Pippi Langstrumpf, the icon of a freedom that many people, not just children, yearn for, always comes back to me when I look, now calm, to see how the people are tormenting themselves. Because I have very rarely succeeded in making someone understand that the pressure under which he suffers in many respects from himself and not from others.
Of course, there is also the external pressure. Pressure that we have at work, to a certain extent the one which the public, whatever we understand, is imposed upon us. But there is also the private sphere in which we bow to the pressure, and as much as we must also affirm it, there is no reason for it. There are expectations of family members who have not even asked them. There are standards that we set ourselves. That the lawn must not be higher than one centimeter, e.g., that is a norm that we impose on ourselves. Perhaps there are people who are really uncomfortable, who cannot concentrate on anything else when a cushion is at an angle, but most of the time it is only directed because our norm means that it belongs.
The pressure that we make ourselves is that of fulfilling our own expectations, even though we have long forgotten why we have these expectations at all or whether they still fulfill their meaning. To be prepared at all times for the mother-in-law to come unexpectedly to the door and to glide over the door frame with the help of glacé gloves, without the blemish of white being defaced, which is an expectation which we impose upon ourselves. That the children are in bed every night at eight o’clock, no five minutes sooner or later, that is a pressure to which we subordinate ourselves.
I already hear the voices, which now mean that everything goes down the drain when we let everything grind, that the world will go down tomorrow, when the dust is once left. I do not speak the word, but if I torture myself constantly through the forest, because I have it myself, although I am badly, then it is like the Pippi Langstrumpf mentioned at the beginning, which pours its garden in the pouring rain. She has done it now, and it is traversed, no matter what happens, as I have planned for this hour to run. No one has any of it, neither the garden, which gets enough water from Mother Nature anyway, nor I, when I am tormented, on the basis of a precept, and forget that I am going to walk because it’s good for me.
And so we run, zombie-like through life, and constantly maintain that it must be so that the flowers need the water, even if they have long enough that we need even more things even when we are with those we have , do nothing more than stow away that we need even more entertainment and action, even though we should just take a break. Pippi pours her flowers when Annika and Tommy, their friends come to visit. Of course, the two do not understand what that is, but they are easily satisfied with the explanation that Pippi has just made it. What you do to yourself, that you have to fulfill, come what is there, even if it has no purpose except that I prove to myself that I cannot get rid of myself by any external circumstances from what I have planned , for otherwise the inner ratfink wins, and this must not be.
But where does the loss of self-discipline and the beginning of being in action just because? Perhaps it is where I am lurking with self-made pressure that the people who are holding me in their lives have no place in it. However, whether we continue to pour in the rain garden or when we see that the plants from rain deficit demand, that is all by ourselves.