HERMANN HESSE, ME, GENEROUS FRIENDS AND NOBEL PRIZES
I recently read a short biography of Hermann Hesse. How surprising to learn that after achieving literary success, and being able to support himself from his writing, his writing career waned and friends helped him out by giving him money. I felt a kinship with Hesse when I read, “his friends helped him out by giving him money.”
I am grateful when I think about how kind and generous my friends are by lending me and giving me money. Those that lend it are patient about me paying them back. Those that give it do so often unexpectedly. And some friends always treat me when we go to a restaurant. It’s their way of supporting the arts the same way people and corporations give money to opera, ballet, and theater companies when these companies ask for it.
I like to be independent and not have to ask people for help, but sometimes I have to suppress my pride and ask. Perhaps it is a lesson for me, in this lifetime, to learn to ask for help. Perhaps it is a lesson for me to learn to accept help when people offer it without me asking. We are all connected in some way, and need each other in some way.
Not only did Hesse’s friends help him by giving him money, but one friend built Hesse a house which Hesse helped to design. This friend allowed Hesse to be a “tenant for life.” Hesse won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946.
I do not expect anyone to give me a house. (My pride would not get in the way if someone did.) I do not expect to win the 1946 Nobel Prize for Literature since 1946 is not likely to pass this way again. But one day I expect to triumph over opera, ballet, and theater companies to win the Nobel Prize for Begging—er—uh—Fundraising.