Vive La Revolution!

and justice for all.

Why, no, it’s not about justice. It’s about equal access to self-determination and power. It’s about encouraging people to dare thinking critically, to question and evaluate what they are told. It’s about courage and compassion, freedom and responsibility. It’s about world domination – shared equally amongst the people. It’s about free, democratic societies. I am a megalomaniac!

I want critical citizens. I want everybody to experience the kind of education I had. Decent basic knowldge about a number of subjects, and, much more important, the ability to gather information and to create new knowledge, based on reflection and debate. People are kept dependant on experts very much by telling them the world is too complex to understand and too dangerous to trust yourself. And that’s BS. And that’s why so many so called experts get along with mediocre performance! Because the client / voter / student /customer is unable to judge quality. And afraid to make wrong decisions. And overwhelmed with the immens number of daily decisions.

I understand that. It’s tough to accept responsibility. But it allows those who don’t care to exploit customers, employees and the environment. The revolution I want to lead?

Stop bullshitting!

I need a better name for that. Any ideas how to rephrase it, so that it sounds a little bit more appealing?

That would be great, thank you.

Natalie

 

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Can I make a difference?

Oh my! These guys are asking tough questions! What difference do I want to make? First I would have to acknowledge, really understand and believe, I can make a difference. That’s the tough bit, not knowing WHICH difference I want to make. That I have been knowing forever. Back in my confirmation ceremony I chose Matthew 5:6:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

If I can make a difference, I want to make the world more fair, more just. I do not believe in ‘granting’ rights. I am convinced that we must use our rights, demand power over our lifes and accept responsibility for our own fate. As mentioned in the post on what makes me angry, we are not all equally equipped. Some need more support than others. And for many it starts with realising that they have a choice.

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker

I want to change this believe. I want to empower people. Not in the paternal, colonial ‘I know better’-way, but as an equal amongst equals. As somebody who had to learn that she has power, too. Who still struggles sometimes and who knows just how hard the journey can be.

I am convinced that in our societies, knowledge is key. Do you have to believe what other people, like politicians, journalists, marketers, practitioners or teachers, tell you, or do you understand how learning, information and knowledge creation work? Do you have a basic understanding of how nature functions, how people function and how groups of people function? Can you make up your own mind and evaluate what others tell you?

Do you have role-models and practical support?

That’s what I want to contribute, although I don’t know  exactly how to do that yet.

Hopefully

Natalie

I’m a survivor

Pride. A weird concept and I have an even weirder relationship with it. One of the seven deadly sins. As a German woman with Christian background I am not raised to feel pride about anything. It took me  a while to work my way towards feeling proud of myself or my achievements. I still find it much easier to feel pride on people I have trained  or coached than on me.

And then again, the things I am most proud of are also the things I am most grateful for. Among those things is my answer to today’s writing prompt:

I have survived severe depression.

And I am proud for it. And deeply grateful. I have never before told this in public, because I have always been afraid to be treated as mad. However, now that I am slowly turning into the literal crazy, old cat lady, who cares? I survived depression.

I have suffered from it ever since I realised what a crazy accident my existence is. How easily could it now be 100 years earlier or later and I would not be there! My grandparents survived WWII, one of them as a prisoner. My dad did not bugger off when my mom replied his pick-up-line with a slap. I did not die during my birth, and neither did my mom, although we should have. Everything went right against all odds. By sheer, dumb luck! And then it sank in that I am going to lose every single person I love. I got lost in despair.

The peak was in my early 20ies. When I faced the decision of killing myself eventually, I chose to live. I went through therapy, stopped, felt better, dropped back into darkness, went back to therapy, repeat. My son saved my life. I felt like finally arriving in my life when pregnancy and giving birth forced me to accept my animal roots. Then I learned to view my depression as a kind of early warning system. Now, whenever I feel darkness luring around the corner, which still happens every now and then, I know I have to take a break, slow down, take care for myself. And usually, that’s all it needs to stay healthy.

Sometimes, episodes are worse. Last winter e.g. was terrible. And that is one of the reasons why I struggle with making a living off my passion. In my current job, as a freelancer, it is easy to hide depression. You simply don’t accept new projects when you’re down. But let’s face it: that’s financial suicide and it only works because I have a solid client base. Maybe it would be wise to have a safety net, something like a proper job.

I’d love to work more creatively, be more outoing, write about my adventures and perform on stage. But I am terrified that I couldn’t stand  being constantly exposed. However, I would be able to deal with that, too, should it become relevant. There is no point in hiding anymore, now that I shared my biggest deficiency.

To all the survivors out there: Cheers!

Natalie

+ 1

Yesterday, I went to a friend’s marriage. We are not that close so I had been surprised to be invited in the first place. But I totally appreciate the idea of inviting people you would like to spend more time with in your future life, and that was just what she wanted to do.

At one moment, another friend of her asked me whether I was Jen, which obviously I am not, but Jen was the link between me and the bride. So I introduced myself, and the bride added: She is Jen’s ‘Plus one’. And I was close to dropping dead. Like, did I get my invitation wrong? Is that all there is to say about me? So I decided to set up a small list of things not-so-close friends could tell other people when they introduce me. And here is my list of

Five things you could tell strangers about me to encourage small talk:

This is Natalie, and she

  • is a lecturer in business administration, strategy and HR management.
  • has recently started to perform as a comedienne.
  • cries in the movies when characters reach their dreams.
  • has never been to New York.
  • plans taking a road trip along Europe’s coasts next year.

By the way: As a host, introducing your guests to each other is a great way to help them mingle instead of staying within their cohort.

Suggests

Natalie (who had a lovely evening, thanks for having me)

Helping others

The question of the day is: What do people thank you for?

Well, first of all for kicking ass. I am great in helping people reflect on their own views, problems or life-lies. Those who appreciate being seriously challenged, thank me for it. The others hate me 🙂

Other topics include:

  • Finally understanding an issue (e.g. in business administration) nobody else could explain in simple terms before
  • Being treated as equals, especially in situations with inherent power imbalance, e.g. in class
  • My time
  • Listening
  • Making them laugh
  • Challenging them intellectually
  • Honesty and clarity
  • Being me
  • Being different (I have no idea what that means)
  • Not judging them

Coming to think of it, those are just the same things I would thank people for, too. I only would extend BA to social sciences in general.

Gratefully

Natalie

What makes me really angry?

I thought it was ignorance, but during writing I realised there is something behind that. What makes me angry about the world, more than anything else, is when people ignore the rights and interests of other people.

Politically, I am liberal. And while I am aware that for some people liberalism means you can do whatever you want, for me being free includes responsibility, legally and morally, for ones actions as an imperative.

Of course, when interacting with adults, I expect people to step up for their own interests. However, we do not all have the same prerequisites to engage in social situations. – Here is where my loathing for ignorance comes in: If you lack something, especially knowledge or information: learn, ask, make up your mind. – People take advantage of other people being shy, or slow, or surprised. You might find that o.k., or simply human, or you might say that they do so unwittingly. But other people act cruel, fully aware that the other person does not agree or even suffers.

And that is what I don’t get. We are all human beings, we all try to live our lifes as good as we can, we all struggle. We all lose someone we love, we all laugh, we all doubt. We believe different things about our role in the world or the meaning of life and everything. But we all try to get it. Once you realised that, how can you be cruel to another human being who just ‘tries to get it’? How can you not be kind and compassionate?

Wonders

Natalie

Living my legend

So, I am starting another blog. It’s my turn in the Start your blog challenge with the guys from Live your Legend. Why? Because I feel like wondering what I wanna be when I grow up has become a constant in my life. It might be about time to stop wondering and actually start doing what I want.

Or rather, following through. Over the past weeks I have re-evaluated my values, strengths and goals and I always come to the same conclusion. But there is something holding me back. Maybe writing about just that makes a good starting point for becoming a writer.

I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer.

I am

Natalie