BERLINERS2 mins 137 2 mins 137
Among the Germans, Berlin is considered to be the very epitome of Prussian brusqueness and efficiency, while Vienna is the essence of Austrian charm and slipshoddery.
There is the tale of a Berliner visiting Vienna who was lost and in need of directions. What would such a Berliner do? He grabbed at the lapel of the first passing Viennese and barked out, “The Post Office. Where is it?”
The startled Viennese carefully detached the other’s fist, smoothed his lapel and said in a gentle manner: “Sir, would it not have been more delicate of you to have approached me politely and to have said,
‘Sir, if you have a moment and happen to know, could you direct me to the Post Office?’”
The Berliner stared in astonishment for a moment, then growled, “I would rather be lost!” and stomped away.
That very same Viennese was visiting Berlin too that year and it turned out that now it was he who had to search for the Post Office. Approaching a Berliner he said politely, “Sir, if you have a moment and happen to know, could you please direct me to the Post Office?”
With machine-like rapidity the Berliner replied:
“About face, two blocks forward, sharp turn right, one block forward, cross a street, half turn on the right, walk left over railroad tracks, pass news-stand into Post Office lobby.”
The Viennese, more bewildered than enlightened, nevertheless murmured, “A thousand thanks, kind sir,” whereupon the Berliner snatched furiously at the other’s lapel and shouted, “Never mind the thanks, repeat the instructions!”
The male mind, the Berliner; the female mind, the Viennese. The female mind has a grace, the male mind has efficiency. and of course, in the long run, if there is a constant fight, the grace is bound to be defeated – the efficient mind will win because the world understands the language of mathematics not of love. But the moment your efficiency wins over your grace, you have lost something tremendously valuable: you have lost contact with your own being. You may become very efficient, but you will be no longer a real person. You will become a machine, a robot-like thing.
Because of this here is constant conflict between man and woman. They cannot remain separate, they have to get into relationship again and again – but they cannot remain together either.
The fight is not outside, the fight is within you.