1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

A holy German doctor was the kindest person in the Russian history October 16, 2013

haas

Some time ago I  was taken aback by a film about one amazing Italian doctor  who was a remarkable 20th century saint – see my post here. I highly recommend watching this inspiring Italian film on Moscati’s life, “Giuseppe Moscati. Healing Love”.

Recently I discovered another – very similar! – saintly doctor, a German with  a Russian soul who’s life and deeds were not less impressive and inspiring. Unfortunately there is no film yet about him, but I am happy to post some words here.

Theodore Haas  (1780-1853) is called the “holy doctor.” They also say that he was the kindest man in the Russian history. And, as the Russian history is full of paradoxes, you probably should not be surprised that the kindest person in that predominantly Slavic and Orthodox country is considered to be a German Catholic Frederick Joseph Haas (Theodore Haas).

The holy doctor has done more for Russian commoners in the early nineteenth century than all the doctors in his era . His white robe was seen in prison hospitals and convict shipments . A German by birth, he had a great opportunity to become a successful ophthalmologist at home. However, having received an invitation to work temporarily in Russia , remained forever . Initially, Theodore Haas opened his private practice and made it very successful and generating much revenue. In his clinic , and some other medical institutions of Moscow , he was treating eye diseases free of ordinary people , for which he was given state awards. He was invited to treat members of the imperial family, as well as patients from all over the country. And, despite the fact that he spent much time on free medicine and charity, despite his wishes, he made ​​a fortune. He obtained two houses in Moscow and a cloth factory in the suburbs.

During the Napoleonic Wars , Theodore Haas leaves practice and joins the regular army . He comes to Paris with Russian troops. After the war, Theodore Haas goes home and , despite the entreaties of the family, returns to Russia . There he finds his destroyed hospital and a lot of the work waiting for him in the public service . Theodore Haas gets a new assignment. Now he is the chief physician of the Moscow prison . There he encountered a blatant system treatment of prisoners and persons under investigation . Iron shackles , the lack of effective treatment , both in prison and hard labor . And Theodore Haas gets to work , which has become his life’s work .

From 1828, he devoted himself as a member of the Moscow prison protection committee for 25 years of caring for the prisoners who had been exiled to Siberia. He was firmly convinced that man is inherently good because God created him in his image. Therefore, was a man who had strayed from the right path, nothing more than an unfortunate, sick man who is to heal only through humanity.

A short story. Every week on Sparrow Hills  the next party of convicts sentenced to hard labor was departing for Siberia . Relatives were allowed to accompany them to a village near Moscow . And every week doctor Haas had also been walking with them till this village. Before parting he used to give candies and oranges to the criminals.

– Well, how would your candies help these hungry people? ! – Detractors said. – You’d better give them some bread.

– They will get bread sooner or later, but sweets and oranges they will never see – replied Fedor Petrovich (as he was called in Russia) .

“The Holy doctor” recasts his personal funds for the prison clinic at Sparrow Hills . By complex contracts with the General Gendarmerie , Theodore Haas replaces the iron shackles of other, more humane. Now, they are trimmed with cloth or leather. It initiates the request for pardon convicts and redemption serfs. In his active support of revised sentences and built hospitals and schools for the prisoners and their families. He managed to overturn a humiliating procedure shaving heads. However, all “acts of humanity ” have not gone unnoticed in the king’s officials, who did not understand why make life easier for criminals. Through the efforts of a handful of bureaucrats Theodore Haas was removed from his post. This event did not break the spirit of the “good doctor” and he continued to be an angel in a white coat to all who need his help.

He knew people very well. He immediately saw what kind of a man was in front of him. Despite that he had no fear even before hardened villains, murderers and would boldly enter a chamber. He tried to soften their souls, to comfort. He wrote: “The medical profession gives me access to not only the body but also the soul of the patient. And a try to heal the soul is as important as the healing of the body.”

In 1844 he opened a hospital for the homeless, funded by his entire personal wealth and private donations. The holy doctor Haass worked until the end of his life in that hospital.

After the doctor’s death  only a few old telescopes were found in his apartment– that was all that remained of his property. Getting tired of the day view of human suffering , Haas at night enjoyed looking at the stars.

His coffin was carried on the hands of doctors to Vvedenskogo cemetery in Lefortovo. It was accompanied by a huge crowd of 20.000 people. Moscow Governor-General Earl Zakrevskii sent Cossack squadron under the command of captain with orders to ” disperse the mob .” But as they reached  the funeral , Captain, stunned by the sincere grief of ordinary people, dismounted , ordered the Cossacks to go back to the barracks , and he went on foot behind the coffin.

“HURRY UP TO DO GOOD!” – this is what the holy doctor Haas used to say, and this saying is still famous in Russia.

 

Why I do not watch TV since years June 8, 2009

(image by me)

I gave up watching TV about 5 years back and I am still very much satisfied with that decision. Moreover I keep learning from other people that they either reduce their TV consumption or set it aside as well. So there seems to be a trend about it!

Now I can honestly admit that I do not miss TV at all. Really! Let me give you some reasons why and tell you how I survive without this powerful mass media.

1. HOW DO I GET INFORMED ABOUT WORLD’S HAPPENINGS?

I gather information about world’s happenings mostly from the web, seldom from newspapers and magazines. AND: it is important for me to be able to read news at least in 3 languages (English, Russian and German), sometimes in 4 (+Italian), which gives me a more balanced overview and is in fact a kind of a vaccination against total brainwash. It amazes me how often one and the same happening being interpreted in different countries. And then I think how differently it will be percepted by the people…and where from so much hatred results…OMG!

2. DON”T I MISS GOOD FILMS?

Sometimes, once in several months I want to see some really good feature film or a  documentary, then I go to the cinema or watch a DVD. I came to a conclusion that there is no need to watch so many films, because most of them are simply not worthy of my precious time (hope my two good freinds script-writers will  forgive me). I watch the lives of people around and it is so much more interesting! – so many amazing situations, miracles, dramas, emotions… No film-director can ever show it better than the life itself!

Another thing  may be my love for detail in a daily life and photo-hunting is a lovely hobby – my “rose coloured glasses” makes life colourful and enjoyable every moment.

3. IT SAVES TIME! (more…)

 

Grammar is universal, languages are different August 8, 2008

 image by axinia

That study could not leave me indifferent not only because of its amazing results, but also becasue the subject of languages is so dear to me. Apart from that I love theories  – and their proof! – showing the unity, the general oneness of all human beings. The recent research at the University of Chicago gives a good illustration to that.

“Not surprisingly, speakers of different languages describe events using the word orders prescribed by their language. The surprise is that when the same speakers are asked to ‘speak’ with their hands and not their mouths, they ignore these orders – they all use exactly the same order when they gesture,” said Susan Goldin-Meadow, the Bearsdley Rum Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology.

For the study described in the paper, the team tested 40 speakers of four different languages: 10 English, 10 Mandarin Chinese, 10 Spanish and 10 Turkish speakers. They showed them simple video sequences of activities and asked them to describe the action first in speech and a second time using only gestures. (more…)

 

Why every man should serve in the army June 10, 2008

 image by jeffinmoscow

That is quite a hard statement and probably even shocking for most of my beloved readers… But let me give you some reasons for that personal belief of mine.

1. An army as an institution is not about making war. That is a totally wrong concept. In the first line it is about protection, for safety is the second basic need according to the well known Maslow`s hierarchy of needs.

2. Despite of the cultural diversity, it is very common in many countries that the education of boys is mostly being done by women (home and school). If a boy has a father living in a family (which is even not always the case! ), he sees the father far too seldom. Thus the male role model is often missing. In the army they have enough male educators.

3. They say, boys start a good friendship with a good fight. Boys are not that good with soft skills of socializing like girls. Boys need leadership and discipline probably more that women.

4. An army (in its ideal form, not any particular one) gives a feeling for order which is missing a lot in a civil life. One understands “the rules of the game”, learns to act fast and react appropriately in a crisis situation. One is mobile and strong. All the hardship of the army service is a really good life school. (more…)

 

What makes us tick? Desire, thought or action? – understanding cultural differences May 18, 2008

 image by axinia

What makes us tick? What gets us going? Desire matters but desires are the source of suffering, said Prince Siddharta, for most people do not understand their own desires… What we desire makes a difference in life, because more often than we think, we will get there.

In the beginning was Desire, not Action. Buddha, the sage from the East, got it right. Goethe`s Faust, the typical herald of the modern Western seeker, made a German suggestion that in the beginning was Action: “Am Anfang war der Tat”. (more…)

 

 
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