My wife tells me she knows of a Belgian guy who’s now in the Czech Republic. Knocked up some local girl there and now ‘he has to’ learn Czech, because his kid will speak Czech. He’s not enjoying it and is bored with the simple folk there. He needs ‘impulses’ constantly, you see.

My wife gets unusually annoyed and asks: ‘does this guy ever ask himself what he has to offer to his evironment in stead of constantly looking if he can take something from it?’

She goes on about it and says we in the west are all like this. And she’s right. Almost all of my friends are like: ‘what can I take from the world for me?’ They never wonder about what they can put back into it.

My slovak wife is different. She’s too shy and unassuming to actually do it, but sometimes I imagine her speaking to the masses and saying:

‘Ask not what the world can do for you, ask what you can do for the world.’

You don’t have to take my word for it, but the people who ask themselves what they can do for the world are nicer, happier and less obnoxious.

She’s also railing against me, of course. I am the same. I expect the world to get down in front of me on all fours and lift up its skirt. And when the world doesn’t do that, I blame everything and everybody except myself and my self-infatuation. Just look at the title of this blog post…

In the warm light of my wife’s wise eyes, I sit down and ask myself: what can I offer to the world?

Very, very, very little.

You could fill the skull of a dwarfed sparrow with what I have to offer the world.

And I would really love to change that.

The first hurdle to take, I am sure, is my self-obsession.

I hope the guy in the Czech Republic learns the same lesson from the Eastern European mother of his child. Here in Eastern Europe people still accept that they aren’t gods entitled to inherit the Garden Of Eden and…

They are happier.