Maturity at its best is senility, where one has all the wisdom but no opportunity left. On the other hand, youth is full of opportunity but devoid of any wisdom whatsoever.
Surprisingly, all the wisdom that we ever need is all around us, if we can learn from others' experiences and a bit of history. But that seldom happens!
Now, if you believe in evolution, everything is optimized for its purpose and probably youth is so by design. Then, we might ask, why is youth so insolent?
Probably because youth is meant for dodging the odds and bringing in the new / change. Civilizations, systems, cultures and sciences need to evolve and evolution requires change. But this change is hard and no one in their right mind would be up for it unless of course drugged by adolescence and all the hormonal kicks that come with it :-)
So, if you are young and up to something, go ahead and try to make it happen. For it is your duty by God's will to break the ice!
For decades now people around the world are sore about losing jobs to computers and automation but the real debacle is yet to unfold.
Industrial revolution ushered in the age of abundance and the much celebrated middle class was born. Past century was spectacular with energy rich petroleum at our disposal and with the birth of semiconductors and personal computers things started looking even better. 'All is well' until now in the spirit of better life for everybody.
However in the mean time computers got smarter by the day and started displacing workforce. Now this story is not new but at the pace at which they are evolving most semi-professional and professional services on which middle class thrive will soon be taken over by expert systems and robotic automation.
Computers may not become intelligent or conscious but will replicate the smartness of the smartest among us and sadly 90% of us may not be able compete with them for a living. The race is on to outsmart the machines...
I often wonder what makes great people great and after spending 30 years savoring and fighting life, I am only starting to understand Greatness and its roots.
Now I feel anybody can choose to reach those celebrated heights in his life and its a matter of ambition than intelligence or wealth. I feel a great ambition or goal is what propels ordinary men to extraordinary heights. One other important thing is perseverance though. If one cannot stick to his goals and shy away from failures midway, he will never see his dream come true.
Men are like catapults in my opinion. The farther is your target the more you will stretch yourself and realize how much force you can generate and the strength you have.
So set a great goal and test yourself. In time you will be surprised of your own abilities that never surfaced before that point in time.
We all complain about our life, society and the world we live in once in a while but when put in a different perspective most of us are very very lucky in many many ways.
Yesterday, while flying on a business trip, I glanced out of the window and was bedazzled by the beautiful tufts of clouds spread across the heavenly blue sky. Suddenly I realized how lucky I am! A few centuries back men risked their lives to get a glimpse of the earth from a few hundred feet. Recall 18th century hot air balloons. A millenium ago people could barely dream of such an experience. Yet there I was, enjoying a meal and a drink, more than 20,000 feet above the ground, all for a day's wage or sometimes much less :-)
Modern medicine, climate control, democracy, dignity of labor, minimum wages, supermarkets, automobile, cozy homes, fast food, jeans, TV, telecommunications, air travel, PC, internet and the list goes on and on.
Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan and many many ultra powerful and resourceful people before us didn't live a life even remotely as rich as ours'. And probably the generations after us may not live too given the depletion of mineral resources (mainly petroleum and coal) and climate change.
So, either do something to change things for the better or shut the f*#! up and enjoy your stay on this planet!
Many of the social evils haunting us right now revolve around lack of opportunity and insufficient self constraint. While much has been said about self-constraint, abundant opportunity not only reduces exploitation but also promotes mutual dignity and strengthens any society.
However, opportunity and employment at a social level are actually dependent on the number of people marginalizing the safety and comfort of a job and chasing new unproven opportunities. How do we justify that to prospective entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship, although commonly pursued for the riches, is hard to justify only in terms of future wealth and rewards as its inherently risky and requires a lot of effort, sacrifice and commitment. So what should be the motivation behind such an endeavor?
We need a new perspective to entrepreneurship and like all things larger than life, its important to remember that entrepreneurship is actually a service to the society and that for every man finding a bankable opportunity, a thousand find employment and security! Entrepreneurs, small or big, are the soldiers, reformers and icebreakers of the modern world.
Go find your opportunity, lead your flock, deliver your thing and enrich the world. Make your mark and create your legacy! It should really be your first priority!
I have spent two years almost to the day working as a Sous-Chef, the work is grueling and dangerous, however; there is a philosophy woven into it by the French phrase "Mise en place" or "everything in it's place". The mind of a Chef is organized by necessity in a certain manner. You're often required to track the cooking times of eight or more items as well as plating up to ten as well as juggle hundreds of recipes, not to mention tracking food costs as the night progresses, your mind thrives in the chaos.
Adaptability becomes obsolete, replaced instead by the expectation of that which is unexpected. For example, you're on the line on a Friday night, you have 12 steaks cooking behind you, 4 salads in front of you, and 7 other orders just rang in. Traditionally one tends to navigate obstacles by stopping at each one and resolving it.
Mise en place works a little differently. By taking a small amount of time before each shift and calculating in your mind all of the things that can go wrong, whether it be running out of cucumbers or saute pans to burning your hands or cutting yourself, you have the time to plan for each possibility, thus reducing the amount of time and energy spent trying to solve a problem as it occurs. Instead you solve it before it occurs.
This is useful in every day life as well, simply by assuming at the start of each day that what ever can go wrong will, and then creating a mini plan for each possibility, you streamline your chances for success.
I was feeling nostalgic a while back, thinking of days that made me feel like the universe is working in every way possible to make me feel happy and ecstatic. And then it suddenly occurred to me - why can't I live some of those moments again by reaching out to such experiences once again. Can we?
In fact, life has given me such moments so many times that I could hardly recollect half of them. And each one of them was completely different from the others but equally heart warming. What's happening? I thought, how can I bring back and relive at least one of those moments!
Well, I then realized, one can only recreate situations but not experiences! You cannot enjoy that game, dance or kiss the same way you did back then! But then, I felt, life has more to offer, the same way it did a decade back and that every one of us is setup for a unique experience for every stage and moment of our life the minute we were born and this shall continues until we rest in peace!
To everyone enjoying those blissful moments of their youth, friendship, love, marriage, parenting, success, fame or whatever life has to offer that makes you feel wonderful, make the most of it, cherish it and treasure it, and never look back, for everything is just a fleeting moment in a finite life that never gives it again. All good things must end someday to make way for the others to come :-)
Today I have a heavy heart, as my family has lost an important member. Her name is Abbey, she was a blonde Pekingese, with a quirky personality that could make any heart melt within seconds. At 2:30 A.M. she suffered a stroke that left her completely paralyzed and in extreme pain. The decision was made to put her to sleep rather than force he to suffer in the hopes that she would recover, as the damage done was beyond that of reversing. As I comfort my mom, who is understandably distraught I remember my first dog Buddy. He was only five years old when he was diagnosed with a never before seen form of terminal spine cancer. At 15 years old I watched, horrified, as my best friend lost all ability to stand, and walk on his own and eventually lost control over his bladder and rectum in a man to of weeks. I chose to have him put down rather than let him continue to suffer. I came to realize that these horrible events were not the way I wanted to honor them. Instead I want to honor them by remembering everything before that, for the happiness and joy they brought into our lives, and I realized this exactly how everyone should be remembered. Life should be celebrated for having been rather than mourned for having been lost. So please, keep the memories of happy times with loved ones at the forefront of your mind, always. That is how we honor those we have lost.
I often wonder what would happen if we lose most if not all the knowledge and wisdom we have acquired in the past few centuries.
May be the least common denominator for humanity is war, exploitation and superstition.
Any man/group confident enough to conquer or exploit will do so if they are not bound by an intricate web of obligations, emotions and dependencies.
Moreover we cant stop thinking and when we try to reason or explain some phenomenon when we are not yet equipped to do so, we end up explaining it the wrong yet acceptable way giving rise to superstition. I believe superstition will reign high as long as there are unexplained things and uninformed men.
In fact religion can be viewed as a scheme devised by the then wise to use the unexplained for taming people down into a sustainable society which was later modulated and exploited to foster the same evils it was meant to fight against.
Somehow men tend to modify and use anything at their disposal to exploit others.
Literally history repeats itself. Neither the first time, nor the second, nor ever will any human pay heed, learn from what has already happened and improvise at any significant level.
We will stabilize to organize, organize to prosper, prosper to conquer, conquer to plunder / suffer afterwhich we again pursue stability. This cycle will probably repeat itself until sky falls down on us.
One reason could be that human / animal reasoning evolved to function in the immediate vicinity of time, space and being. Largely we care more about ourselves than others, about our immediate habitat than far away lands and about now more than past and future. This is good for survival at individual / micro level but when projected onto a social / macro level this tendency locks us together in a small narrow bubble of space-time that keeps traversing the same path over and over again.
For any given species very few things change over generations. Every generation of monkeys lives and dies nearly the same way. In comparison we, homo sapiens, did improvise over generations in terms of means and ways but have been pursuing the same thing since the time of hunter-gatherer societies.
Knowledge, the most powerful and applicable tool know to our species, and yet it is one that we pettily put a price on. The price being considered a "small price to pay" and its true when you speak of Academic Journals, but what about College?
The Ideals of Universities started as a path of betterment of ones' self. The last time I can objectively say this was true was just before Charles Darwin graduated (pg 15 Charles Darwin and Theory of Natural Selection by Edward Poulton).
Now Students are told early on here in America "Go to College to get a better Job!" yet to do so is to put a ridiculous price on the rest of the Student's life. Colleges make it more difficult for students to afford to go to school and to live day to day. It comes down to a choice of food for the week, or study for exams, and that is an unrealistic choice.
Education should be centered around the student's experience and development as an individual, but today it is centered around a business model. It has forced many, including myself to question the validity of the proposition.
We often confuse between richness, wealth, achievement and money with undue emphasis on monetary abundance! True money is important but its just a convenient means to barter and is worthless unless we exchange it for the right things in life. And my friend wealth and money are completely different entities.
We all want to be rich, but what is being rich? In my opinion, richness is being able to cater to all our sensitivities. If you make a lot of money but have no time left for anything else in life, its slavery reinvented and not richness. We enjoy many things in life - music, travel, family, friends, conversations, learning, ideas, experimenting, freedom, love, affection, care, food, and the list is endless. Richness is all about experiencing the above and more! The more we can get the richer we are!
Wealth on the other hand is anything that can help secure our future, provide for us, generate useful resources and contribute to the richness of our life and that of our fellow men. Wealth comes in many forms- intellectual, social, personal, etc. Health and education are also forms of wealth per se.
Finally achievement starts with pursuing richness and wealth at a personal level and ends with making a positive contribution to the human endeavor that started on this tiny little rock circling a star we call Sun.
One can make lots of money and still be poor, insecure and lost!
"I don't know how?" & "I can't understand that!" - are one of the most common excuses that people give themselves and others whenever they encounter a challenging situation in life. I would like to emphasize on these as excuses than reasons as they are easily surmountable with the right attitude towards learning.
Its no longer sufficient to stay confined to what is taught in school and college and we can't expect to be spoon fed by formal instruction every time we have to learn something new. Learning to learn - the autodidactic approach (google it) is the best makeover you can give to your attitude and you will never need to look back again. Your destiny will fall back into your hands and you can once again decide what you want to do with your life.
Gone are the days when learning and researching a topic meant endless trips to the library, bookstore and to those revered experts. With the advent of information super highway and Google, learning can happen at the speed of thought. Recursive learning is the way to go.
Research what interests you and do the same for every concept that you don't understand in between until you reach a level of confidence with the topic and task at hand. You are on the right path if you have already googled for "Autodidacticism" and "Recursive Learning".
We often resort to charity to rid our conscience of the guilt that we are not doing enough for our fellow men but it is important to understand that they not only need our money but also need our time and efforts.
There is no easy way around this situation and the money we donate to various charitable institutions may do more harm than benefit the underprivileged. Such funds are often used to exploit the needy in the pretext of providing help.
Irrespective of our financial contribution, the time and wisdom we invest in solving their problems is pivotal in making a difference. Its also important to assess whether we are just providing for their instantaneous needs or making a sustainable change in their life. Feeding the hungry may be a virtue but helping them earn their bread is brotherhood IMHO.
Finally, its important not to support any religious evangelism as part of charity. Conflict of cultures has claimed enough blood and we should not perpetuate it in the name of charity.
An intriguing presentation, one that has illuminated several things about society to me, as well as about myself. A very solid case for the idea that our "Destiny" is under our control, and only we can change it's course, for better or worse.
We must move on from the mentality of a mapped out path for individuals, and move on to better things. I would love to have some other opinions, as I myself am still processing this information as a whole.
One thing I find is that it is very easy to lose sight of the "Big Picture" so to speak. I'm currently in the process of training myself to trace the lines in order to connect the dots with every bit of information I slowly gather. It can be a slow process with all of the information I take in day by day, it usually takes me about a week to sort through everything from the previous week, usually at the end of each day I go through the news stories and such that I have book marked, and will categorize it by relevance and interest.
A question I have is how do other people perform this task? Everyone's mind works differently, so it would be interesting to learn how others do it.
Are we behaving worthy of living in the Age of Science? Are we forgetting the roots and means of modern life? Are we educating our young to simply perform tasks without imparting on them the required wisdom? Do we truly understand the relation between Truth and Science?
A scintillating talk about the current circumstances relating to development, progress, and science by renowned journalist Michael Specter.
I just request you guys to watch this video and share what you think about the impact this might have on evolution of the technology and on people as a whole. If this is the direction we are headed, imagine the paramount implications it may have on our daily lives, at all levels: psychological, social, physical, and spiritual. It will affect the way we interact with technology and our fellow human beings. In this context, what the future consumers of this technology think becomes the most critical deciding factor on how actually this technology will be perceived.