July 23, 2008

Atlas (Re)shrugged

This is a short piece.. I guarantee that.
This is something that I noticed in 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand.
The error is self evident. I have copied the concerned text from the book verbatim.

"While you were dragging to your sacrificial altars the men of justice, of independence, of reason, of wealth, of self-esteem-I beat you to it, I reached them first. I told them the nature of the game you were playing and the nature of that moral code of yours, which they had been too innocently generous to grasp. I showed them the way to live by another morality-mine. It is mine that they chose to follow."

I think that the non readers of Atlas Shrugged need a small summary of the situation.
"The main conflicts of the book surround the decision of the "individuals of the mind" to go on strike, refusing to contribute their inventions, art, business leadership, scientific research, or new ideas of any kind to the rest of the world. Society, they believe, hampers them by interfering with their work and underpays them by confiscating the profits and dignity they have rightfully earned. The peaceful cohesiveness of the world disintegrates, lacking those individuals whose productive work comes from mental effort. The strikers believe that they are crucial to a society that exploits them, denying them freedom or failing to acknowledge their right to self-interest, and the gradual collapse of civilization is triggered by their strike." Source: Wikipedia (Go here for the entire article - Wikipedia Atlas Shrugged)

The lines in italics undermines the book and the entire John Galt speech. After all, it does not matter if they choose to live by the laws of the people who wish to use the product of individual brilliance for societal means or the laws of Galt, in the end they are not living their own lives. They are leading lives that is required of them by others. In this regard, the book does not talk completely of objectivism, but of disguised dictatorship for she (Rand) has ended up with a sermon generally associated with priests. It appears that she has crowned herself the high priestess of how to live a life.
In the end, I appreciate what Rand has taught me, 'My life is mine and no one has any right of it other than myself.'
I do not need to be told this no matter by whom- neither Rand, neither Galt and neither any of her other creations, this is something I know. In the event that I do not realize that my life is mine, I guess that I do not have the right to be informed of something that is so fundamentally true.
Neither Galt's nor Roark's
Neither Toohey's nor James'
My life is mine, Mine alone.

July 7, 2008

Life and Death

Everytime I look in your eyes,
I live a thousand lifetimes,
Everytime you close your eyes
I die a thousand deaths.
Life and death,
Separated by the blink of your eyes.
In you I see me,
In me you see you.
Everytime you see in my eyes,
I die a thousand deaths.
Everytime I close my eyes,
I live a thousand lifetimes.
Death and Life
Separated by the blinking of mine

July 3, 2008

Never love what you do for a living!!!!

I am sure that this is something that everyone aspires to achieve. Every person entering the work scene has this as his/her dream and old people regret not having had this during their professional life. The dream of doing what one loves, not loving what one does (they read almost the same; however, carry a subtle difference).
This too was my dream, to get into something that I love. In fact, every profession I wanted to pursue. Being one of fickle mind, I have had my share of dream professions ranging from the mundane army general to all-important doctor. If some had asked me when I was in school what I was to become, in most cases I would have said a doctor. Then I did a turn around and joined engineering. During my engineering, I wanted to get into some Masters and become a researcher. Never once did I think that I would take the management side of business. I have always been a techie. However, here I am, a management graduate in finance, working for one of the top-notch financial institutions. This is my learning.
Never do something that you love as a profession. Always pick a profession that you like and not love. Pursue it so that you are doing something that you like. Keep the thing that you love to pursue along with the profession. I do agree that this sounds ridiculous. If one is given an opportunity to pursue some profession that they love, they should not do so. The answer is that profession over a period becomes a mean to an end. One cannot and should not restrict one’s life to work. Work is something that gives you the means to enjoy life. If you take the thing that you love the most and make a job out of it, the sheer monotony of having to do it over and over again will kill the love for it. I will give a rather vulgar example, but one that will drive the point home.
Human beings are built to enjoy sex. However, think of a prostitute. She does it for a living; so much so that there will come a point where she does not even what to think about it outside of her ‘work’. Take a sportsperson. As a child imagine that he loved running and feeling the wind in his face. As he grew older, he pursued running as a career. However, he did not take into account the amount of training he will have to do, the amount of effort he has to put in. finally, when he is running the actual race, he is not enjoying the wind in his face anymore. He is looking to see what his position is or what would his sponsor think of his current place. He is not driven by the love for what he is doing, but by the desire to excel in what he is doing. He does not love running anymore.
That is why I started by saying that one should not do what one loves for a living. There are many of so-called writers around, who dabble in blogs. Imagine if some publisher came to us and told us to write books, one after another. There would be a period, we would have to cater to a larger audience, and the entire joy of writing will be devoid in our works.

Therefore, today I vow,
If given a choice,
Never to pursue
What I love as a profession.
I will pursue, what I like,
Leaving the love to remain.