"You are the smartest person I know!"
How did he react?
"Thank you! Well, I am certainly not the smartest person I know..."
"Let me add: You are not only the smartest but also the most humble person I know!"
How did I feel?
You know Ole. He is that one kid that stood out back in school. Who gave answers wittier than the teacher's. No, not the eager beaver everyone rolled their eyes at. Ole is the boy who after leaving everyone's mouths open at his ways of thinking slapped on a winning smile and said, "Isn't that awesome? Science rocks! Right?" Slowly, head after head, the class would start nodding.
Some people call it highly intelligent. Others say genius, genuinely inspiring or geeky. I think it’s life: An insane amount of life flowing through a person. Whatever you name it, Ole’s the personification of that. Unfolding structures like soap bubbles rising he makes logic shine. Yes, structures are beautiful. They can be full of passion. Ole taught me that. Math is alive. Formulas can tickle your body! And intuition is the most important ingredient to walking on abstract paths. Ole knows. Together we examine parallels between love, yoga, math, philosophy, language and spirituality. It has been a trip.
And he is so much more! There are a thousand layers in him. Ole is your granddad who loves reading fairy tales to you. He is the little boy who finds endless entertainment in an everyday item. Pens, tables, knives: Figuring out the ways they work, their history and alternate ways of using them can keep Ole busy for days. He is a inventor. Philosophical trends, computer games, stories, Ole comes up with them all. On top of it all he is one of the most sensitive people I know. A flower field that sways to the softest breeze: Whatever subtle change there is around him, in moments, people, music- Ole will notice. He turns into your godmother when you're in pain. His eyes soften and he wraps his arms around you, showering you with warmth. Ole loves with all his heart. Trying to understand people he opens his mind wider than the horizon at sea. His empathy is the marriage of that loving heart and wide mind of his. They are always switched on, no matter what Ole is up to. He is present, with everything that makes him him.
Being back in Berlin I miss many things I had in Bonn. The calm, the nature, the unagitatedness. But most of all I miss a handful of people, one of them Ole. I met him at school two years ago. He was my endless source for inspiration, spontaneous beer- and rooftop buddy, my favorite everyday enthusiast.
Ole, you are my hero. Sorry for the tons of things I did 't mention even though I admire them in you. They go beyond words; And so do you.