Column for Life: Anchor in Need | life & knowledge

Column for Life: Anchor in Need |  life & knowledge

What is really important? What touches us today – and will not go away tomorrow? It’s the things that have moved us since human existence: happiness, love, family, partnership, time, stress, loneliness, farewell, grief.

BILD columnist Louis Hagen*, coming from a German-Jewish family, sought answers to the eternal questions of mankind from poets, thinkers and researchers. And found a few answers that are amazingly simple – and yet can enrich our lives.


Sometimes you don’t know what people are like until you’re feeling down.

My story goes like this: headache and chest pain, creepy cough, fever, if I can speak at all I don’t recognize my own voice. I go to my neighbor Patricia and ask for a corona test. With the result I ring her bell again and ask: It’s nothing, is it? She looks at the tube, then at me and says, a little mockingly: You have Corona.

BILD columnist Louis Hagen

Photo: Wolf Lux

What follows now, dear readers, is not a medical history, so you can read on. Because I was spared for so long, I am sharing the test result with my colleagues and friends. Actually with the ulterior motive: please leave me alone for a few days, when I’m fit again, I’ll get in touch.

I hadn’t turned into the sleeping position yet when the first WhatsApp messages came: “What do you need, we’ll bring it home for you,” colleagues wrote to me. Another: “You like reading newspapers so much. I’ll bring you a batch.”

My wife and mother of our sons brings cat food (the two cat ladies Minka and Teddy have to listen to my coughing all the time, so they need powerful food); a neighbor gets me some crispbread. And then there’s Adriana (11), the daughter of the neighbor on the second floor, on the phone: “If you need something, I’ll come up and bring it to you,” she said in her child’s voice.

No, we are not isolated. I know that now. We have friends, anchors in distress. We belong to an important community that is strong when one of us is down. The community has a name: it is called humanity.

* Louis Hagen (75) was a member of the BILD editor-in-chief for 13 years and is now a consultant at the communications agency WMP. His texts are available as a book at


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