We are rich indeed

We are rich indeed

I have written many op‐eds. This is my first blog. But I’m going to pick up where my op‐eds left off: subjecting various phenomena of life to wonder, curiosity, joy and excitement.

And in these crisp, early days of spring I would like to open by reflecting on the very phenomenon of being alive. And thus on the gratitude for life and loved ones. This may seem a sentimental topic, and it is. Because when you allow life to get close, it is bound to move you, and often in profound ways, verging on turbulence.

And right now, we can feel the stirrings and the turbulence, as the change of the seasons is becoming tangible, and the transition from winter’s cold and hibernation, marked by the first flowers of spring, is so pronounced that we almost seem to shed our skin as we transition from one state to another.

Until now, spring has always come. Just as we actually woke up this morning and found ourselves alive. That has happened so many times that it’s easy to take it for granted, and in these growth‐oriented times with their never‐ending quest for higher, faster, longer and the search for eternal youth, we may try to convince ourselves and others that we are virtually immortal. And that our loved ones are virtually immortal. Because they have always been there. Such a strong presence. Perhaps our parents in particular.

I gazed deep into my parents’ eyes yesterday, accompanied by huge bear hugs and the most raging heart surge that I could muster when I said goodbye after a wonderful weekend visit. Because in their eyes and in the radiance of their vibrant beings I sense a profound acknowledgement of the changing of the seasons and the rice paper‐thin wall between life and death. When I gaze into their eyes, I always see that as strong and powerful life is, it is also fragile. In its own inimitable and beautiful way.

Life is strong. And it moves quickly. And right in the middle of that life I have deliberately adopted the profoundly naive attitude that the more present I am in my interactions with the people I love, the more strongly they are alive inside me. My personal treasure consists of the gazes, the exchanges of love, the sharing. Our bank advisors may not agree, from a spreadsheet perspective, but we are rich indeed!