December 24, 2008

Frohe Weihnachten!

I wish you all wonderful holidays full of happiness and serenity! Lots of love from me to wherever you are! Robert

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.

You never know who these people may be - a roommate, a
neighbor, a professor, a friend, a lover, or even a
complete stranger - but when you lock eyes with them,
you know at that very moment they will affect your
life in some profound way.

Sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible,
painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you
find that without overcoming those obstacles you would
have never realized your potential, strength,
willpower, or heart.

Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness,
and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of
your soul. Without these small tests, whatever they
may be, life would be like a smoothly paved straight
flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and
comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life, and the
success and downfalls you experience, help to create
who you are and who you become. Even the bad
experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are
sometimes the most important ones.

If someone loves you, give love back to them in
whatever way you can, not only because they love you,
but because in a way, they are teaching you to love
and how to open your heart and eyes to things.

If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your
heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn
about trust and the importance of being cautious to
whom you open your heart.

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take
from those moments everything that you possibly can
for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk
to people that you have never talked to before, and
listen to what they have to say.

Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your
sights high. Hold your head up because you have every
right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and
believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in
yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in

You can make anything you wish of your life. Create
your own life and then go out and live it with
absolutely no regrets.

And if you love someone tell them, for you never know
what tomorrow may have in store.

Learn a lesson in life each day that you live! Today
is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday. Was
it worth it?

(author unknown)

December 18, 2008

Freedom of Blogging

I came across the letter below on Nazy's blog and would like to share it with you. For me this is a symptom of our time, a time that brings a lot of new freedoms confronting us with old fears and all sorts of oppression.
A critical blogger community is among the most democratic instruments we have today, because all mass media are biased to some extent (no denying that), but blogger-to-blogger-reporting is a contribution to grassroots democracy in a way that was unimaginable before the internet. I think it is well worth the support and protection.

On a less extreme, but also quite important note, we who are not in danger of being arrested should think about the problem more like Randall Monroe does in this xkcd-comic strip


Following is an open letter in protest of circumstances surrounding the arrest of Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian blogger who has been detained in Tehran for over a month now.

We, the undersigned, view the circumstances surrounding the Iranian authorities' arrest of Hossein Derakhshan (, one of the most prominent Iranian bloggers, as extremely worrying. Derakhshan's disappearance, detention at an unknown location, lack of access to his family and attorneys, and the authorities' failure to provide clear information about his potential charges is a source of concern for us.

The Iranian blogging community is one of the largest and most vibrant in the world. From ordinary citizens to the President, a diverse and large number of Iranians are engaged in blogging. These bloggers encompass a wide spectrum of views and perspectives, and they play a vital role in open discussions of social, cultural and political affairs.

Unfortunately, in recent years, numerous websites and blogs have been routinely blocked by the authorities, and some bloggers have been harassed or detained. Derakhshan's detention is but the latest episode in this ongoing saga and is being viewed as an attempt to silence and intimidate the blogging community as a whole.

Derakhshan's own position regarding a number of prisoners of conscience in Iran has been a source of contention among the blogging community and has caused many to distance themselves from him. This, however, doesn't change the fact that the freedom of expression is sacred for all not just the ones with whom we agree.

We therefore categorically condemn the circumstances sourrounding Derakhshan's arrest and detention and demand his immediate release.


December 14, 2008

Yippieh, it's winter

Enjoy the season everybody!
This one is especially for you, Nazy!

December 09, 2008

A Christmas message

By now, most of you out there who celebrate it and probably anyone who occasionally steps out their front door will have noticed that Christmas is coming up. As I write this it becomes more clear to me than ever that you who read this and I myself writing this belong to a very elect group of people. After all we are sitting in a heated room, wearing enough clothes, are well-fed and own or at least use a personal computer which in my case cost more than the sum most people on this earth could use to survive a whole year (or more).

Anyway, with shops and streets decorated in my city, chilly weather outside and in some parts even snow, Germans look forward to their vacation and people ask each other whether they have all their presents together yet. Some feel obliged to give to everyone, others give few presents. We all get stressed and think about how we don't like to be stressed by all this stuff that comes up during the last days before Christmas. Do you have your presents ready? I don't. I trust that the people around me know of my love for them without me handing them some new CD or book or scarf. They should know because I try to tell them and convey them that they are more important to me than all this stuff. I think that is what we all really want to feel when we receive a present!

I might still give some presents to my family, but more important to me is thinking about the just as x-masy message of giving to people who hardly notice it's Christmas at all because nothing in their world changes during that time.

Please take a moment and think about it. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) once said:
"I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means—except by getting off his back."

This is not supposed to be a beautiful post, but it should make us all thoughtful once again. Yet beautiful it can be in the way that it is in our power to increase the amount of happiness in the world not by buying more, but by loving more. I love you all! Be happy and don't forget to smile in the hustle and bustle of the malls.