Is there karma of fate

“There are no coincidences in life” - a conversation with Roland Kaiser about fate, love and fleeting happiness

By Sandra Maxeiner

How many times in your life have you wondered whether what you have just experienced or experienced was coincidence or fate? Especially when the unforeseen happens, and when our further life is permanently shaped by events or people, we start pondering and ask ourselves whether a higher power is at play.

The search for the “secret plan” that lies behind the coincidence is not new. Long before today's scientific endeavors, people tried to interpret apparently random occurrences. Despite all research, we probably never find out whether our fate is predetermined, whether our lives are being directed, whether everything is just pure coincidence or maybe even a mixture of all three factors.

Christianity assumes that God has the power to direct everything, but that we still have free will and thus bear responsibility. In Buddhism, happiness or unhappiness are the result of previous deeds and are called "karma". In psychology, strokes of fate are more likely to be seen as learning processes that can support and mature us in our personal development. Whatever the reason why this or that thing happens to us in life and whether we believe in coincidences or not: As a consequence, coincidences can help us to change our life and develop further. So it is more important than answering the question of whether something is coincidence or fate to go mindfully through life, to live in the here and now and to try to make the most of what life has in store for us.

Even if we believe in a predestination of our destiny by karma, nothing is fixed forever. Because there is something that can also resolve bad karma: love. The Buddhist nun Ani Choying explains it with the symbolism of a game of billiards: “When we hit the ball of love, life takes a different direction. Then we can erase bad karma before it enters our lives. "

When I talk to Roland Kaiser on this Friday afternoon, I suddenly think of his song “Liebe kann uns save us”. How much truth and wisdom there is in this simple message! For Roland Kaiser, in any case, it is clear that nothing in our life is coincidental - including the great success that he is currently enjoying humbly and gratefully. Perhaps a success like this is to a certain extent the result of the longing of people who live in a culture of the temporary and a time of the arbitrary, for stability and reliability. Perhaps the longing to be part of a whole is one of the mainsprings of this success. Precisely because our time seems to be crammed with almost infinite possibilities for our self-realization. Anyone who has ever attended a Roland Kaiser concert knows this wonderful feeling of being part of a bigger whole. It is Roland Kaiser and his music that provide this consistency and that have accompanied many of his fans for a lifetime - a phenomenon that seems to continue in the younger generations.

In addition, with his great social commitment, Roland Kaiser stands for values ​​such as humanity and charity, which are becoming increasingly important today. Apple founder Steve Jobs is said to have said on his deathbed: "Now I know that we have to ask ourselves completely different questions in life that have nothing in common with wealth ... Your wealth - that's love for your family, that's love to your wife and your husband, that is the love for your neighbors. Take care of yourself and take care of the others. "

Mr. Kaiser, almost four years have passed since our first conversation. When you look back on this period of time, what do you remember as particularly positive?

Mr. Kaiser, almost four years have passed since our first conversation. When you look back on this period of time, what do you remember as particularly positive?

Lots of things, both privately and professionally. My children have grown up and grown up, my professional activity has increased and our world has shaken a little - both our political here in Germany and worldwide. And I am also thinking of climate change, which is being noticed but, in my opinion, is not being taken seriously enough.

In our conversations we have often exchanged views on the ups and downs of life. In the book "The good luck" of the Motivation researcher Michaela Brohm-Badry, which I recently read, is about how we can manage to lead a satisfied life, especially when we have had traumatic experiences. The scientist emphasizes that you can grow with strokes of fate. If you read her personal story and know that she had an aneurysm and barely escaped death, one can get the impression that a traumatic experience is practically a prerequisite for finding the path to happiness. How do you see it

It would be fatal if that were the case. I believe a stroke of fate is a test for a person. Either it breaks or it gets stronger. But it would be very sad if you had to experience something very bad first to find your own happiness.

Perhaps it is so that after a stroke of fate you can better understand and enjoy happiness because you have experienced unhappiness beforehand. You see things in a more differentiated way and develop a greater serenity. That's what happened to me after my transplant. Today I am more relaxed and humble than ever.

Because you know how ephemeral our lives and happy moments are?

Yes exactly. You set different priorities and don't have to worry about something going wrong all the time. You have experienced something so drastic and learned that everything else that comes after cannot be so bad anymore. You put it into perspective.

Pericles, one of the leading statesmen of ancient Athens once said: "The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage." How often have you been particularly brave in your life?

What I now feel, look at or can name as courage, others might see very differently. In any case, I am brave enough to express my opinion to other people without offending them. I think it's very important that you are able to speak your mind without making too much wind. This also applies to the public. I give my opinion - regardless of whether it harms me or not. I don't know if that's courage.

“Taking a risk and making mistakes,” writes psychology professor Brohm-Badry in her book, “increases the likelihood of taking opportunities and personal growth.” In retrospect, what was and is the greatest risk you have taken in your life Really brought you personal growth?

That is hard to say. Some would argue that getting on a plane and flying is risky. Others say it is the safest mode of transport in the world. It is definitely risky to start businesses because they can fail. Getting married is also a risk because it could break up. But none of this is a risk for me.

So you can't say what the greatest risk was?

I once did a tandem paragliding flight with someone. But is that a risk? Because the one who flew with me was an experienced paraglider.

Was that a great experience?

It was a very unusual experience. It arose from a conversation that evening and we had an appointment the next morning. We then drove up a mountain, went with the umbrella on a meadow and at the end of this meadow there was a slope. The paraglider then said to me: “We're going to run now and then jump into the abyss.” I looked at him in disbelief and replied: “You're not serious now!” “Yes,” he said, “we'll do it now. “With a tandem jump, you are attached to the front of your partner. And for a moment I thought, “Do I really have to do this now? Do I deserve it? ”And since you don't want to look like you're pinching in front of the people standing around, I jumped with him. At that moment, of course, one hopes that the umbrella will open. Apart from that, the experience was really nice. Since I am someone who has a high affinity for flying, it was a nice experience when I noticed that the glider had opened. Only when we landed downstairs did I forget my partner's instructions, according to which I should run with them, and so we both pitched a little rudely on the meadow.

Sometimes, when we are at a low point in our life, we wish to be faced with the decision we once made again and to be able to go a different path. Did you also have these points in your life?

No. When you look at yourself today, you cannot single out decisions. Then you would no longer be the Sandra Maxeiner that you are. Then you would look different. We are total works of art, and I don't think we can change that. Because it could be that if we had made this one decision differently, it would add completely new components that would plunge us into a much greater calamity. We don't know that. I am of the opinion that there is no such thing as a coincidence.

But what is it then?

Destiny, destiny. When people sometimes talk to me and complain: “How could God do this to me?”, I say, for example: “You are now 54 years old, have you ever asked before: How could he give me so much happiness?” For 54 years it worked well, but when things are different and don't go well in your eyes, you immediately complain: “How could he do this to me?” We humans are quite strange in this regard. We'd rather nag than praise. That is also the case in daily life. The modern media nowadays transport people's complaints faster than the suggestion box used to do. There was never a “box of praise”. Just the box where people can complain. Today 90 percent of letters to the editor are complaints, only 10 percent are praise. In general, we don't give praise enough.

How often do you get grief mail?

Lots of people write to me because they have worries and problems, and they ask me for help. I help as far as I can and wherever I can. However, due to my diverse commitments in social projects, associations and foundations, I am already busy a few days a week.

You are a very positive person. You look ahead, tackle things and are not afraid - as we have just discussed - to utter uncomfortable truths from time to time. Where do you draw your unshakable optimism?

It's innate to me. My glass is always half full, never half empty. I am a person who lives in the here and now. Have you heard of Dale Carnegie's book, Don't Worry, Live?

Yes.

Then you know. I live in the now. With the fear of tomorrow and the anger about yesterday you can no longer come to life. Children naturally know this. Unfortunately, you just unlearn it in the course of life. When you start to reflect on what went wrong yesterday and what might go badly tomorrow, then you lose sight of today. This is something to keep if you can. Somehow I can. I live in the moment, and right now nothing interests me as much as talking to you. This gives an incredible calm and strength and the other the feeling that someone is listening and interested in him. Today people often talk too much because they look out of the window during the conversation, look at their cell phone and are not concentrated enough with the person they are talking to. It is important to learn to listen. Because communicating doesn't just mean sending a WhatsApp message.

Communication with WhatsApp and other virtual means of communication also creates a lot of misunderstandings.

Naturally.

In your new song “Love Can Save Us” you sing about the power of love. What is the essence of love for you?

The song is meant in such a way that we should see positively all things that interest us. That we should handle the world's resources carefully and that it is important that people treat each other in a non-aggressive manner. I have the impression that they are becoming more and more violent or more violent. When problems cannot be solved or when social imbalances occur, everything quickly turns over and violence starts. With the song I try to remind you that all we need is love - "All you need is love", so the Beatles have already sung about the power of love. Because a person who loves and is loved is automatically a more balanced and positive person than someone who feels unappreciated and unloved. We should all keep our eyes on this earth because it feels unloved by us. It's not safe. Unfortunately, world politics is paralyzed. When two big states like China and America say they won't sign a climate agreement, no one else does either. According to the motto: "If they are not there, it is of no use anyway."

And the horrific deforestation of the rainforest in Brazil ...

Trump is considering allowing clearing in Alaska as well.

Yes. This is unbeliveable.

The EU heads of government could not even agree on achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Every day people suffer from the climate crisis. This disagreement has ignored urgency and jeopardized everyone's future.

... and that the time is possibly very far advanced ...

In the worst case, the sea level will rise by half a meter by 2050 and it could rise by 2 to 3 meters by 2100. That meant that for 20 days a year, 55 percent of the global population would be exposed to deadly heat beyond human survivability. Without immediate action, we will be approaching a “point of no return” by the middle of the century.

I'll come back to “Love Can Save Us”. How did you come up with this song?

Peter Plate offered it to me and said: “I have a song that only you can actually sing, because you have also experienced what it means when you get through personal crises - like an illness - through your partner and family. is worn. ”Nobody becomes sick alone. When someone in the family or relationship becomes sick, the entire family and partner is affected. Nobody is sick alone. The people around him get sick with him. But these people are usually not looked after and not seen, not noticed and not taken seriously enough. That is exactly the point of your initiative: to help these people who are not seen next to the sick person.

That's true. I'll come back to that in a moment ...

Musically, you have a broad repertoire and also include classical music. If you could ask for a duet partner from the field of classical music, who would you like to work with?

I moderated the Opera Ball in Dresden last year. There was a Georgian soprano, Nino Matschaidze, who I would like to be on stage with.

Now I come to our club: A study by the University of Witten / Herdecke has shown that caring relatives feel highly stressed and often have the feeling of being left alone. Why do you think that far too little has been done for these people so far?

Because our society takes care of those affected - if at all - and those who care are taken for granted. “You do it that way, it's proper, that's decent!” But caring for someone in the family can destroy entire livelihoods. A normal case would be: your mother falls ill, becomes bedridden, and because you don't have the money to hire a nurse or place her in a nursing home, you have to do it yourself. Then society says: “Of course, that's your mother!” Or another case: Your partner has dementia. Then our society would say: "Well, then it was just out of luck." But that's not it. It is very difficult.

This is a life's work ...

Yes. And that's what people perish and nobody cares about. There is no safety net. There are people who need care themselves because they are physically and nervously exhausted.

In your opinion, what could be done for family carers to provide them with better support?

You could call out loudly that the health insurance companies should pay for it. Then I would enter into a discussion with the health insurance companies, who ask me: “How do we want to finance this?” Normally, the nursing service would be rewarded for this service. So why shouldn't this benefit also be granted to the caring relatives just like a nursing service? Ultimately, it is also a kind of care for society.

We are getting older and older and will certainly have more and more people in need of care ...

I saw an interesting report on television this week. In which places or regions do the oldest people in the world live? One of these places is in Sardinia. If you are born here in Germany the chances are that you will be over 100, 1: 500, there it is 1:80. And it's the only place in the world where men and women have the same life expectancy.

How do scientists explain this phenomenon?

The family ties are so intact there. The TV report showed a family of winemakers who, from great-grandchildren to grandpa or grandma, all live in the same house and work in the same business. They drink a glass of red wine in the evening. And so they are always integrated. No old person is torn from their surroundings because they are told: "You are now coming to a home!", As is customary with us. The exchange between old and young is permanent there. The elderly are also less frail than here with us. When I saw that, I thought: thunderstorm. That has a lot to do with people's psyche, how healthy they are. A doctor recently told me that happy people get 30 percent less sick than unhappy people. We then emit some messenger substances that prevent us from catching infections. Our body is extremely interesting. It is not that we only get sick because there are biochemical or other processes in our body that make us sick, but it has a lot to do with the soul.

Yes that's true.

The 90-year-old grandpa appeared to be in top shape, even though he had been working for several hours on his vineyard. He had bright eyes and looked happy.

This is what matters ...

Exactly.

Increasingly, children and young people - around 230,000 throughout Germany - are entrusted with caring for their relatives. These young people too often feel left alone with their problems. Many feel that they cannot talk to anyone. This is also due to the fact that care is time-consuming and there is little scope for social contacts outside the home. If you imagine that at some point your children would have to look after a family member, what kind of support would you want?

I would then be in the fortunate position to support my children financially. This is not the case for everyone. That means that the general public has to stand up for it. If she is willing to pay for a care service, then she must also be ready to pay family carers accordingly. Social organizations would have to think about how this would be rewarded, how care could be guaranteed, which auxiliary devices, special beds, wheelchairs, etc. would be needed. Nobody can do it alone. It shouldn't be like that! And then you need associations like yours, to whom relatives can turn and who can exchange ideas with other affected persons, with people who have had similar experiences or with professional helpers and carers. Because the worst thing for these people is to lose social contact, to become lonely.

That's true. We are increasingly living in a single society. More than 40 percent live in one-person households.

And Berlin is the largest single city, I've heard.

That's sad.

Do you think that our hotline - if we manage to offer it all year round with the necessary financial means - can also be of help to young people? I believe that this could make a small contribution so that these children and young people can simply call somewhere and pour out their hearts and maybe get help there too.

Not only financial support, but also spiritual comfort is important. That someone takes the problem seriously, takes care of it, talks to the young person and maybe also has one or the other tip ready because they are a bit away from the problem. You are on the right track!

You are often out and about and very busy with your tours. Do you have time to relax in between? And how do you prefer to relax?

I can't always fly, although I love to do it. But I'm someone who takes the time to switch off. I am mostly out and about with my wife. Then we go for a walk or visit museums. You can find ways to calm down.

In a novel I read recently, the protagonist tried to imagine her life in five years. If you close your eyes for a moment, where do you see yourself in five years?

I guess I'll still be in the middle of business. Anything else would be absurd. I don't want to retire yet.

It's always up to the people, the fans, the audience - whether they let that happen or at some point say: “Well, now it's good. Now we're not coming to you anymore. ”Then I'll have peace.

I can not imagine that …

If you think of our club: Where do you wish we would be in five years?

That you are important in Germany, that you may also be able to work with hospitals, with nursing homes, nursing services and with social care services. That you will become a constant factor. That you contribute with your club to ensure that the people who are in the shadows are not forgotten. I have personally experienced that people who have suffered through the years with the sick were even more affected in the end than those who had recovered in the meantime, because the relatives are then at the end of their strength because they have made this difficult walk. He had to be strong for the other. And when the other is strong again, the relative collapses. To do this, there must be institutions that support and absorb it. There used to be the mother convalescence work because it was recognized even then that mothers always give and give, and when they have no more strength themselves, there is no one to give them anything. Children and spouses draw strength. Mothers could then go on cure for six weeks and the family had to see how they got along. Men were already quite ignorant back then, until they were forced to do everything themselves and discovered that it wasn't just “a bit of household chores”.

Then there is often a lack of the simplest things ...

Naturally.

You have dedicated your own song to the city of Berlin. What do you especially love about Berlin?

I love the pace in the city, love the multicultural, the constant change in the city. I've been looking for a song for this city for a long time, without this pathos and pseudo-romanticism on the Krummen Lanke. You have to find a language that fits the time.

Thank you very much, Mr. Kaiser, for this interview!


[1] Interview with Roland Kaiser on August 30, 2019 in Berlin

“There are no coincidences in life” - A conversation with Roland Kaiser about fate, love and fleeting happiness October 23rd, 2019Sandra Maxeiner
Tagged: relatives, interview; WWZIL, Caring Relatives, Roland Kaiser; Sandra Maxeiner, Fate, What really matters in life