Name day

In the past, it was often the case that, especially in Catholic families, the birthday and the name day were identical. In fact, my birthday is not far away from my name day on 20th of August. But that probably happened more by chance. And yet my patron saint has given me an important message.

⏭ “Be like a fountain bowl that first collects the water and then passes it on overflowing.” ⏮

This is what Bernard of Clairvaux (*1090, † 20 August 1153), a medieval abbot and my patron saint, said. I discovered this quote rather by chance in the abbey museum of Eberbach Monastery, in an exhibition on the subject of “optical illusions”.

True serendipity*. Coincidence or not, I felt directly addressed. Amazing how well the saying describes me, I thought spontaneously.

✳ For me, it is a metaphor for my intention and my desire to be able to make the world a little better by passing on my experiential knowledge.

✳ And for me, it’s a metaphor for mindfulness and self-care. It is important to give yourself enough time to recharge your batteries and strength before helping others.

So, it’s a double metaphor that my name conveyed to me. And the realization that quotes are indeed thought-provoking. Thanks for the inspiration for this post, Aldona Giesbrecht (

➡ And with you? How does your name speak to you?

* On the subject of serendipity, see for example at Ursula Vormwald (

My name is Bernd Scharbert and my task as a mentor and facilitator for executives is to ensure that virtual intercultural teams can be successful.

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