So much Happiness in Life – 1

To shape the future, it is good to know the past.

I can still see Silke arriving at the train platform in the small Swabian town where my parents live. With her clear and friendly gaze, which towers over many people, she smiles at me because she obviously recognized me right away.

We only had talked at the phone before and when I asked her how I would recognize her at the train station, she just said: “You’ll see me for sure”. Yes, that was true.

So much happiness in life – that’s the title of the biography of our parents.

The title was chosen by Silke Schulze-Gattermann, our biographer. It’s a quote from my 93-year-old dad expressing his feelings. So lucky, although his life and that of our mother cannot have been easy from our kid’s point of view. They describe their memories of flight and expulsion after the war.

It took a long time to actually put this biography on paper. We four children, my three sisters and I, had long urged our parents, born in the 1930s, to write down their life experiences. There were many beginnings, but always something came up that prevented them from continuing to write.

We had a lot of luck, like the title of the book, when we found Silke. She conducted the interviews with our parents sensitively and patiently, put what was said on paper in such a well-structured way and then accompanied us children in finalizing the final version. An appreciative and very successful cooperation.

The result is a 135-page work, and even the chapter headings of the table of contents hint at something promising and exciting. So you find a “paradise garden”, hear the “cuckoo call” as a code and wonder where in Germany the “city of millionaires” was.

And the most beautiful thing about it. The biography has become a wonderful gift for our parents and for us children, the story is actually (yes, actually) just a beginning.

The biography of my parents, both in its perceived genesis and in its written version, is a valuable treasure trove for my own self-insights. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

➡️ And you?  How do you look at your past when you think about the future?

My name is Bernd Scharbert and I support executives and leaders with my experience from over 30 years of leadership experience in the corporate world. Especially when it comes to the question of how to reconcile family, work and life. If you are interested, feel free to follow me on LinkedIn, #prepare4landing or contact me directly.


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