Unforgiveness Sunday

Guernica, Picasso, 1937.  Guernica is a town in the Basque Country that was bombed by the Nazis in 1937 as General Franco sought to return to pre-Republican Spain.  

Last Sunday in the Russian Orthodox world was – or rather should have been – Forgiveness Sunday. But it wasn’t. And probably never will be. My conversation today with a so-far-quite-friendly colleague made it painfully clear.

And it all started with some good-natured German memories.

Once in my previous life, somewhere in Erfurt, we bought eine Bockwurst mit Brötchen. It was a hot sunny day. Our obvious next thought was overheard by the hot dog vendor:

“Beer is just around the corner,” replied the old guy – in Russian!

With beer in hand, we returned to ask him, how on earth…?
The old guy’s answer was succinct, “F** Siberia, ten years, ” end of friendly chat.

Having shared this story with a colleague from France, I mentioned with regret that with what is happening in Europe today, nobody will be willing to have a friendly chat with the Russians for another 25 years or so.

“Hard to say,” replied my polite friend. “Life expectancy is higher now, so you could expect it to be longer than 25 years.”

(another version of this blog post was posted on LinkedIn, in English, and in Russian)

How’s that related to business consulting, human values, leadership – the usual topics of this blog? – More than one would think. One month ago, another post here quoted Peter Drucker who had all but predicted the invasion into Ukraine 65 years ago. No honest business professional can ignore these events, and these events will yet change the business landscape on many levels. You can Re-Read Drucker here.