What's your wildest experience in Calcutta

Crucial momentsIf not me, who!

"But then you are somewhere abroad and completely helpless and then suddenly someone comes along, brings you the food, organizes things, carries you and takes care of you - well I don't know if I would be sitting here without Renata",

says Christoph Sapp, and Karl Peter Hasenkamp adds:

"I said to myself, on a philosophical or general human basis, when you've recognized something and something makes sense, then you can't stop at recognizing it and communicating it. Then there's the point that it's your turn. And I did that!"

To have a purpose and to fulfill it

Joachim Raack is a psychotherapist: "That is this idea that there is something fateful about it. Somehow it is no coincidence that I am here. I have a destiny and if I act like that, then I fulfill the destiny and that is of course a very one Satisfying experience, not only for those who are helped, but also for those who can act. "

Christoph Sapp says: "I was in India in 2014 and had already been sick for four weeks. What we know: diarrhea, but also a urinary tract infection, I had a circulatory breakdown in between and then lay at one of the main stations in Calcutta few hours."

Christoph Sapp fell seriously ill while on a trip to India. A stranger saved his life. (Christoph Sapp)

Christoph Sapp is 23 years old at the time, has already completed his studies and wants to be free for a few months, get to know India - and experience himself in unusual situations. On the ground at Calcutta Central Station, however, this experience has no soft side.

You're lying on the floor and nobody cares

"There are hundreds, thousands of people walking around and nobody cares. Well, I imagine if something like that happened in Germany and someone was lying on the floor, someone would come up with the idea of ​​helping or at least asking something it's going on there, but there ... They look very interested, 'What is this white guy doing there?', but help ... it doesn't matter. They are more like spectators. "

There was a man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among the robbers; they stripped him and beat him and ran away and left him half dead.

The parable of the good Samaritan told by Jesus:

It happened, however, that a priest went down the same road; and when he saw him, he passed by. Likewise also a Levite; when he got to the place and saw him, he passed by.

A person sits at the exit of a train station (imago / Michael Schick)

Nobody cares about Christoph Sapp in Calcutta either. At some point he can get up, drag himself on a train and drive into the mountains - to Darjeeling. He hopes the height could suit him well. But in addition to his weakness, there are now body aches. His situation becomes threatening:

"After six days it had grown so large that I had inflammation in my ankles, knees, hips, elbows and wrists - so painful that I could no longer turn myself in my own bed."

Christoph Sapp is seriously ill.

But a Samaritan who was on the way came there; and when he saw him he wailed.

His condition becomes life threatening.

An Italian woman in India helped

"And during that time a woman helped me, Renata. Italian, pensioner, who pays her pension in Asia, in India, because it is not enough for Italy, but okay for India."

Renata accompanies him to two hospitals until the diagnosis is made: Christoph Sapp has an autoimmune disease as a reaction to salmonella poisoning. There are drugs for that. Renata stays with him until they hit.

But a Samaritan who was on the way came there; and when he saw him he wailed.

"This is a parable that Jesus speaks to indicate who is next, who is the one who depends on me? How is love for the neighbor shown?" - the Protestant theologian Frank Vogelsang, and cites:

"There is one word at the center of this parable: esplagchniste, and you can translate it by saying that it touches your heart or it hurts your kidneys. In the Luther translation it says, 'he wailed That means there is a very immediate reaction that takes place. Nobody weighs up, nobody makes arguments and has pros and cons, but he realizes at the moment that he has to react and then does that too. "

The Samaritan went to him, bandaged his wounds, and poured oil and wine into them, and lifted him on his beast, and brought him into the inn, and tended him.

The woman who saved Christoph Sapp's life acted like the Samaritan. She, too, abandoned everything, discarded her own plans for these days, and accompanied the German student to a remote hospital:

"But that was back down at the foot of the Himalayas, about a four-hour drive away. Renata came along and organized a lot. So when the registration was there, she took care of the formalities while I was in the emergency room Somehow lay next to such a bleeding woman - that was really all pretty dramatic - and she stayed there for the first night in the hospital.

So go and do the same.

Most people, however, do not find an opportunity to do "the same". Of course, everyone is indispensable in their families, at work and among friends, and they are needed by their neighbors. Existential moments in which the individual is asked to act, in which it may be a matter of life and death, and in which a distant neighbor needs help seem rare.

"The police are coming soon!"

Some make constant attention their job: paramedics, doctors or police officers. Most people, however, only see themselves confronted at very special moments with the fact that it now depends on them, that they are so moved that they cannot help but do something decisive for others and put their own plans aside.

"It was only a rumble that something fell down. I live on the mezzanine floor, everyone has to pass my apartment door. I recognize people by their crotch and it was clear that something is very different from usual."

Manuela Droste from Wuppertal, the noise in the stairwell seems strange. She's checking to be on the safe side. She still has no idea how much she will be needed in a moment.

"I am not now - open the apartment door! And run down! - No, I first went slowly to look. And then I just saw, through the railing, that my neighbor was being choked from behind and that his mouth and nose were held shut. And it was clear that he would not be able to do it alone. "

"Of course, at first I thought I had to impress this perpetrator. He's caught, he was seen: yelling at. A moment of shock and call the police - this is a robbery."

The perpetrator pulls out a gun and points it at Manuela Droste. She withdraws for a moment. Your daughter has called the police in the meantime. But then the mother of three goes back to the landing, out of the line of fire. She yells at the perpetrator. The police are coming soon! Finally he's running away.

Leave your own comfort zone

Manuela Droste is a person who wants to notice that he is needed. It doesn't matter whether she's standing in the kitchen doing the dishes while something is happening in the stairwell or whether she comes into conversation with strangers in everyday situations and can be there for her.

"It has been like this for many years that I take care of everything. It is my character anyway to pay attention to other people."

With this she trains her attention. Perceiving that moment when you are needed is a matter of practice.

The point is to repeatedly refrain from yourself, to leave your own comfort zone, first with perception and thoughts and then also in action.

"I think there are moments when, so to speak, the self, you could also say the mind, steps aside a bit and then an inspiration or a motivation arises in us to do something that we ourselves are in the moment Can't explain at all. I think that you can train that to a certain extent, that you can be open to this voice that expresses itself in us. "

Infinite thought process

The Cologne psychoanalyst Joachim Raack sees people in a connection with the larger world that surrounds them. He works according to the principles of Carl Gustav Jung. Compassion, or as Joachim Raack says, being moved is the bridge from your own to the larger world:

"That is the ability to really let oneself be grasped and that needs this openness and that needs this ability to let go of the endless thought process in which we are actually always involved. And that also means from this one I have an attachment to actually stepping out of isolation with the environment and making real contact. And in this real contact I can't help but do the right thing, so to speak. "

Karl-Peter Hasenkamp sees himself challenged again and again on the autobahn: "There was stop-and-go traffic and every time the trucks drove up, they smoked from their exhaust pipes so that I could hardly see anything. And then I asked myself Who is actually thinking about determining the volume, what is (coming) from all the exhaust pipes in the entire world, all cars, all trucks, all ships and all factory chimneys, who is actually thinking about it? "

It's the 1980s. Karl Peter Hasenkamp from the Düsseldorf area is a banker with a sense for large numbers and the insight that nothing on earth ever disappears. The gas from the exhaust pipes has to come from somewhere, go somewhere and, even if it is no longer visible, it has to have an effect.

"You can never do too much there, so to speak."

Against climate change - 20 years too early

In the 1990s, the idea of ​​a change in climate entered the political debate.

Carbon dioxide, CO2, which is released when oil, coal and gas are burned after it was bound for thousands of years in the former forests in the depths of the earth - this gas forms a ring around the earth, causing it to heat the sun can no longer radiate and therefore heats up. Karl Hasenkamp believes that everyone is involved in this process, the rich more than the poor. That is why everyone is called upon to do something about it:

"Those who throw dirt on the earth actually have the obligation to pick up this dirt again. And those who emit C02 have the physical and moral obligation to remove this C02 again."

And that is possible by having trees planted to bind carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It turns from gas back to leaf and wood. In 1993 he opened a forest agency with the first CO2 calculator in Germany.

Small farmer in Nicaragua: Serebó (Schizolobium amazonicum), a nitrogen-fixing tree species, improves soil fertility (© PRIMAKLIMA e.V.)

"Primaklima was founded by me."

But: Hasenkamp comes too early with his concept. For 20 years he has been trying hard to convince other people to offset their contribution to climate change. Most of the time it is in vain. After all, the Primaklima organization has survived the years of widespread disregard and is in demand today, as the climate crisis is being discussed.

"More than 15 million trees have been planted and the area is around 80 square kilometers. So a ten-kilometer-wide strip, eight kilometers long, maybe ten kilometers. And the number of tons of CO2 that has disappeared or broken down into carbon and oxygen, is estimated at 800,000 tons of CO2. "

When the impulse of a decisive moment becomes a task for many years, possibly for a lifetime, you need staying power and the strength to let yourself be fired on again and again by the conviction and enthusiasm of the beginning.

Karl Peter Hasenkamp: "I said to myself, on a philosophical or general human basis, when you have recognized something and something is meaningful, then you cannot stop at recognizing it and communicating it. Then there is the point that you can it's your turn. And that's what I did! "

One second changes the European post-war order

Crucial moments. People with leadership roles, such as politicians, artists, clergy or managers, are prepared for their words, judgments and actions to count. But this is seldom as clear as in the second in which a gesture readjusts the post-war order in Central Europe.

"When he went forward, he didn't know that. And everyone felt that who saw it."

Willy Brandt kneels on December 7, 1970 in Warsaw in front of the memorial in the former Jewish ghetto (dpa)

Walter Scheel is Foreign Minister with Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt in Warsaw on December 7, 1970. They walk side by side to the memorial on the site of the Jewish ghetto, where Germans tortured, deported and killed thousands of people during the occupation. Willy Brandt kneels down. Persist.

Later he says: "It was something that fell out of all the rest of the terrible framework, that I found that in the end I couldn't do anything other than set an example, I ask, as someone who is not one of the wildest supporters Hitler's belonged, to put it this way, I ask forgiveness on behalf of my people, I also pray that we may be forgiven. "

A gesture must not be aimed at applause

His gesture opens the door to a new perspective on Germans and helps a large part of German society to respect itself again. It shines far beyond the moment and Brandt's own life.

He hadn't planned it, hadn't diluted it through many considerations, hadn't considered whether it was right or wrong. To be effective, such a gesture must not be aimed at applause.

Almost even less likely is the inspiration of a man who in the 1970s was simply a private citizen, a journalist by profession, watched television, in black and white, like everyone else. In a radio interview he said:

"I saw these pictures, on television, of people going out into the South China Sea, fully equipped on fishing and river boats, and I knew that these people were in imminent danger of drowning."

Christel and Rupert Neudeck at the awarding of the Erich Fromm Prize in April 2016. (picture alliance / dpa / Marijan Murat)

Rupert Neudeck lets himself be touched and carried away by these pictures.

"And I knew for myself that I had to do something now. I didn't know what, I didn't know how, I didn't know when, I didn't know with whom. I only knew one thing, very clearly, clearly, unequivocally, I had to do something to do."

Rupert Neudeck and his wife Christel surpass themselves.

You charter a ship, the Cap Anamur, and save 11,000 people in the years to come. Neudeck, who died in 2016, combined radical freedom in thought and action with traditional, deep convictions.

Shortly before the rescue by the German aid ship Cap Anamur, an escape boat drifts in the China Sea. (dpa / picture alliance / Scharsich)

Perhaps that is the magical mixture that it takes for a person to actively help where so many others look the other way.

He said: "It has been a great favor in my life that I knew the Samaritan parable through my parents and my upbringing, in which everything is summarized. And it says, only he is the one in South China The sea is in danger of drowning, the next one who tries to do something for him. So I've actually been able to translate this parable over and over again. "

Good deeds, new good deeds

It is not known whether the man whom the Samaritan helped later did something good for others.

Regardless of the fact that he actually didn't have time to have someone waiting for him at home, that it didn't seem to be right at the moment. Christoph Sapp, whose life was saved by the Italian pensioner Renata, provided first aid to a woman who was run over in front of his eyes.

He hopes that good deeds will produce new good deeds:

"If this mutual blessing were to propagate one another, it would be very nice. I can well imagine it."