Season 1
45 Minutes

Ep.2 | Bobbie Gottschalk | How Do We Navigate LIFE When Our PURPOSE Won’t Let Us Quit?

What began in 1993 with 46 Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian teenagers who gathered at a camp in Maine to learn how to coexist has evolved into a legion of over 7300 alumni all over the world who are committed to transforming legacies of conflict. Bobbie, 78, is the “spiritual grandmother” to these brilliant young leaders. Her many awards include a Medal of Honor from King Hussein of Jordan.

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What began in 1993 with 46 Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian teenagers who gathered at a camp in Maine to learn how to coexist has evolved into a legion of over 7300 alumni all over the world who are committed to transforming legacies of conflict. Bobbie Gottschalk, 78, is the “spiritual grandmother” to these brilliant young leaders. Her many awards include a Medal of Honor from King Hussein of Jordan.

What drives us to stay engaged? What fuels our PURPOSE over long periods of time? And how do we adapt in a world that is changing?


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Bobbie Gottschalk, Achim Nowak

Bobbie Gottschalk  00:00

And I thought about why countries have enemies, what purpose it serves thought about why people have enemies. And I decided that it really wasn’t necessary. It’s It’s common, but it’s really not a necessary part of life.

Achim Nowak  00:19

Hey, this is Achim NOwak, executive coach and host of the my fourth act podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend your for that? I have conversations with exceptional humans, who have created bold and unexpected for facts, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you’re listening on. Let’s get started. I am delighted to welcome Bobby God shocked to the My fourth act podcast. Bobby received a masters of social work in 1966. I just love saying that I remember vividly where I was in 1966. Bobby spent about 30 years in Chicago and Washington, DC, supporting young adults and grownups with various kinds of disabilities through innovative programming. But something happened in 1993, when Bobby co founded a powerful organization called seeds of peace that worked with teenagers from all over the world, and change the trajectory of how we speak about and deal with historic conflict. Bobby’s held various roles with seeds of peace. And now 28 years later, and I’m going to mention Bobby’s name, Bobby is 78 years old. Bobby continues to be engaged in the work. And that question is of profound interest to me, what sustains us, what keeps us going? And I hope it’s of interest to you as well. I know we’re going to have a fantastic conversation. So Hello, and welcome, Bobby.

Bobbie Gottschalk  02:10

Hi, I came on. So happy to be with you.

Achim Nowak  02:13

And I’m happy you’re here. And as a little disclaimer I want to say is at some point back in the 90s. I had the pleasure to at you work for a couple years with seeds of peace, which is where Bobby and I first met. So Bobby’s not some random stranger. And we want to spend on I’m really interested in where the choices Bobby is making now at 78. But to get there, I want to do a little bit of this is your life with you. And when you were a young girl or a teenager Bobby, who did you think you wanted to be when you grow up? Like what were your dreams and aspirations? Oh, I

Bobbie Gottschalk  02:54

wanted to be a camp director. Because I was in love with camping in Maine. And I had I was I had given up on the idea of becoming a dancer. As I matured, and my body filled out was no longer just a little NIF and I had gone to a dance camp, we had danced and danced and dance, but we did other things as well. And I adored my camp director, and I love being a counselor. And I loved being part of that family of campers.

Achim Nowak  03:33

So I’m curious when you would come home from these camps. And if mama dad asked Bobby, what do you want to be when you grew up? Did you say I want to want to camp I want to be a bit camp counselor.

Bobbie Gottschalk  03:45

Oh, no, that was my secret.

Achim Nowak  03:47

Yeah. I kind of thought. I’m glad we clarify that Bobby.

Bobbie Gottschalk  03:53

However, however,



Bobbie Gottschalk  03:55

my parents assumed that I would like to be a camp director. So they bought 55 acres of land in Maine for the time when I would decide to be a camp director.

Achim Nowak  04:11

I know it’s a true story because you said it but it’s almost you can’t make that stuff up. That’s beautiful.

Bobbie Gottschalk  04:16

No, they just knew it. They just knew it.

Achim Nowak  04:19

Nice. I before we get to see the piece, I am curious about those 2030 years when you you know you you’re a clinical social worker, your your mission was supporting both youth and adults with different sorts of disabilities. And it’s hard to think of that kind of a stretch of time and answering on one or two questions. But if you think of that time, what do you think of maybe moments that stood out for you where you went, Wow, this is why I do this work? Or there can be moments where you go shoot, am I really doing this? This is driving me crazy. I have a hunch you had both. So go with it where you want Bobby?

Bobbie Gottschalk  05:05

Well, I did have both. But I had the pleasure of starting a whole new program for the community in Washington DC, that was housed in Jewish social service agency they hadn’t had before. For some reason, the Jewish community had just sort of ignored people with disabilities. And so I, I, I started by asking all the people in the community, what they thought should be offered to people with disabilities and their families. A person invited me to a lot of two people invited me places and that were very important. One was Kathy Moses invited me to the Gallaudet University and explained that there were a lot of deaf people in Washington, DC, who didn’t have mental health services, there. And if they could only use sign language, then what would happen was they would go to a typical therapist, and they would be writing notes back and forth to each other, instead of looking at each other in their eyes. And that’s how we communicate so much with our faces, particularly our eyes. She advised me when I said, Gee, I’d like to help that I should learn sign language first. And so I did that. And then a very lucky thing happened to me, the University of Maryland, had three graduates from their social work program who were deaf. And they were looking for placement for them. I said, I’ll take them, all of them. And we made a mental health clinic for people who are deaf, right in the Jewish social service agencies. So that was one thing. Another time, the rabbi at the St. Elizabeth mental hospital in Anacostia, which is close to as part of Washington actually invited me to come and meet a young man who was mildly retarded, and had cerebral palsy, but no social outlet, know. Anything. And he was very sociable. So the the hospital had used him as a messenger. And he would get over to the curb, to cross the road to get from one building to another at the hospital. And he would slide off his wheelchair onto the street, pull his wheelchair down onto the street, climb back in the wheelchair, go across the street, and reverse the situation on the other side of the street. And he did this all day long. That’s that was his life. At one point, I was supposed to meet him in the downstairs area. I I heard him hollering from a stairway. So I went to see what was going on. And he was bouncing himself down the stairs because they didn’t have an elevator. He had left his wheelchair up at the top. So I met him halfway up the steps. And he said to me, Listen, Bobby, I want you to figure out how I can have a bar mitzvah. And he was 39 years old. Wow. This time, my brother had a bar mitzvah, and I didn’t have one. And I thought, Wow, that is amazing that he is holding on to this wish, so long. And it turned out that there were lots of young people with disabilities in the Washington area who were considered too disabled to have a bar mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah. So we started a whole program, and I’ve got different rabbis to help train these people.

Achim Nowak  09:19

What I’m thinking of as you’re sharing this beautiful story, is if I mischaracterizing you, then correct me, please. But I’m hearing Gosh, Bobby was a champion for the forgotten and something within you was drawn to being a champion for the Forgotten because there are many different places where people practice social work. Do you know what was touched inside of you that said, these are the folks that I want to help most?

Bobbie Gottschalk  09:58

Oh, yes, I do know that. What I was five years old, was right after World War Two. And my mother had created a book group for her friends whose husbands were off the war. So it was a long standing thing. And they would always come to our home. What I used to do, and my mother knew about it, but she didn’t blow me out, I would sit at the top of the steps. So nobody could see me and listen to the women talk about books. So one time they were talking about a book called The child from five to 10. And they said pretty clearly that the author had written about only children, and that only children were likely to be spoiled. Well, I was an only child, and my mother couldn’t have any more children. So the next day, I said, Mom, I’m going to be spoiled. If you don’t get me a brother or sister, I need a brother or sister. You really have to help me. They did, they adopted a little girl who had been adopted before, but that person couldn’t keep them. He couldn’t keep her. So he was an 18 month old, who just been tossed around for 18 months, and my parents took her in and loved her as their own. And that wasn’t an example for me. That probably no is with me forever I go.

Achim Nowak  11:36

I’m going to jump to 1993. Now. Alrighty. So in the middle of doing this work, that means a lot to you, that you are I assume emotionally invested in. And then you and a couple of other people start this organization called seeds of peace, that has done some extraordinary work all over the world with youth, ironically, even though some adults were served as well. Would you tell our listeners who may not know this, because you’ve devoted 28 years of your life to this big chunk? Of what? What is a piece about? But also, how did you in 1993 get involved with starting this organization that made quite a splash of the world?

Bobbie Gottschalk  12:27

Well, I actually was, I had already decided that I had done enough in the world of disabilities. By that time. I had, I had worked in a school and I’d also worked for the Jewish social service agency. And I thought, you know what, I need another chapter in my life, I need a whole new thing. So I left it in good hands. I thought well, I think I’d like to run something I’d really like to be the one in charge has to have something to do with children. But I’m not sure what it will be. I first applied for another job as an executive director, but I didn’t get it. They hired a man instead of me thinking that it was very important to have a man in charge was back in the old days.

Achim NOwak  13:26

I hear I hear an opportunity for a whole nother podcast here.

Bobbie Gottschalk  13:31

Back in the old days. Another book group was my book group. We read anything we want, it’s still going on. And so somebody had read a new book written by john and Janet Wallach, called the new Palestinians. It turns out when we looked on the cover of the book, we found out that they live right near us. And and in Chevy Chase, Maryland, well, why don’t we invite them over to our book group and have them talk about the book. And so they did. And when they were finished, john did something which later I realized was something he did everywhere he went. He said, I have a great idea. And I’m just wondering if there’s anybody in this room who would be willing to help me out a little bit. So he explained that he wanted to have a camp in Maine, for kids from the Middle East. Well, I had been to the Middle East. I had had, I had foster children from Iran. So I’ve gotten used to that kind of a culture in my own home and felt comfortable with it. I had also, it also rang a bell for me because I had gone to a camp When I was in college, in the Soviet Union, I was very nervous when I went there very, very nervous. I learned after a few weeks that these so called enemies, could be friends, living together, doing things together talking a lot. It wasn’t all organized like our campus. But just being together was really very helpful. I calm down, and I learned a lot. And I thought about why countries have enemies, what purpose it serves, thought about why people have enemies. And I decided that it really wasn’t necessary. It’s It’s common, but it’s really not a necessary part of life. And of course, I’d had all that those many years of being a camper and a counselor. So when I first you know, I wanted to camp in May. So I raised my hand, and I said, I’d be happy to come talk with you more about it. And then in the meantime, I asked everybody I knew, who’s john Wallach, and what do you know about him? Everybody said, Well, he’s somebody who is a little hard to work with. So I said, Well, that sounds good to me. I like that person. I went down and talk with him. And it’s he said to me the same thing, what have you always wanted to be? And I said, I always wanted to direct a children’s program, likely a camp in Maine. And he said, Well, let’s do it.

Achim Nowak  16:43

I’m touched by this story in many ways. But if I relate this to, to our listeners, the opportunity of this came because you are ready for it. Right. And so I didn’t, I didn’t know that that you were ready for it. Somebody who walked you into the next stage showed up. And you recognize that, which is the beauty of it right? Now, would you paint for our audience, we could spend hours talking about seeds of peace, and I hate to sort of streamline it, but take us to that first experience in camp. That was a heady time in international politics, who showed up at camp and just give us a snapshot of what happened there.

Bobbie Gottschalk  17:31

Well, we This was when, when john and i decided to do it. It was after I had said to him, you know, john, if you want to have an international program, and we’ve never done it before, least I hadn’t. Seems like you needed about a year to get, get ready to do. He said, No, I want to do it this summer. And it was April 15. So I said, What do you have in mind? You know, how can we do it this fast? So but he had a lot of connections, he could pick up the phone and call anyone could call the Vice President’s office, he can call people all over the world. That was a big help. But four months is still not a very long time for planning anything. Yes. But we were offered the camp that we’re in now, at that time, it was POW Hatton camp. for boys. I went up there. And I met the camp director, which would and that was Tim Wilson, who was our first camp director. The children were chosen by people in their own country. And wasn’t they weren’t chosen by us, because how could we do that? It was we had no money yet. We had to raise the money. And john had to raise money. And john would do things like tell a supplier of something we needed, like buses, or whatever. And he’d say, if you’ll give us this service for free this summer, when we’re just starting out, then for the next five years, we’ll do business with you. So the airlines gave us free tickets. We had 46 boys and then a bunch of about 10 staff people come over with them. The hotel, we stayed in hotels, different times, and they gave us free rooms. And it was just fantastic. But the best thing that happened that time was the Oslo accord, which occurred right after we had our camp.

Achim Nowak  19:39

I’m not going to assume that everybody knows what the Oslo Accords are. And the of course in the history of Middle Eastern peace talks an important event. Would you just clarify for all of us what the Oslo Accords were.

Bobbie Gottschalk  19:52

It was supposed to be a peace accord between the Palestinians and the Israelis and it had been ordered straited in Oslo, behind the scenes, there were other people going through the motions of peace talks. But we’re not really in the actual peace talks. The accord was the pride and joy of President Clinton. And he asked the leaders of both the Israelis and the Palestinians to sign the Accord on the South Lawn of the White House on September 13 1993. We had been planning to bring everybody from cap to Washington.

Achim Nowak  20:39

And maybe I may have just interject one more point. Because you had 46 young people from I’m gonna use the term the region from the Middle East there, which which countries were there from? Which regions do they represent?

Bobbie Gottschalk  20:54

Well, we had the Palestinians, the Israelis and the Egyptians. We had, there were 46. Boys, no girls, because it was a boys camp, and it was set up for boys. In many ways. If we did it again, we wanted to fix it so that girls would feel comfortable as well. We had planned to meet with the Vice President, Vice President Gore, when we brought everybody to Washington and, and he was thrilled with the kids. And john said, Well, you know, what, if you’re this impressed with them, maybe you could help us get an audience with the First Lady, because we’re going to be at the White House on Friday, and this was Tuesday. Well, he got the first lady to come down and meet with us. And then john said, after he was very impressed with the boys. You know, these young people have already made peace. Wouldn’t it be great if they could join? The the president at the festivities for the signing of the US, Oslo accord? And this was a This was Friday, the Oslo corps took place on a Monday. And all the kids were supposed to fly home on Saturday between the two dates. So I had all those free tickets. So I’m, Mrs. Clinton said, Yes, that sounds like a great idea. She called Bill Clinton. And he said yes. And so then, it was a real rush to get the airlines to switch the free tickets to after the Oslo accord. But it was wonderful, wonderful, dramatic ending for our first season.

Achim Nowak  22:50

So I’m seeing this dramatic ending, which is extraordinary, both in its actuality, but in its obviously symbolic value and meaning. What I know you went in American camp setting with these young boys from Israel, Palestine, I’m gonna use the word Palestine or Egypt. I know you did some traditional camp activities. But what else did you do to, to bring them together or to get into some of the difficult stuff,

Bobbie Gottschalk  23:25

we do a lot of orchestration i cap in terms of schedule, so we give them lots of time to play together and, and be on different teams together and learn new skills. So they gain some more confidence. But we also have dialogue at camp. And it’s scheduled for almost every day. Nowadays, it’s 90 minutes long, I think it was about an hour in the beginning. And then so they’re carefully divided up into mixed groups. And the facilitators, help them discuss the hard issues and help them see the differences between them as well as this the similarities, the human human nature between

Achim Nowak  24:16

sets. I was one of those facilitators for a couple of years. I have a good idea of the power, the intensity, and also the challenges of having those conversations. Could you if you had one story to tell about a memory of one of those conversations of one of those and I know you have many, many, many, what would be one to illustrate for our listeners that because you created a space for conversations that these young adults otherwise would never have anywhere,

Bobbie Gottschalk  24:54

right? I remember one time a group of Indians in Pakistan Danny’s were meeting in the cabin adjacent to mine. So through the wall, I could hear them arguing back and forth, and never knew what they were saying because it was muffled. One day, I saw a young boy named below, running out of the of the session that was next door and crying. And I thought, Well, I better go see what’s going on. So I jumped up, and went out to him, and, and just sat with him. And he sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. And finally, he calmed down. And I said, What happened to you? And he said, I never realized that with my, my own words, that I could hurt somebody as deeply as I just did. I thought that was so powerful. Yeah.

Achim Nowak  26:07

There’s power in conversation and creating space for it. I because I encountered seeds appears towards the later part of the 90s. So here’s here is my impression of what I remember. This was a hopeful time and global peace talks. Yes, you know, there was a sense that there can be peace between Israel and the State of Palestine, and the details can be worked out. And there’s this wonderful camp where we’re helping groom future leaders who know people from the in quotation marks, parentheses the other side. And we’re grooming the next generation who will help create a more harmonious life in the Middle East and the rest of the world. And for a while I remember I my feeling was see the piece was because the mission is so beautiful, like, I think, as the organization might have in this work, they got a lot of accolades recognition was featured in the media. And then 911 happened. And the world looked less hopeful. And I would imagine I’m testing this, it might my probably got harder to bring young people to get together and to have conversations. And I want to focus really on you now rather than the stories his piece like how, what kept you going? when, after a while there wasn’t a peace agreement yet. It didn’t happen. Right? It was a terrorist attack, the way we lived in the world changed, What kept you going with an organization, you’d found it eight years before that, but the world was changing?

Bobbie Gottschalk  27:56

Well, I think I think we did a pretty good job of writing that big tsunami wave. Right after that, like the November after that. We had a meeting in New York, where we brought about 120 of the people who had been to camp in previous years, together, right next to the United Nations, and what they call the church building. We sat there with with those former campers, from all over, and we brought in people for them to listen to and get ideas from and react to. And then we had them write a whole proclamation that to be presented to the United Nations. Kofi Annan was the secretary general at the time. He sent His representative over to talk with them also. And then we presented that to Kofi Annan. So it gave we did that on purpose, to give people who had been in seeds of peace of feeling that okay, this happened, but we still have power, we still have agency, we can still do something about it, and not just sit around and mope about it. And I think at we also did that, at the end of the 90s when the US courts seemed like they had definitely run their course, with no success inside. We took about 120 of them to Switzerland, to a hotel, took over the hotel, and resolved all the unresolved issues of the Oslo court, wrote it up and handled diverted to other leaders involved. So we will always help the young people get Be inspired. And also to feel that that the world was in their hands.

Achim Nowak  30:06

You may not remember that I was at that event in Switzerland, I do and

Bobbie Gottschalk  30:11

I, I was reminded because of the glint in your eye.

Achim Nowak  30:16

But to just elaborate on what you said, which is because that events involve bringing in some very well known people from the middle east towards speaking with the young people, but the young people had a chance to have their voice heard. Yes, part of what you and the organization have done so beautifully is create a vessel for voices to be heard that in many other places would have been silenced, and given hope to those voices. Here’s a word from our sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to check out my fourth act calm. There’s a whole other world of fourth act conversations going on beyond this podcast, my fourth, please take a look. Now, I want to jump forward to Bobby God shell today. So 28 years is a that’s a really long ride. And I have a couple of ways I would love to investigate this. But one, I think if you as a mother or if you don’t mind the term grandmother to live that term. You love that term good. From to a lot of young people from very different parts of the world. Who you’ve helped give voice to and be in conversation with.

Bobbie Gottschalk  31:47

Yeah, to give you to give people an idea of how many I mean, they’re 7600. Young people?



Bobbie Gottschalk  31:57

we’re talking about

Achim Nowak  31:59

Yeah. I mean, many, many grandmothers have a hard time staying in touch with their five grandchildren, and you have 7600. So how do you do that? Bobby? Give us a glimpse.

Bobbie Gottschalk  32:12

I’m on line a lot.

Achim NOwak  32:13

Yes. And what do you do online? Bobby do tell?

Bobbie Gottschalk  32:19

Well, a lot of people. I mean, most people don’t know what I do online. I answer a lot of inquiries from people try to help them work out how they’re going to arrange for education for themselves and things like that. Or if they’re having a big problem with their family, or a medical problem, I hope put them in touch with the assistance that they need.

Achim Nowak  32:49

So you’re sort of what I would say, a very nurturing grandmother and you’re a helper and connector. Am I hearing that correctly? Yes. Now the question at think of our audience to listen to us, because you could have somebody else do that right and say, You know what, I, I’ve, I’m going to delegate it to other people. That’s all the nitty gritty stuff. That’s a lot of hours online.

Bobbie Gottschalk  33:17

I do include other people all the time.

Achim Nowak  33:20

Yeah, I’m not suggesting you to Bobby’s I want to be clear. I don’t I don’t see you as this power of Mad grandmothers. I want to clarify that. But the deeper part is, and this is the question for all of us as we investigate our fourth acts, you know, some people keep going with something that they’re very passionate about. And as he is one of them, and some people transition into other stuff, and there’s no right or wrong about it, but you keep going and I want to stress also how you go every summer you go to back to the camp. I’ve been to that camp, but that’s a pretty rough and rugged place. You know, I remember sleeping in the cabins there going, dang, I like a little more comfort. But you keep going back to do it. So what’s the thing that animates you that hasn’t said stop? I’ve done enough. Let me just visit once a year and be you know, be the wise elder who they’d share on in in a meeting or a session but you’re in there doing the work every day. So what is it that keeps you going?

Bobbie Gottschalk  34:31

I love to watch people grow. And and at cap they grow by leaps and bounds. They grow so fast. For example, a couple summers ago, a young boy decided that he had hurt his foot. He did crutches. The nurse gave him crutches and, you know, took him to the doctor and so forth and nobody could find out what was wrong with him. He kept With these crutches until one night, the nurse and I were watching kids listen to music, and we saw this kid get up and dance. And I said, Okay, I can fix this. So I sort of I go around with my camera these days, because that’s it. When I stopped being the executive director, I, I decided to be the photo photographer Recorder of things. So that allows me to go everywhere. So I went, I sort of followed him around. And then he went, he went to a special activity on death’s. And he was sitting beside to the side with his crutches. And I went up to him and I said, Gee, I bet you want to get up there and dance. And he said, Yeah, sure. Wish I could. I said, You know what? You don’t need crutches. You need courage. And he’s stood up, he handed me the crutches. He told me to bring the crutches back to the infirmary in case somebody else needed down. Then he danced his heart out. He was so funny. And then later people told me that when they asked him where his crutches work, he said, I don’t need them anymore. Bobby told me all I had to do was have courage. And I have courage.

Achim Nowak  36:33

That phrase he dances heart out is I mean, such a beautiful metaphor for what we all can do, or the option we have any time in life. And we get to define what dancing our heart out looks like. Don’t wait. Yes. I want to add one related question. You also serve on several boards of organizations that I I, I assume matter to you? How do you choose what boards to get on? Is it just that the right person asks you? How do you make those decisions? And how much? Because board work requires also energy and deep commitment? So let me let me stop here, the second part to it, but how do you decide how to get involved?

Bobbie Gottschalk  37:24

Oh, is I was asked by people I care about and who are doing things I care about. So one is from my old dance camp, the camp director asked me to be on the board. The mosaic theater, I was asked by Ari Roth, who is the founder of Carter school I just started, and that’s at George Washington, I George Mason University. But that also I was asked by a friend of mine, I’m a graduate of Rowan College.

Achim Nowak  37:59

What makes sense, there are obvious connections to your story and your life that bring you to these places. I’m going to ask and it feels like such an old people question. But I feel like I have to ask it.

Bobbie Gottschalk  38:14

I’m close.

Achim Nowak  38:15

I’m you’re qualified. You know, I’m 65. I’m a little little younger than you. But my body is changing my levels of energy change. You’re 78. So how do you manage your energy? And especially when I think of you as the grandmother of seeds of peace, and you have all of these grandchildren all over the world? And how do you manage yourself energetically to do all of this service?

Bobbie Gottschalk  38:44

Well, I’m doing what I want to do. I think that’s really an important thing. I have a hard time, I think probably like most people doing what I don’t want to do. Yeah, so procrastinate on those things. But I think you know, I don’t feel like a has been I don’t feel like I’m useless. As my mother said, and she lived to be 103 in seven months.

Achim NOwak  39:12

Whoa, watch out see the piece.

Bobbie Gottschalk  39:17

She said to me, You know what? I hope you have a long life. But not as long as I’ve had. And she she meant that. She ran out of purpose. Yeah. No. And as long as you have a purpose in life, whatever it is. And I think as long as you can keep learning. Yeah.

Achim Nowak  39:48

So if you look back to the young Barbie, and from your vantage point now if you were to whisper some words of wisdom into young Bobby’s ear What would you say to her?

Bobbie Gottschalk  40:03

Well, probably that you should, you should recognize what you’re afraid of. But don’t let that stop you. And just keep an eye and literally keep moving in a direction that you, you really want to move into. It would be so easy to decide that since you can no longer do the splits, your life is over. And I think a lot of people do, I think the saddest thing for me is to one of the saddest things, I can think of a lot of sad things. But one of the saddest things is to see people who have really don’t lives. unconnected, they get up, they get, they do other chores. They watch somebody else on TV. They don’t do any real interaction. And then they go to sleep, and then the next day they do the same thing. They’re just existing. I find that very, very sad. And I that’s exactly the way I don’t want to be.

Achim NOwak  41:25

Yeah. And you’re not. Thank you. I think if that if anything is clear from this conversation, that’s really clear.



Achim Nowak  41:39

to the future, what kind of wishes do you have for yourself? Maybe for seeds of peace for the world has to answer that any way that you wish to? As is your time, my time becomes more finite, at least on on this ride around the planet. What do you think of when you think of the future,

Bobbie Gottschalk  42:03

I think kind of extensively about seeds of peace. Which is why I’m really excited about the ideas that the board and and our new executive director Josh Thomas have for seeds of peace. I’ve always felt that we wouldn’t be doing enough. If Peace Education wasn’t taught in school, the way math and language and literature and history are taught in school, that peace, education belongs in everybody’s education. And if you learn that early, he learned to empathize with other people and see similarities between other people and give other people a chance. Give them a turn, or help them up, go sit on the lonely bench with them, whatever. Whatever you can do. If you can learn that early on, well, then I think you have a good chance to have a wonderful life.

Achim Nowak  43:13

That’s a beautiful note to end on. Bobby I I’m sure there are people listening to us. They’re going Gosh, I want to learn more about seeds of peace, or about Bobby and your life as seeds of peace. But it’s more where would you direct them to? Where would people go to get more information?

Bobbie Gottschalk  43:33  There’s something about me on that website, too. You can just click on board members. Yes. And I’ll be there.

Achim Nowak  43:54

Wonderful. And if I can just expand on what you said. In preparation for this conversation, I looked at the website again, and it does an extraordinary job of also chronicling the history of the work. Which especially in politically, in many ways, darker times that we’re in right now. It’s inspiring to be reminded of what is possible. So to our listeners, I think when you look at the chronology of what’s done, for me, it’s a chronology of hope and hope that we need to carry into the future. So I thank you for the work you’ve done and I thank you for continuing to be in it Bobby,

Bobbie Gottschalk  44:38

thank you and i i think if if sees a piece does nothing like give people hope, and that’s really something so I I appreciate that very, very much. And I Bobby you

Achim Nowak  44:55

It was my pleasure. Bye bye bye bye. What’s your hurt? Please go to my fourth act calm and subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us, give us a review and let us all create some magical fourth acts together. Ciao


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