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Otto Adam Jedermann
60 Jahre II. Republik

Ich bin ein Europäer
Lucky Otto Adam Everyman

Otto Adam Everyman worked in a small village in Styria for years – to make a living for his mother and himself. But of course, he also worked for his employers.

He often felt sorry, that he could not do more for his mother, because they loved each other very much – and this not something you can take for granted these days. She worked at home with her wrinkled hands, and he worked for the public. His father had not returned from the war.

The time came, when she could no longer work much for the household, and help was needed. And that was the time when Adam got married to Eva, with whom he had already been acquainted for years.

For a year they enjoyed living together. When he came home tired in the evening, he heard nice and encouraging words from all sides.

Then they got a baby and called him Adam. But the father had only a few days to enjoy family life. His wife Eva grew worse and worse, and soon had to say farewell to the world. Baby Adam missed his mother so much, that soon after she had passed away, he also left for where he had come from.

Otto Adam tried not to show his tears, especially for his mother’s sake who was truly desperate. But when his eyes fell on the empty cradle or on Eva’s wedding dress, he had to go for a walk, where he could let his tears flow.

His old mother tried to give him solace, and she spoke of Heaven and of seeing Eva and baby Adam again. She was very brave. Although she had been willing to help her son bear the burden of sorrow, she finally had to pass away.

Now Otto Adam Everyman was all alone and doubted whether he could bear all the sorrows. He worked more and more, and his employer urged him to do so. So the years passed by.

One of his aunts ran the household for him, but there was no sunshine in his life. His hair turned grey. The situation on the job market became worse and worse and caused more and more problems. One day, Otto Adam went to bed and did not get up again.

As soon as he had died, he felt light and free. “Everything looks different”, he thought. “That’s good.”

He became aware of a long ladder, which should grant him access to Heaven. There is a special way to Heaven for everybody. You can follow it, or you can go astray. Some have to take a ladder, others have to cross mountains; some have to climb a mountain of books. One or the other hope that someone will carry him / her up to Heaven, but their hopes are not fulfilled and most of them fall.

Otto Adam was ready to climb the ladder – he though it was worth the trouble: the ladder would take him to Heaven. He thought: “I will certainly be able to climb this ladder. There will be an end to it, and the goal is worth the trouble!” So he started climbing and soon reached Heaven’s door, which was blue.

He turned around once more, looked back on Earth deep below him, and sighed once more – thinking about his hard life on Earth.

Then someone touched his shoulder. He turned round and saw a friendly elderly gentleman. Immediately he wanted to bow his knee, but the elderly gentleman did not allow him to do so and smiled in a very friendly way.

“Tell me, Otto Adam Everyman, what was the reason for your deep sigh!”

„On, my dear sir,” Otto Adam, who was very glad about the friendly reception, replied, “are you the mighty Lord of Heaven? I did not realize that ye were here already, otherwise I would not have dared sighing so loudly.”

“The mighty Lord?” the elderly gentleman asked smilingly. “Here, Otto Adam, there is no mighty Lord, just a gracious Lord, praised be His name! I am his voluntary gatekeeper, because we all only do here as we please. Now tell me, Otto Adam, what did you think of when you sighed so deeply? Was the ladder too hard to climb for you?”

„No, no, dear gatekeeper, that was certainly not the case“, Otto Adam replied. “I would be ready to climb some more of these ladders in order to be allowed to get to the gracious Lord. But allow me, dear gatekeeper, to mention all the hardships I had to endure while living on Earth. I was not a lucky man. On the contrary, I had to suffer a lot.”

„I see“, the holy gatekeeper answered, and his face darkened. “You were not lucky at all? Poor Otto Adam! your parents died rather young, didn’t they?”

„Thank God, no“, Otto Adam answered. “My father saw me grow up and become a young man, and my mother always gave me solace when I was sad.”

“Did you fall ill frequently, then?” the holy gatekeeper asked.

“No, not often”, Otto Adam admitted. “Thank god, I was healthy enough to work the whole day, sir, for forty years. You can believe me!”

„But nevertheless you were so poor that you did not have enough to eat?“

“No, no, we always had enough to eat. We also could afford a good drink on a weekend evening, when I took my family out – as long as they were there.”

“Tell me, Otto Adam, who was part of your family on earth? There must have been more than one person according to what you say.”

„Yes, sir. I had a wife, but only for a rather short time. Only for a year. We live in peace with each other all the time.”

“Had you known her for quite a while before you got married?”

“Oh yes, we had seen each other from time to time, we had even exchanged some kisses. But we had to be patient before we could finally get married.

“Who else was with you , my dear Otto Adam?”

„There was little baby Adam“, he said and smiled, remebering his baby boy. “His just had brought light into our grey everyday life for a few days.”

“And what happened after your wife,, your baby and your mother had passed away? Did you feel very lonesome?”

„Yes, my dear gatekeeper – very lonesome!“

“And did anybody help you, Otto Adam?”

“Oh yes, my good old aunt did as much as she could. I wish my employer would not have urged me to work so hard during the time of mourning. But even though he was a hard man, I don’t want to complain.”

“What did he urge you to do?”

“Well, he wanted me to do my work punctually, day in, day out. Some day I did not know where to start and to finish, my head was so full of thoughts.”

“Would you have preferred to sit at home by the empty cradle, in the empty house?”

“No, certainly not. I could not have endured that. It was better to work, because that helped me overcome my pain, at least for some hours.”

“Did you have some solace and some time for recovery?”

„Well, yes – at the weekend, when I met some friends at a restaurant, and we had a glass of wine together. Don’t be angry with me sir! Sometimes I had more than one glass, in order to forget my sorrows for at least an hour!”

“Well, Otto Adam”, the heavenly gatekeeper said and smiled. ”All you told me sounded like good luck, my dear Otto Adam!”

Now Otto Adam drew a silly face. He scratched his ear and said slowly: “Ah – but – yes – dear sir …”

“You had both your parents when you were a child. Your mother grew old and always was a solace for you. You fell in love with a woman, got married and had a baby. You were relatively healthy, you had enough to eat, your aunt helped you, and you had a good job, even though your employer was strict person. You had one or the other glass of wine with your colleagues at the weekend – sometimes to forget your sorrows. You had the church with god’ altar, bells and prayers – and a quick and peaceful death – Otto Adam – What more did you expect? That was your life on Earth, not in Heaven! Otto Adam, that was your temporal luck on Earth- you are a foolish man, aren’t you?”

Otto Adam stood still, gazing at the gatekeeper, unable to say a single word. The holy gatekeeper again smiled in a very friendly way. “Well, come in now, you poor fool. the door is open for people like you; go and chose a place.”

Otto Adam bowed his hade again and again, thanked the gatekeeper a thousand times and sneaked into Heaven, feeling quite ashamed. “How lucky I am”, he said to himself, “that I finally became wise. My whole life I estimated myself an unhappy guy, and now I realize how lucky I was. I would never have expected that!”

He had finally entered heaven, and everything was heavenly. The Lord was the most gracious, a lot more than Otto Adam could have dreamed of. He greeted Otto Adam very friendly, as if he were a really nice guy. He even shook his wrinkled hand, gave him new clothes, which he was allowed to put on immediately, and also offered him a glass of delicious wine. Then he was allowed to chose a place, and was promised that everything would develop step by step.

The gracious Lord sat on a wonderful throne, had angels sitting around him and singing with heavenly voices. Everything was warm and cosy, festive, well lit and magnificent.

Otto Adam was enormously happy. He sneaked to a corner – and look! There he found his beloved mother and embraced her. He was so happy. Next to his mother he found his father, and finally also his wife Eva, who looked like an angel!

Her face was beaming with joy, she was healthy and beautiful like spring, and in her arms she really held little baby Adam. they kissed and hugged each other again and again. they felt incredibly happy.

When the first moments of joy were over, Otto Adam Everyman had to tell them a lot: how his life had continued after they had left him. But suddenly he started smiling and looked around, feeling ashamed.

“Just imagine, my beloved ones,” he sad slowly, “down on Earth we often sighed and lamented, thinking how poor we were, not realizing that we were really lucky already there. Yes, lucky! The holy gatekeeper told me, that this was luck on Earth. Nevertheless I am really glad, that we are no all together here forever with the gracious Lord. That is something different, that is real heavenly luck!”




Ich bin ein Europäer
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