Friday, March 19, 2004

The Future of Germany

The train is crowded with commuters. Workers are politely elbowing their way to a rare empty seat. Schoolboys are shouting at each other and horsing around.
A student is sitting in a corner, oblivious of all this, absorbed in his newspaper. He is reading one of Europe’s leading intellectual papers, Der Frankfurter Allgemeine. All small print in long columns of wisdom, hardly any pictures.
There is something calmly timeless about him. The quintessential student, his body a vessel for his thinking.
His eyes are licking at the words on the page, lapping up their underlying meaning. He is digesting them with his stomach-brain. They are building his mind-muscles.
This man will not stand on a rostrum making speeches. He will not move the world. This man’s future lies in a small room in an office, where he will do his research, year after year. With a shy grin for his colleagues, and a twinkle in his eye when he is making an all too subtle joke. He will be no more than an atom in the spine of a country.
The train stops at the station. Quietly he folds his newspaper and moves to the door with the other passengers, a knowing, inward smile on his face.
In him lies the future of Germany.

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