Ich denke gerne gut von den Menschen

„Ihr möget Recht haben,“ erwiderte der junge Kaufmann. „Und ich schäme mich, dass ich von den Leuten nur immer das Gemeinere und Unedle denke, während ihr lieber eine schöne Gesinnung unterlegt. Und doch sind die Menschen in der Regel schlecht, habt ihr dies nicht auch gefunden, Alter?“

„Gerade weil ich dies nicht gefunden habe, denke ich gerne gut von den Menschen,“ antwortete dieser. „Es ging mir gerade wie Euch. Ich lebte so in den Tag hinein, hörte viel Schlimmes von den Menschen, musste selbst an mir viel Schlechtes erfahren und fing an, die Menschen alle für schlechte Geschöpfe zu halten. Doch da fiel mir bei, dass Allah, der so gerecht ist als weise, nicht dulden könnte, dass ein so verworfene Geschlecht auf dieser schönen Erde hause. Ich dachte nach über das, was ich gesehen, was ich erlebt hatte, und siehe – ich hatte nur das Böse gezählt und das Gute vergessen. Ich hatte nicht acht gegeben, wenn einer eine Handlung der Barmherzigkeit übte, ich hatte es natürlich gefunden, wenn ganze Familien tugendhaft lebten und gerecht waren. So oft ich aber Böses, Schlechtes hörte, hatte ich es wohl angemerkt in meinem Gedächtnis. Da fing ich an, mit ganz anderen Augen um mich zu schauen. es freute mich, wenn ich das Gute nicht so sparsam Keimen sah, wie ich anfangs dachte, ich bemerkte das Böse weniger, oder es fiel mir nicht so sehr auf, und so lernte ich die Menschen lieben, lernte Gutes von ihnen denken, und habe mich in langen Jahren seltener geirrt, wenn ich von einem Gutes sprach, als wenn ich ihn für geizig oder gemein oder gottlos hielt.“

Wilhelm Hauff
Erschienen bei 
Deutsche Bibliothek in Berlin 
Circa 1815 
Aus dem Abschnitt „der Scheik von Alessandria und seine Sklaven“
Zwischen den Teilen 
„Der junge Engländer“
„Die Geschichte Almansors“

stop and smell the roses

This is not novel advice, to stop and smell the roses, to be here now, to slow down. But it’s not easily heeded. Our culture, now as ever, rewards hustle. 

The Silicon Valley maxim “Done is better than perfect” can be constructive when applied to procrastination. But we bring it to bear on situations in which “done” is not necessarily a desirable goal.

Melissa Kirsch New York Times – Newsletter

The piper

„I’s gone!“ sighed the Rat, sinking back in his seat again. „So beautiful and strange and new! Since it was to end so soon, I almost wish I had never heard it. For it has roused a longing in me that is pain, and nothing seems worth while but just to hear that sound once more and go on listening to it for ever. No!

There it is again!“ he cried, alert once more. Entranced, he was silent for a long space, spellbound.

„Now it passes on and I begin to lose it,“ he said presently. „O, Mole! the beauty of it! The merry bubble and joy, the thin, clear happy call of the distant piping! Such music I never dreamed of, and the call in it is stronger even than the music is sweet! Row on, Mole, row! For the music and the call must be for us.“ The Mole, greatly wondering, obeyed. „I hear nothing myself,“ he said, „but the wind playing in the reeds and rushes and osiers.“

The Rat never answered, if indeed he heard. Rapt, transported, trembling, he was possessed in all his senses by this new divine thing that caught up his helpless soul and swung and dandled it, a powerless but happy infant in a strong sustaining grasp.

In silence Mole rowed steadily, and soon they came to a point where the river divided, a long backwater branching off to one side. With a slight movement of his head Rat, who had long dropped the rudder-lines, directed the rower to take the backwater. The creeping tide of light gained and gained, and now they could see the colour of the flowers that gemmed the water’s edge.

„Clearer and nearer still,“ cried the Rat joyously.

„Now you must surely hear it! Ah – at last – I see you do!“

Breathless and transfixed the Mole stopped rowing as the liquid run of that glad piping broke on him like a wave, caught him up, and possessed him utterly. He saw the tears on his comrade’s cheeks, and bowed his head and understood. For a space they hung there, brushed by the purple loosestrife that fringed the bank; then the clear imperious summons that marched hand-in-hand with the intoxicating melody imposed its will on Mole, and mechanically he bent to his oars again. And the light grew steadily stronger, but no birds sang as they were wont to do at the approach of dawn; and but for the heavenly music all was marvellously still.

On either side of them, as they glided onwards, the rich meadow-grass seemed that morning of a freshness and a greenness unsurpassable. Never had they noticed the roses so vivid, the willowherb so riotous, the meadow-sweet so odorous and pervading. Then the murmur of the approaching weir began to hold the air, and they felt a consciousness that they were nearing the end, whatever it might be, that surely awaited their expedition.

Kenneth Grahame: The wind in the willows – 1908

always wanting you to do something

„The bank is so crowded nowadays that many people are moving away altogether. O no, it isn’t what it used to be, at all. Otters, kingfishers, dabchicks, moorhens, all of them about all day long and always wanting you to do something – as if a fellow had no business of his own to attend to!“

Kenneth Grahame: The wind in the willows – 1908

„messing – about – in – boats; messing -„

„Nice? It’s the only thing,“ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. „Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,“ he went on dreamily:

„messing – about – in – boats; messing -„

„Look ahead, Rat!“ cried the Mole suddenly.

It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt.

The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.

„- about in boats – or with boats,“ the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. 

„In or out of ‚em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it.“

„Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not.“

„Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?“

The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions. „What a day I’m having!“ he said. „Let us start at once!“

Kenneth Grahame: The wind in the willows – 1908

Nächtliche Bilder

Die Wandbilder von Klaus Paier in Aachen und Köln. Ausgewählte Fotografien aus der Sammlung von Regina und Dieter Weinkauf sowie aus dem Nachlass von Klaus Paier und dem Fundus von Achim Ferrari, ergänzt durch historische und aktuelle Texte, zusammengestellt von Axel Deubner, 249 Seiten. Druck Sieprath GmbH, Aachen 2023

Die Dokumentation umfasst 256 Seiten und ist in Aachen bei der Buchhandlung 39 in der Pontstraße und bei Schmetz am Dom für 25 Euro zu erwerben.


‚And I hope,‘ added my godmother in conclusion, ‚the child will not be like her mama; as silly and frivolous a little flirt as ever sensible man was weak enough to marry. 

For,‘ said she, ‚Mr Home is a sensible man in his way, though not very practical: he is fond of science, and lives half his life in a laboratory trying experiments – a thing his butterfly wife could neither comprehend nor endure; and indeed,‘ confessed my godmother, ‚I should not have liked it myself.‘

Villette –
Charlotte Brontë
First published in 1853
This edition first published in Penguin Classics 2004
This edition published 2016