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Thomas Rohde
thomas.rohde@hanser.de, +49 30 252 948 015


Processed with VSCOcam with b5 presetLast week, I thought about those things that keep us away from being who we are, changing the world for the better and living the way we dream. Sometimes, I believe, it is the occupation with others and the greed for appreciation. The applause seems to be more important, than the satisfaction our life and deeds themselves can serve us. We seek satisfaction in the eyes of others, when the only satisfaction will be – for a believer – in seeking His.

None of us live the lives we pretend to have. None of us are what we filter to the outside world. We have flaws & mistakes, we are wrong & dumb, we are ugly but perfectly unique. We like our online selves more than our real selves, invest our time, energy and resources into our digital self – a self in constant contrast to our real selves – a constant source of our deepest unhappiness.

And we compete. Compete for the appreciation in peoples’ eyes. It is sick. It is our lack of community sense, lack of care and love for each other. I wonder, when have we stopped finding joy in the happiness of others?

Just the tiniest sense of competition makes it hard for me to breathe. Every bit of me wants to run away, escape the competition – yet the world seems so small. I fear adapting to competition, I fear getting used to it, I fear changing my intentions, my aims, my journey. I fear the erosion of my deeds. Hence I stop. Stop doing, fearing the intention of my acts. Stop speaking, fearing the aim of my words. Stop breathing, fearing the journey of my life.

A friend recently quoted Erica Cook: “I’m not interested in competition. I hope we all can make it.”

I hope we realise that we all make it, every day, constantly. Because success lies within the journey, whether or not it is being appreciated, acknowledged or applauded.

One thought every Friday for a year #12 | 50

journalist, columnist and author of this blog. a turkish-german muslim juggling politics, feminism, cyberculture and life between germany, istanbul, oxford & the world.


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