s no way to cancel the subscription anymore. Well, so here we are, making the best of the current, really not so rosy situation. For the newsletter, I decided this edition will look a little bit different than what you are used to. I planned to send this newsletter out last Thursday, as usual. This last Thursday, however, really did not feel like the perfect time to send out what I had planned to share with you. The start of a war in Europe, the bleak news from Ukraine, the personal dramas made it a bit useless and ridiculous to talk about the recent development in the gaming scene.

So this will have to wait. Instead, I decided to write a completely new edition and send it out today, on a Sunday. Also, there will be no curated links. There are so many more people out there who have a better access to information and who deserve your attention on the current matter more than I do. Nevertheless I do want to share a little text that just needed to get out of my head in the trouble of all this. If you want to and feel capable of dealing with more on this I would be honoured if you read my thoughts. If not, please feel free to just skip this episode. In hope of a bit of a calmer situation next month I expect to have another interesting bit for you then.
This text is written on Saturday, 26th of February, at 4 am in the morning. I am sitting in Paris, in a flat that I rented for a month to do something really amazing for me, for my growth, and also, because Paris, for my wellbeing. Some 2.000 km further to the east a state of war has just been established. It did not follow failed negotiations, it was just declared. Facts were created. And I am sitting at my desk, unable to sleep longer than an hour without waking up again for the second night in a row now.

Let me say beforehand what my position is when I write this text. I am neither Ukrainian nor Russian, nor do I have any direct relations to those two countries. I don’t have friends who are affected by the current situation. I only have basic knowledge about the history of the relationship of these two countries. I probably only have a narrow idea about all the global implications this war might have. And I am making this text about me. Not necessarily a great position to speak in this moment.

But ever since the first reports about what is going on in Ukraine I found myself in a constant battle between so many different emotions. Fear, happiness, rage, concentration, restlessness, not wanting to believe, gratitude, not being able to grasp, downplaying... To call this a rollercoaster would really be an understatement. And there are times where I feel like this dissonance really should tear me apart. How can you have such a great time and live in such a mad world all at the same time?

Following the discussions on Social Media, I see many people struggling with the same state of mind. So maybe, just maybe, my thoughts help them. Help them cope, give them permission to feel what they feel, make them see they are not alone in this.

In the end, isn’t this why I write this newsletter in the first place? To make sense of a crazy, volatile, multi-influential world? To navigate this Grey Area where nothing is as settled and sure as it seems? Where we make our way through so many different influences? This is why I decided to share my thoughts about these times. Because right now I feel as if I am standing in a drug-induced dream where somebody plays with the light switch and the light changes from technicolor to pitch dark any given second. And the chaos and frenzy in my mind just distracts me to focus and/or direct the spotlight on what’s really important here.

Right now there is one thought that overshadows all others: How did we end up in a time where we constantly have to fight for our basic right to physical and mental integrity? How did we end up being under constant attack because of Ego?

We are fighting with words for a stronger approach to fight the climate crisis. The interests of single big economic players that base their success on old technologies are evaluated so much more than any meaningful change in that area. They invest - and they are able to invest - resources such as money, time and lobbying work because they are not willing to share their power, influence and wealth.

We are fighting for equality in the world, for different genders, ethnicities, sexualities, abilities and all the different layers of diversity. Against racism, historical oblivion and the belief of supremacy so everyone has a seat at the table. But this battle goes on for decades now and is tough and sometimes grim.

We are in the midst of a pandemic, but we still have to convince people to wear masks and get vaccinated and not infect us with a possibly deadly disease because some decide that their belief of a superior immune system or their personal vendetta against big pharma is worth more than the security and feeling of safety of people who are fearing to fall severely ill.

And now people fight for their lives and freedom in a war, because a small group of men in power cannot deal with the fact that the world is changing and that this means: Power is not a sign of force, but a result of trust.

Ego probably always was the driver for bad things made by humans happening in the world. But right now all of the ego seems to become visible at the same time and I, for once, am struggling to deal with it anymore. I am generally a positive person. Not in a “everything is rosy” way. But I generally know life will go on and we will get through this.

This time for me is different. I feel like we started off with one big wave after another and now it built up to be a tsunami. We are probably going to make it through - again. But this time I seriously wonder who we will be at the other end of it. This time I am just overwhelmed and I am asking myself what sense it all makes. What good does it do to have principles? What good does it do to hustle and to always keep one’s head up high? What does all the talking about resiliency even mean? If all it seems to do is helping us cope with the fact that we are running from crisis to crisis to crisis?

And this makes me wonder, what comes after the tsunami? My normal response, my resilient response would be: a tsunami is powerful, it destroys a lot, but from that destruction and the clean slate that it leaves us with good things can come once we went through the grief of what we lost. I would switch into analysing mode and wonder, what we are losing, how we can support the grieving process and how I can do my part to help build the next phase.

This time, I am standing at the ocean, looking at the tsunami coming towards the shore, and I am willing to give in, because I cannot believe that the next wave will not just be a bigger tsunami rolling up right behind that one. And this is the real thing that scares me: asking “what’s the sense in all this”, not from an analysing, forward-looking and learning aspect, but from a standpoint of resignation.

There is a German Proverb. “Nur getroffene Hunde bellen”. It translates to something like “Only the dogs who are hit bark”. I try to make myself belief that we hit the dogs and that we are seeing them bark now because they feel they are losing ground. They are trying to fight their last rebellion. And - according to another proverb, the night is always darkest before the dawn - that we are going through a transformation process right now that leaves us better than we find ourselves now. So there it still is. The spark. The resiliency. The light at the end of the tunnel. I really want to believe and I really hope it’s not the train coming our way to hit us. I hope I am right.
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