Preface  (To Be Oneself) 2

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Reading these books, and passages expressing the same
ideas in various other books, led and encouraged me
to go on writing, not necessarily in order to publish a
book, but for myself, for my own good. So I reasoned,
Even if I publish the book, and nobody reads it, it will
still be worthwhile. I will be happy to be both the writer
and the only reader. I took the account, consisting of
about ten pages, as the basis for my book, which ended
up as several hundred pages.  I did not plan it so at all.
I could say that The book of a thousand pages started with ten
pages. Just as, according to the Chinese proverb:

The journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single step.

My  first name means Servant of God, but in my
mind I added and of Men, and acted accordingly. I
naively thought for sixty years that that was my destiny,
whether I was happy about it or not. So I devoted all
my life to the community, to other people, since I was
a child, in all the places I worked, to the detriment of
my health. I did everything to please others, but nothing
to please myself. If I ever did something to improve
myself, from which I drew great pleasure, that was in
order to be more effcient and proficient, in other words
more suitable and serviceable. During my last medical
checkup at the UN right before my retirement, the
physician for the  rst time was very annoyed regarding
my health. She did not want to frighten me, but she had
to announce to me that I had a heart problem. But I was
not bothered at all. She wondered why. I just looked at
her and replied, That is impossible. Astonished, she said,
But heart disease is very common nowadays.
That is right, but I don’t have a heart.
I was not exaggerating, because all my life I had
paid attention to other peoples heartbeat, not to my own.
Nevertheless, the doctor was sure right, because I did
have a heart problem, which started right at that time.
However, it was all due to stress. Therefore, a cardiologist
was not the right person to consult, but someone else, a
social worker, a therapist to help me relax, calm down.
Yet she stressed that I should immediately consult a
cardiologist, which I did. But the cardiologist  who
happened to be my family doctor - could do nothing
about it because, like the UN physician, he did not know
that it was not organic. It was, so to speak, all in my
head, just as for years I thought I had headaches, but
it was all in my stomach.