So, who am I? I am a lucky boy. At least that’s how I would describe myself. I was lucky to grow up in several cultures. Being a stranger in my own country showed me how different and at the same time similar cultures are, especially in the perception of values. Another stroke of luck was that our family, as immigrants, was at the bottom of society’s hierarchy. At that time, of course, I didn’t feel lucky, but today I realise that a large part of my gratitude and humility stems from then.
So much for the starting advantages in life. But my lucky streak never stopped. At the age of 15, I left home and earned my living on my own, besides going to school. Here I learned what freedom and autonomy mean and that it is one of the greatest drives of human beings.
In my many part-time jobs as a pupil and student, I met many, many interesting people. Some were dishwashers, factory workers or managers, but they all had a story. They were all pursuing a dream. The common theme in all these stories was almost always the pursuit of a higher purpose. That was the second great insight of my life.
Self-determination and striving for something greater than oneself are two of the great foundations for human action. There was only one building block missing to understand the big picture. But I needed another 15 years to get there.