Blog 06/2018 – Michael Trybek

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About our Blog 2018

More and more people are longing for simple explanations and solutions. An unmistakable sign that our living conditions are becoming increasingly complex. For this reason, we will publish 12 blog posts this year that deal with this timely issue.

It is important for us to consider very different perspectives in order to offer you the most stimulating possible offer. For this we have been able to win four well-known guest authors who, with no editorial filters, write about their personal thoughts on this very interesting topic. Look forward to philosophical insights from Dr. Ina Schmidt, humorous thoughts of our therapeutic clown Michael Trybek, astute thoughts by our language and legal expert Carlos A. Gebauer and constructive considerations of our health expert Christoph von Oldershausen.

We wish you a stimulating read.

Your Liechtenstein Academy team

Modern Times

Not long ago, I had an appointment with an employee of an Austrian bank. After a short tour of the newly constructed modern office building, I asked him whether he felt comfortable here. He answered yes but in the same breath told me that he regretted that the windows could no longer be opened. This had been done deliberately as the opening of an arbitrary window would allegedly affect the indoor climate throughout the building. I probably looked dumbfounded because, with a mischievous smile, he opened his office drawer. He drew out the kind of wrench that can be picked up in any hardware store. He walked determinedly over to the room’s large window, turned around and opened it.

He looked at me proudly, as though he had just performed a great feat. In a sense, he had!

For he had not resigned himself to the arbitrary rules of office life with a shrug of his shoulders, but instead had ignored them with this little «act of rebelling». And thus he had «reconquered» a piece of autonomy. This observation was of interest to me because something so self-evident (like opening the office window) became something special – almost a «subversive» action.

I involuntarily thought of a scene from the film «Modern Times» by and starring Charlie Chaplin:

he works on an assembly line and – due to adverse circumstances – is dragged into the machine. There he turns back and forth in the midst of large cogs, until he is completely absorbed by the machinery. In this scene Chaplin humorously parodies a possible development of modernity, namely one where man is captured by technology.

In the same building as the bank – on the ground floor, in the customer area ­– I then witnessed the following situation: an elderly lady around 70 trying unsuccessfully to complete a bank transfer using one of the purpose-built service machines.

I saw her glancing helplessly through the large hall, so I offered my support and together we managed to solve the issue. The lady then confessed to me that she had to suffer these difficulties with her transaction every month and that she was too embarrassed to constantly ask someone for help. However, she said she would not give up and always tried to do it herself «because someday I will be able to do it alone», she whispered with a confident smile.

As I left the building, I tried to order my impressions. These were: an employee of a bank, who secretly opens his office window, to let the refreshing purity of the air into the sterile world of his office; an elderly lady who fails every month to use an automated bank transfer machine but who does not give up; and finally Charlie Chaplin, who tried – through his films – to give people optimism and confidence by touching them and making them laugh.

Then my glance fell on the Danube flowing by… for an illuminating moment I had the conviction that everything was somehow connected. But even with my best efforts, I could not grasp how or why. It was clearly too complex.

Written by: Michael Trybek