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The Bebelplatz Burning Reminder

The Bebelplatz (from Wiki) is a public square that is centrally located in Berlin, Germany. The square is named after August Bebel, who is credited as the founder of Germany’s  Social Democratic Party.

The Bebelplatz is known as the infamous site where, on May 10, 1933, over 20,000 books by Jewish authors were destroyed . On that date, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels was invited by the German Student Union to give a speech before the burning. He stood to give an inflammatory speech as a precursor of events to come, and then the SS and Hitler Youth groups set fire to the books, which included many well-known works by such writers as Karl Marx and Albert Einstein.

Today in the square, there is a memorial set up as a reminder to the destruction of those books. It commemorates the great loss of those books with a glass plate set in the cobble stones. As evidenced by this photo, the memorial shows a view of empty bookcases that is large enough to hold 20,000 books.memorial

There is a German engraved plaque next to the glass plate. Translated in English it reads, “That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people“.

Several years ago one of my New Year’s resolutions was to lose weight. I joined a nearby Weight Watchers. Not surprisingly, several other people had the same resolution.

During the subsequent weeks, we would all show up for the weekly meetings. First, we would go behind a curtain and weigh-in. Then, we would have a brief motivational lecture to equip us with techniques for weight loss. Reminders to eat pickles or Fat Free Cool-Whip if we needed to fight cravings. (Typing that made me hungry.)

One lady faithfully attended each of the weekly meetings. Her weight loss was dramatic. The reason that I remember her so well is that she would always come into the meeting with the same dress over her other clothes. Then she would take that outer layer dress off, after her weigh-in.

That dress was what she wore to the very first Weight Watchers’ meeting. Through the weeks, it became very apparent that she had lost a considerable amount. In fact, by the end, that sagging dress  looked comical on her.

The two stories are not equal in the gravity of the event. But, they both used reminders to move forward in a positive direction.

If you have made resolutions for 2015, there will be great temptation to think “Oh well”. I have that same little voice in my head. So,  I have tried to set up some motivating reminders for some of my resolutions.

Now to my personal unintentional reminder. I was reviewing past TV spots that were run in years past, for the law firm. I pulled up some ads that were cut in 2011. Who was that fat guy in a little coat? It was me. What was I thinking? It looks like pork chops hanging from my neck.

Every year, I put some resolution emphasis on exercise and weight loss. My reminder for this year is to just pop in a 2011  JB Firm spot… and watch it. Boom.

coffee

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