Paths, they are similar to bridges and yet they are different. Sometimes a path establishes a direct connection, but often a path also simply leads into emptiness. This is never actually the case with bridges. Bridges are manageable, they are reliable connection points from A to B, they can be trusted, at least as long as they have not become old and fragile. Paths, on the other hand, often prove to be opaque junctions. Once you have gone onto them, they can become very long, confusing and even dangerous. This makes it so difficult to set out on a path because you don’t always know where it leads and how it will affect your existence in the end.

Life-Journeys remain unpredictable. They orient themselves on the fateful circumstances of the individual and develop their own dynamic. We are right in conclusion when we say that every person goes his own personal way. Even if someone lives in a community, he will still have to master his own path in the end and possibly even without outside help. It is difficult to come to a different conclusion if you look attentively at life in an everyday manner. So it is right to claim that no one escapes the path of life prescribed to him, whether he knows about it or not. It is like a gene that was placed in the cradle at birth and only disappears when a man breathes out his last breath. Ways can be intertwined. Our authors from all over the world tell you how much they affect many a life. And you can be very excited about that.

To set an example, I dare to tell you, dear readers, about two paths in life that I personally took part in at a time when I was still young. It shows how stony some paths can become, but also how powerful and influential a path of life can develop. That’s not for me to judge. I just want to show by telling you how life can be so blatant sometimes.

My two best friends from my childhood – we called ourselves the three musketeers – now live in entirely different worlds, and unfortunately, the three of us have no contact with each other anymore because of our separate ways in life.

Hubert, Bernd, and Arthur played soccer together, climbed WWII ruins, stole cherries directly from the neighbor’s tree and got their first kiss in life of one and the same girl. We skipped school together, drove the roller coaster driver crazy at the fair, let him run after his carousel money and went home without paying the fee in the tram. We called ourselves the 3 Musketeers, and nobody in the neighborhood could harm us. Our mothers were friends, and while they were sitting at the coffee table in the afternoon, we stuffed the tank of our neighbor Joseph’s brand new motorbike a BMW 600 with white sugar outside in the parking lot. Joseph never knew who about that until he died.

It turned out that one day our mothers learned of a famous fortune teller. I remember her name well, it was Rothgeb. Mrs. Rothgeb has been on everyone’s lips for a long time. The newspaper had reported about her, how she brought the police in a murder case on the trace of the perpetrator and besides Mrs. Rothgeb was said to be entirely reliable about her predictions. So our mothers went there together. Now it must be mentioned that none of our families were rich. From this point of view, I came from the financially most stable family in our circle of friends. My father was the Privat chauffeur of the Chief Construction Director of the Free State of Bavaria in Würzburg. He had a secure job and one day a secure pension. Hubert’s father was a street sweeper. Honorable but poor. And Bernd’s father worked sometimes and sometimes he had to stay sick at home. The war and its grief had caused his soul and body much harm. Bernd’s mother spent half her life cleaningTaverns. An excellent and righteous woman who did everything for her five children. Hubert’s mother came from a farm, and she was hard-working and just as poor. When the three met at the coffee table, it was mostly at our home in the apartment. My mother had a little more money than the other two, and that’s why she mainly was buying the coffee.

In short, the three mothers went together to Frau Rothgeb to let their future be predicted, and low and behold, the coffee gossip in the following week revolved around only one topic, namely what Frau Rothgeb had prophesied to each of our mothers.

My mother was told that one day she would be a widow. It wasn’t a big deal, because there was a good chance that could happen. Where I opened my ears was when the women talked about us boys and our future. All straight from the mouth of Frau “Rothgeb.” I was to become a great famous writer and go abroad. That about the foreign country was right, about the famous writer was not quite right. Hubert would one day be a bus driver and father six children, but what Hubert’s mother now whispered quietly around the table was exciting. Hubert would go to America and go to prison there. And Bernd, he would become a rich merchant, said Bernd’s mother. I still see her before me today laughing and waving and saying: “Stop that Frau Rothgeb. I must clean Taverns until I drop dead”.

Remember, we were talking about paths, “Life Journeys.”

The last time I saw Hubert, he was 50. I met him on the street. He was snow-white in his face and had no teeth in his mouth. I said hello to him, and I wanted to talk to him. He ran past me like a white stroke, and I had the impression that he no longer had the will to live in him. Later I learned that he was in prison in the USA for ten years. He was deported to Germany, and there he became a nursing case.

Bernd, on the other hand, is one of the hundred richest people in Germany today. He has embarked on the path of a big life journey, and I know very little about it. But the company he founded is so well known that you don’t need to know much about its founder to assume that FORBES magazine is right when it trumpets the sum of Bernd’s personal wealth into the public calling it to be beyond billions.

My life as the third one in the alliance was also not from lousy heritage. But as the editor of pondering time I take the liberty to save it for the future so that I can tell you many more beautiful stories from my life’s journey for a while longer.

Paths, you see how they differ. Please read now what else we have published about this subject. Have a good time reading.

Arthur Pahl

Arthur Pahl was born in Gladbeck / Westphalia and grew up in Würzburg. After a apprenticeship in the hotel trade, he completed an internship in Swiss fine dining, worked as a steward on an ocean liner, lived in the US, Colombia, Canada and Brazil, was a rice farmer, emerald trader, taxi driver, Tomb stone seller and stockbroker before he succeeded in Germany, where he has been working ever since as a tour Manager for international tour groups. Arthur's personal motto is: "Writing is Living - reading is understanding Life.
Arthur Pahl

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