The individual mere froth on the wave

The statement that the individual is mere froth on the wave, which was written by Georg Büchner in one of his several existing letters is hanging around in my head while I am sitting on the beach and the waves reach the shore. In a moment of personal frustration, he creates the metaphor that the human being sits like froth on a wave. The wave represents the unpredictable course of life, it's direction unforeseeable, not steerable.

Sometimes, one is overcome with the feeling of being completely exposed to life and nevertheless, I do not see us as a passive part of life, how we personify it in Büchner's metaphor. It can occur that we feel like we are simply being carried away by life and our path does remain uncertain most of the time. Still, I think the thought of being held up by life appears just as natural. In those moments, it is understandable that one might feel like a little white crest sitting on top of an enormous wave.

The problem of imbalanceBüchner uses his metaphor with reference to the predominating social and political circumstances during the French Revolution. He criticizes the existing balance of power that results in an inequality of opportunities. This uneven distribution of opportunities was not only predominating in his lifetime, but still forms a part of our daily living environment and frequently appears to be unchangeable.

It is not equally possible for everyone to develop their future way independently, to take their time, receive the access to the required education and try themselves out, which is all necessary to find out which direction we want to take in our future. For a lot of people dreams just remain pictures that do not even advance towards feasible reach. It is easy to suppress this reality, especially when we are caught in our own "life bubble". Nevertheless, it is obvious and deepens due to our global political and also economical action.

IThe individual sitting in a little boatt is easy to shut oneself off this reality, but when I permit thoughts about the existing inequality and confront myself with them, Büchner's feeling of resignation does not appear at all surprising. The powerlessness towards social structures that have been sustained throughout decades, and have solidified during our social development. This inequality is intruding and arises like a gigantic, unbreakable wall that obstructs our way and causes a feeling of helplessness. And to be honest, I personally still haven't figured out how I can deal with this kind of feeling that spreads within me sometimes.

And even though, I believe that this feeling is appearing very intensely sometimes, I still believe that the human individual is rather sitting in a boat than riding on a wave as a tiny white crest. Because this boat may also be subjected to the whims of life, but it is still steerable. Maybe at times it is difficult or even impossible for us to intervene, as a simple person or a collective, in an influencing dimension. But maybe this shouldn't be the primary motive of our action. Here at the Angels Home one realizes that it is important to initially concentrate on bringing about apparently small changes that lay within our possibilities. Not letting ourselves getting overwhelmed by a feeling of hopelessness that does not even permit us the attempt of realizing changes, to influence something. Even when those kind of changes remain barely noticed compared with the overall, they are still important within the environment they can be accomplished in.

Nevertheless, the girls show me why I am here every dayI respect the work of those who are able to acknowledge the existing problem of inequality within our system and try to work against it, even though it can be a source of frustration and complicate the work within an independently created system that was established to realize a possible change. Other difficulties result from this fundamental problem that raise the question whether there are any remaining paths that could lead to a change in direction. I have respect for those who deal with it day after day. They invest their time and effort, also in those moments where it becomes difficult to resist an upcoming resignation. This is why I think that it is necessary to preserve the original aim or impulse for the establishment of a relief project. Because only with an action that is still supporting the primary motivation it is still possible to take further steps.

The personal attitude towards the own work, the right human cooperation, but also the priorities that are being determined towards ourselves and our work remains essential. There are and always will be setbacks and disappointment that threaten this constancy. Nevertheless, the right handling of those situations is a precondition for reviving chances. At the same time, I am conscious about the fact that it is easier to mention those things than to implement them and I do understand when one feels quickly pushed to the limits of his or her own possibilities- all the more admirable when one is able to succeed, without losing the view for the essential.

The girls also have to contribute to a changeOne should not come here with the expectation to realize deep going changes within three months. It is important to understand that the stay can form part of a development process that spreads over a longer period of time. Becoming part of a project which aims at the expansion of the girls' future opportunities and freedom of design. Whether the girls avail themselves of the opportunity of doing so is up to themselves because eventually everyone has to make his or her own decisions in life which cannot be made for us by anyone else.

It is also important to ask oneself to what extend it is possible for the girls to do so and also question why there are difficulties in taking those opportunities. How is it possible to prepare them for a life they have no specific idea of? A life that is completely different from their daily routine at the children's home. To which extend is it even possible to influence another individual's life? And even if we do so, it remains uncertain whether we can contribute to a long-term change within another individual's life. The question how to deal with this uncertainty, with the thoughts that fly around my mind and confront me with various other questions that I am not able to answer at the moment. Questions of which I do not know if they can be satisfied with answers. Questions that create an enormous mace in which I feel lost at the moment.

There is the possibility of development when two worlds collideAt the same time, I realized, that it is about more than exclusively contributing to such a change. It is also about the small, but still important changes that occur. It is about the moments we create and share together. About the encounters that provoke something within our counterpart. Because the biggest change takes places within ourselves. This is how it is when two worlds converge and only touch shortly, but still influence each other. Goodbye my lovely girls!The dimension of this influence is not always relevant, because there still remains a memory, a thought, sometimes a feeling, that contributes to a permanent change within ourselves and henceforth forms a component of our personality.

With our little boat within the wide sea of life, we might be small and irrelevant, but within our own limited "life bubble" we give each other meaning. Time is running anyways, therefore it is important how we spend it, but especially who we share it with.


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