Live and let live - Bethel (2024)

Live and let live - Bethel (1)

Close to people | Stories from Bethel

Counsellor, referee, "village sheriff" - Dirk Hackländer takes on very different roles, often in one single working day. A versatility that appeals to the 59-year-old police officer, whose main place of work has been Bethel for five years now. His work includes not only the usual police responsibilities, but also some Bethel-typical "special tasks". In addition to professional expertise, this also requires a knowledge of human nature and empathy.

Dirk Hackländer feels at home in Bethel. "People are tolerant and look after each other well." The community spirit in the village is something special, he says. "Christmas market or Bethel athletics - we simply belong in Bethel." The phone rings just as often. Citizens from the village report lost property or new graffiti, need advice or have a police question that they don't want to call 110. "Of course, we can't always help, but we deal with people's problems as far as our time allows. A lot of things are not even relevant to criminal law. Some people just want someone to listen." Personal encounters are also important: "For some, the world ends at the supermarket. They wouldn't go to any other police station than ours." Of course, there are also real criminal offences in Bethel. One morning, a resident on Bohnenbachweg had stones in the petrol tank of her car and the wheel nuts were loose. "In such cases, we initiate an investigation against persons unknown." Dirk Hackländer and his colleague Maren Meyer share the time spent in the guardroom: There is always someone in the office or on patrol. "Only the arrest warrants are executed by two of us."

Live and let live - Bethel (2)
"People are tolerant and take good care of each other. The community spirit in the village is something special."

Even after many years of service, he still encounters new things at Bethel. For example, his participation in an ethics committee dealing with a client with challenging behaviour made a real impression on him. The local police officer remembers a completely different kind of event particularly well. A report came over the radiogram that a man armed with a machine gun was threatening passers-by outside Groß-Bethel and stopping cars. "I knew the man and knew straight away that it was a fake. He doesn't have a real gun." Nevertheless, the control centre sent reinforcements, the man was overpowered and taken to the Bethel Psychiatric and Psychotherapy Clinic. "He was mentally ill and hadn't taken his medication," it turned out. "If I hadn't known him, things would have turned out differently - it could have turned into an SEK operation."

Dirk Hackländer is often asked to act as a mediator, and not just in the classic "dispute at the garden fence". Requests also come from the Bethel homes: "Can't you come round and talk to our client? Preferably in uniform!" staff sometimes ask for his support. "Of course, we have to adapt our language, be patient and sometimes explain things twice. But it has an effect." His uniform not only gives him authority, but also builds trust. It is often not a question of punishing challenging or criminal behaviour, but rather of having a cautionary conversation. Counselling with the specialist staff is mandatory - how can the person be approached, how receptive is he or she or how aggressive? There are many conspicuous people in Bethel, but only a few are violent. Even in inclusive residential areas, there is hardly any friction between people with and without disabilities. "Internal disputes within the shared flat are more common. That's when I'm asked to act as an arbitrator." Of course, there are also people who don't accept help. "As long as they don't commit a criminal offence or endanger themselves, my motto is 'live and let live'."

Text: Robert Burg | Picture: Matthias Cremer

This story simply told

Dirk Hackländer is 59 years old and a police officer in Bethel. He has very different tasks here. He is a reliable contact for the people who live in Bethel. He mediates when there is a dispute. And he is on hand if a criminal offence is committed somewhere.

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Live and let live - Bethel (2024)


What does "live and let live" mean spiritually? ›

The term live and let live can be viewed in several ways, but basically it means letting go and stop trying to control others. Let them live their lives just as you want to live yours. Guess it's sort of back to the golden rule.

What is the philosophy of live and let live? ›

The Live and Let Live Moral Principle seeks to inspire people to be good humans. Considering the Moral Principle, being a good human means that no one has the right to force others to abide by their moral code. As long as there is no aggression toward others, people are free to behave, live and love as they so choose.

What does "your goodness is running after me" mean? ›

There are times when we think we are the ones pursuing God when in reality He is the one pursuing us. He is literally running after us, with outstretched arms, trying to get out attention, inviting us to live and move and have our being in him.

What does in him we live and move mean? ›

What Does This Mean? Therefore, we live and move and have our being because of God. Everything in all creation is upheld by God's mighty hand, including our very existence. We would not be able to live and move and have our being apart from God. He is our Creator, and we owe everything to Him.

What is the moral of live and let live? ›

At its best, it expresses a mutuality in which we each allow each other to get on with our lives without undue interference, neither imposing our wills on others or having theirs imposed on us.

What is the meaning behind live and let live? ›

used to say that a person should live as he or she chooses and let other people do the same.

What is an example of live and let live? ›

Example Sentences

I fancy the elephants would have been gentler masters than we: more live-and-let-live in allowing other species to stay here. Moreover, he was an essentially peaceful person, a live-and-let-live man. Men are in this matter more tolerant, more live-and-let-live in their ways.

What are the principles of live and let live? ›

The Cambridge English Dictionary, for example, simply states that it denotes that “people should accept the way other people live and behave, especially if they do things in a different way.” Augmenting this elemental definition, writers have employed or implied such words or phrases as virtuous; open-minded, ...

What is the motto of live and let live? ›

Live and let live is the non-aggressive co-operative behavior that developed spontaneously during the First World War, particularly during prolonged periods of trench warfare on the Western Front. Perhaps one of the most famous examples of this is the Christmas truce of 1914.

What does God tell us to run from? ›

It is wise to refrain from all kinds of sin, but certain sins have such deadly consequences, even in this present life, that the Scriptures warn us to flee from them. “But thou, O man of God, flee these things” (1 Timothy 6:11).

What does "my cup runneth over" mean in the Bible? ›

"My cup runneth over" is a quotation from the Hebrew Bible (Psalms:23:5) and means "I have more than enough for my needs", though interpretations and usage vary.

What is the difference between goodness and mercy? ›

Goodness is God giving us what we don't deserve. Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. God chases after us with mercy. That is good news, because if God chased after us in justice we would all be in trouble.

What does the Bible mean when it says live and let live? ›

To live and let live means to be tolerant, to live one's own life in the manner that he wishes and to allow the other fellow to live his life in the manner that he wishes.

How to be totally dependent on God? ›

Through being vulnerable with God in prayer, accepting the support from those He places in our path, and relying on God's word to pave the way, we can learn to be more dependent on God.

What Scripture says we live and move and have our being? ›

Acts 17:28 New International Version (NIV)

'For in him we live and move and have our being. ' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring. '

What does live and let life mean? ›

Definition of 'to live and let live'

You say live and let live as a way of saying that you should let other people behave in the way that they want to and not criticize them for behaving differently from you. See full dictionary entry for live.

What does live and let live mean in AA? ›

When we live and let live, we don't need to criticize, judge, or condemn others. We have no need to control them or try and make them conform to our way of thinking. We let others live their own lives and we live ours.

Why is live and let live important? ›

So long as you bring no harm upon others, you deserve to live your life however you see fit. The second you bring any kind of harm upon others is the second that you lose your right to live your life as you see fit, and must re-evaluate how you're living your life and treating others if you want to restore balance.

What does it mean to live spiritually? ›

Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.


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