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I came across this poem/prayer by Mother Teresa recently and believe I needed to hear it. I have always pressed on during difficult times. But the past 6 months have been the most difficult, ever, in my life. This has helped me considerably.
Found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Alternatively, it is between you and yourself. Only you know everything you have done. Only you know your true intention. Only you can ever possibly forgive yourself unconditionally! You can come up with 100 reasons not to. But forget those reasons and Do It Anyway!
Over the years, I have taken a lot of flak from people regarding my acceptance of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. Especially in recent months, has this increased. People aren’t willing to learn about that which they fear, regardless of the rationality of that which they fear. I guess this is the irony of Objectivism itself.
I have promoted the book, The Virtue of Selfishness, by Ayn Rand to many, many people. Only a handful have bought it, even fewer have read some of it, and I doubt any have read it all. But this little book clarified for me the thinking/feeling I knew to be true in the depths of my self, perhaps my soul. I recall tears streaming down my face from the beauty of Ayn Rand’s words — I couldn’t believe there was another human alive who could understand and explain that which I knew to be truth.
Here is a link to a short little video that gives a VERY high-level overview of what Objectivism is: https://youtu.be/asery3UeBj4
Here is a great explanation of Objectivism, right from www.AynRand.org I hope it helps you understand, and perhaps even prompts you to study Ayn Rand and Objectivism further. I am certain that in 200-300 years from now, she will be elevated to one of the highest places in history, as a result of her teachings having changed the world.
REALITY: “Wishing won’t make it so”
Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, begins by embracing the basic fact that existence exists. Reality is, and in the quest to live we must discover reality’s nature and learn to act successfully in it.
To exist is to be something, to possess a specific identity. This is the Law of Identity: A is A. Facts are facts, independent of any consciousness. No amount of passionate wishing, desperate longing or hopeful pleading can alter the facts. Nor will ignoring or evading the facts erase them: the facts remain, immutable.
In Rand’s philosophy, reality is not to be rewritten or escaped, but, solemnly and proudly, faced. One of her favorite sayings is Francis Bacon’s: “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.”
Reality — that which exists — has no alternatives, no competitors, nothing “transcending” it. To embrace existence is to reject all notions of the supernatural and the mystical, including God.
REASON: “You can’t eat your cake and have it, too”
The essential advice of Rand’s philosophy is: embrace reason as an absolute. This means: choose to face the facts at all times, in all areas, whether at work or at home, in business or in love — and no matter what conclusion logically ensues, whether pleasant or unpleasant.
The purpose of epistemology is to help teach us how to reason: how to think conceptually, how to properly define our terms, how to form and apply principles.
Reason doesn’t work automatically. We have to choose to activate our minds, to set them in motion, to direct them to the task of understanding the facts, and to actively perform the steps that such understanding requires. Our basic choice in life is “to think or not.”
To choose to follow reason, Rand argues, is to reject emotions, faith or any form of authoritarianism as guides in life.
SELF-INTEREST: “Man is an end in himself”
Why does man need morality?
The typical answer is that we must learn to deny our own interests and happiness in order to serve God or other people — and morality will teach us to do this.
Rand’s answer is radically different. The purpose of morality, she argues, is to teach us what is in our self-interest, what produces happiness.
“Man has,” she observes, “no automatic code of survival. . . . His senses do not tell him automatically what is good for him or evil, what will benefit his life or endanger it, what goals he should pursue and what means will achieve them, what values his life depends on, what course of action it requires.”
This is what the science of ethics studies — and what Objectivism offers. “Man must choose his actions, values and goals,” she summarizes, “by the standard of that which is proper to man — in order to achieve, maintain, fulfill and enjoy that ultimate value, that end in itself, which is his own life.”
CAPITALISM: “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!”
The ideal social system, Rand holds, is laissez-faire capitalism. Economically, this means not today’s mixture of freedom and government controls but “a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.”
Rand’s advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism is a consequence of her deeper philosophical views. An individual who eagerly faces reality, who embraces his own rational mind as an absolute, and who makes his own life his highest moral purpose will demand his freedom. He will demand the freedom to think and speak, to earn property and associate and trade, and to pursue his own happiness.
Laissez-faire capitalism, Rand argues, is the system of individual rights. In such a system the government has only one function, albeit a vital one: to protect the rights of each individual by placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control.
Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged, The Virtue of Selfishness, and several other incredible books, has had many quotes attributed to her. Here are my two favorite, at this time of my life:
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible. It’s yours. — Ayn Rand
Every time I read this, I get some energy to press on and achieve even greater than ever before!
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
This one keeps me reminded of what to allow and expect of other people, and the standard I need to hold myself to.
Here’s a website of additional quotes by Ayn Rand: http://www.ayn-rand-quotes.com/ayn-rand-quotes/
I was recently motivated, by a friend’s blog, to start writing again. How good it feels! My original blog from 10+ years ago was running old software which was easily hacked. Rather than repair it, I moved this site. Perhaps someday, I’ll bring over some of my old blog entries.
What is Blinker Click? Well, when cars were first invented and signal lights added, relays were used to actuate the lights themselves. But these were special relays which had a piece of connecting metal that both heated up as current flowed through it and also bent with heat. This caused it to slowly bend away from the other terminal as it heated, eventually bending away enough that it disconnected the circuit, causing both the signal light to go off and the metal to begin cooling. Once it cooled enough, it bent back and made contact with the terminal, causing the signal light to go on and the metal to heat and bend. This process caused the signal light to blink and continued until driver turned off the signal light. In addition, it made that “click click click click” sound we are all so familiar with when our signal (blinker) is on.
I enjoy the idea of cycle that occurs automatically, creating benefit. This is in many ways all tools and technology, especially including the Internet, and specifically software. (I was a software engineer for many years).
However, the real appeal of Blinker Click for me is the human side of it. Let me explain. As technology advanced, there was no need to use a piece of metal that heated an bent. Instead an IC (Integrated Circuit) chip could do the work cheaper, more reliably, and more safely. But, when cars were made with signal lights that didn’t “click,” people revolted! We were so conditioned to need the sound of the clicking to know our blinker was on and actually working, that we demanded the “click” be returned. Some cars actually used a speaker replicating the clicking sound. Others put back the mechanical blinkers.
So, there is real irony in this, for me. While technology marches on, the human capacity for change remains the limiting factor.
My goal for this blog is to compassionately challenge human thinking and other limiting factors, in order to advance the lives of as many individuals as possible by maximizing their potential.
I welcome all comments, replies, confirmation, support, arguments, concerns, and opposing views. In no way do I ever intend to preach or profess via this blog. But instead, I hope to spark thought on topics which are traditionally accepted as fact, but can really improve your life.