People with Purpose

People with Purpose: Oma (Grandmother)

My Oma (grandmother on my father’s side) has taught me many things – how to learn, how to appreciate art, how to travel and how to love family and friends. I am incredibly lucky to have her very much a part of my life. Take a look at what she has to say below.


What matters the most to you, and why?

Dass ich die Liebe von der ich leb, liebend an andere weitergeb: That I pass on the love from which I live in love to others.

Extending the love of family and friends to all others. Maude Jennings, a professor at Ball State in Muncie, IN, expressed it well in a recent speech: To preserve your own humanity you have to respect the humanity of others. That means working for social justice and alleviating poverty, not only feeding and housing the poor and meeting their other needs, but also to make sure that their work is justly compensated. That means paying a fair wage. Bernie Sanders had a point about the injustice of the wage gap.

For me the means is often teaching: teaching of moral understanding, teaching of healthy eating and living, teaching about charitable giving (fundraiser for many social causes), teaching about the the richness in art, literature and music that make living worthwhile.

What do you enjoy to read, and why?

I look for new books to help my historical understanding, scientific discoveries, art appreciation and wisdom for living the life of a good person. I like fiction when it illuminates a time period and or a human situation. The last book I reread was Being Mortal  by Atul Gawande.

What life advice would you share with your grandchildren as they are all embarking on their own lives?

Be open-minded so that you can integrate new knowledge into your understanding of the world. Also, know that you perceive the world through the lens of your experience and upbringing.

There is a wonderful cartoon about a rhinoceros painting the African landscape (shown here below). In every picture was his horn. The point is that we all have horns and need to listen to others and talk to them how they see things.

Also, know that however much you learn, your knowledge of the world, society, science, etc. will always be incomplete and will always need to be adjusted. You experienced that by living in different countries.

Thank you Oma for sharing this will me. I hope to take these words with me through my (hopefully) many years to come.

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