Photo by dr. Fil

Exactly a year ago I was sitting in Vienna, soaking up sunshine and pondering the meaning of life after receiving news of the passing of Slovenian statesman Janez Drnovšek who had gone through many a transformation in his life. I posted my thoughts on the subject from a cybercafé, using a photo I’d saved in my drafts months before.

Just a year later, so much has changed. I am now working for the then potential employer whose medical check-up  was the reason I found myself sitting in the centre of Vienna on that beautiful February day. The friend who nicknamed me dr. Fil is now a happily married young mother. And just today I received a sad message from my Rumanian friend who’d also become a mother in the meantime, but is giving up on the marriage she’d made sacrifices for and is now weighing the best interests of her child against her own.

Days like this inevitably trigger a stream of thoughts on what is truly important, who really deserves our precious time and attention, what events are too insignificant in the greater scheme of things to bother us.

I opened my Facebook account and received a message from a political party of the youth section of the Slovenian Christian People’s Party, entitled “Students are in greater need of money than the erased“. I certainly hope none of the people going hell yeah reading that note had the audacity to parade in front of Janez Drnovšek’s grave today or otherwise try to win some points by (ab)using his name. But I choose for this cheap attempt at winning sympathy at the expense of the suffering of others not to upset me. Too much.

Nil nisi bonum. I do admire the level of peace and self-acceptance Janez Drnovšek reached in the autumn of his years. Hopefully, many of those who have the gift of moving people, of speaking to them in a way that steers the thoughts of others, will be able to find a way to rise to that same level without facing death.  And will stop abusing their powers in the endless, fruitless pursuit of false happiness.

Things change. Things stay the same. And it remains all about the People. If you want to do good, if you want to pay respect, don’t go to the grave, don’t flaunt the largest bouquet. Be kind to the living. All of them.

Peace and Good.

dr. Fil