“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”Elie Wiesel
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Until now all human history has been only a perpetual and bloody immolation of millions of poor human beings in honor of some pitiless abstraction—God, country, power of State, national honor, historical, judicial rights, political liberty, public welfare.
- God and the State, Michael Bakunin
ஒழுக்கம் என்பது நான்கு வகைப்படும். மனித உடம்பை நான்கு பாகங்களாக வகைப் படுத்தினார். அவை:
இந்திரிய ஒழுக்கம் : கண் ,காது, மூக்கு ,வாய், உடம்பு என்பதாகும்
கரண ஒழுக்கம்: மனம், புத்தி, சித்தம், அகங்காரம், ஆச்சர்யம் என்பதாகும்.
ஜீவ ஒழுக்கம் : உயிர் என்பதாகும் .
ஆன்ம ஒழுக்கம் : உயிரை இயக்கம் உள் ஒளியாகும்.
இவைகள் மனித உடம்பை இயக்கும் கருவிகளாகும். இவைகளை கட்டுப்படுத்தி வாழ்வதே ஒழுக்கம் என்பதாகும் .
ஒழுக்கம் என்பது என்ன ?
மனிதனாக பிறந்தவர்கள் ஓழுக்கத்துடன் வாழ வேண்டும் என்று எல்லோரும் சொல்லுகிறார்கள்.எல்லா ஞானிகளும் சொல்லி உள்ளார்கள் திருவள்ளுவரும் திருக்குறளில் பதிவு செய்துள்ளார் .
ஒழுக்கம் விழுப்பம் தரலான் ஒழுக்கம்
உயிரினும் ஓம்பப் படும் .
ஒழுக்கத்தின் எய்துவர் மேன்மை இழுக்கத்தின்
எய்துவர் எய்தாப்பழி !
வள்ளலார் அவர்கள் ஒழுக்கம் எனபது எவை என்பதை தெளிவான முறையில் விளக்கம் தந்துள்ளார்கள்.
இந்திரிய ஒழுக்கம் என்பது ;—.
கொடிய சொல் செவி [காது ] புகாது நாதம் முதலிய தோத்திரங்களைக் கேட்டல்
அசுத்த பரிச இல்லாது தயா வண்ணமாகப் பரிசித்தல் .
குரூரமாக பாராது இருத்தல்,
ருசி விரும்பாமல் இருத்தல் .
சுகந்தம் விரும்பாமல் இருத்தல் .
இன் சொல்லால் பேசுதல் .
பொய் சொல்லாமல் இருத்தல் ,
ஜீவர் களுக்கு துன்பம நேரிடும் போது எவ்வித தந்திரம் செய்தாவது தடை செய்தல் ,
பெரியோர்கள் எழுந்து அருளி இருக்கும் இடங்களுக்குச் செல்லுதல் ,
ஜீவ உபகார சம்பந்தமாக சாதுக்கள் இருக்கும் இடத்திற்கும் ,திவ்ய திருப்பதிகளிலும் செல்லுதல் .
நன் முயற்ச்சியில் கொடுத்தல், வருவாய் [ வருமானம் ] செய்தல் ,
மிதமான ஆகாரம் செய்தல்,
மிதமான போகம் செய்தல் ,
மலம சிரமம் இல்லாமல் வெளியேற்றுதல் ,
கால பேதத்தாலும் உஷ்ண ஆபாசத்தாலும் தடை நேர்ந்தால் ஓஷதி வகைகளாலும்,பவுதிக மூலங்களாலும்,சரபேத அஸ்த பரிச தந்திரத்தாலும் மூலாங்கப் பிரணவ தியானத்தாலும் சங்கறபத்தாலும்,தடை தவிர்த்துக் கொள்ளல் ,
[மந்ததரனுக்கு ] சுக்கிலத்தை [விந்து ] அதிகமாக வெளியேற்றாமல் நிற்றல் .
[தீவிரதரனுக்கு ]எவ்வகையிலும் சுக்கிலம் வெளியே விடாமல் நிறுத்தல் ,
இடைவிடாது கோசத்தைக் கவசத்தால் [துணியால் ]மறைத்தல்,
இதே போல் உச்சி ,[தலை ] மார்பு முதலிய அங்க அவையங்களை மறைத்தல் ,
வெளியில் செல்லும் காலங்களில் காலில் கவசம் [செருப்பு] தரித்தல்
அழுக்கு ஆடை உடுத்தாமல் இருத்தல் ,
இவை யாவும் இந்திரிய ஒழுக்கங்களாகும்.
கரண ஒழுக்கம் ;–
மனதைச் சிற்சபையின் [புருவ மத்தி ]கண்ணே நிறுத்தல் ,அதாவது புருவ மத்தியில் நிற்கச செய்தல் .
கெட்ட விஷயத்தை பற்றாமல் இருக்க செய்தல் ,
ஜீவ தோஷம் விசாரக்காமல் இருத்தல்.
தன்னை மதியாமல் இருத்தல்
செயற்கை குணங்களால் ஏற்ப்படும் கெடுதிகளை [இராகாதி]நீக்கி இயற்கையாகிய சத்துவ மயமாதல்,
பிறர மீது கோபம கொள்ளாமல் இருத்தல்,
தனது சத்துருக்கள் ஆகிய தத்துவங்களை அக்கிரமத்தில் செல்லாது கண்டித்தல் ,
முதலியன கரண ஒழுக்கமாகும் ,
ஜீவ ஒழுக்கம் என்பது ;–
ஆண் மக்கள்,பெண் மக்கள்,முதலிய யாவர்கள் இடத்திலும் ஜாதி ,சமயம் ,மதம், ஆசிரமம் ,சூத்திரம் ,கோத்திரம், குலம் ,சாஸ்த்திர சம்பந்தம் ,தேச மார்க்கம் ,உயர்ந்தோர் ,தாழ்ந்தோர் ,–என்னும் பேதம் நீங்கி எல்லோரும் நம்மவர்கள் என்பதை சமத்திற கொள்ளுதல்
ஜீவ ஒழுக்கமாகும் ,
ஆன்ம ஒழுக்கம் ;—
யானை முதல் எறும்பு ஈறாகத் தோன்றிய உடம்பில் உள்ள ஜீவ ஆன்மாவே திருச சபை யாகவும் ,அதன் உள் ஒளியே அதாவது பரமானமாவே பதியாகவும் ,கொண்டு ,யாதும் நீக்கமற எவ்விடத்தும் பேதம் அற்று எல்லாம் தானாக நிற்றல் –ஆன்ம ஒழுக்கமாகும் ,
இத்துடன் இடம் தனித்து இருத்தல்,இச்சை இன்றி நுகர்தல், ஜெப தபம் செய்தல் ,தெய்வம் பராவல். பிற உயிர்களுக்கு இரங்கல் ,பெருங் குணம் பற்றல் ,பாடிப் பணிதல், பத்தி செய்து இருத்தல்,–முதலிய நல்ல செய்கைகளில் பல காலம் முயன்று முயன்று பழகிப் பழகி நிற்றல் வேண்டும் .
இவையே மனித ஒழுக்கமாகும் .இவற்றை முழுவதும் பின் பற்றுபவர்கள் நான்கு புருஷார்த்தங்கள் அடைவார்கள் .
சாகாக் கல்வி .
தத்துவ நிக்கிரகஞ் செய்தல் ,
கடவுள் நிலை அறிந்து அம மயமாதல் .
என்பதாகும் இவையே மனிதன் மரணத்தை வெல்லும் வழியாகும் .இதை வள்ளலார் கடை பிடித்தார் மரணத்தை வென்று கடவுள் நிலை அறிந்து அம்மயமானார் என்பது அனைவரும் அறிந்த உண்மையாகும் ,நாமும் அவர் காட்டிய வழியில் வாழ்ந்து பேரின்ப சித்திப் பெருவாழ்வில் வாழ்வோம் .
s.ramesh is discussing. Toggle Comments
மிகக் கடினமானவை மூன்று!
1. இரகசியத்தை காப்பது.
2. இழைக்கப்பட்ட தீங்கை மறப்பது.
3. ஓய்வு நேரத்தை உயர்ந்த வழியில் பயன்படுத்துவது.
நன்றி காட்டுவது மூன்று!
1. இதயத்தால் உணர்தல்.
2. சொற்களால் தெரிவித்தல்.
3. பதிலுக்கு உதவி செய்தல்.
பெண்மையை காக்க மூன்று!
மகிழ்ச்சியான வாழ்க்கைக்குரியவை மூன்று!
1. சென்றதை மறப்பது.
2. நிகழ்காலத்தை நேர்வழியில் செலுத்துவது.
3. வருங்காலத்தைப் பற்றிச் சிந்திப்பது.
1. சமையல் அமையாவிட்டால் ஒருநாள் இழப்பு.
2. அறுவடை சிறக்காவிடில் ஓராண்டு இழப்பு.
3. திருமணம் பொருந்தாவிட்டால் வாழ்நாள் முழுவதும் இழப்பு.
உயர்ந்த மனிதனின் வாழ்வு மூன்று!
1. அவன் ஒழுக்கத்தோடிருப்பதால் கவலையற்றிருப்பான்.
2. அவன் அறிவாளியாயிருப்பதால் குழப்பங்களற்றிருப்பான்.
3. அவன் துணிவாக இருப்பதால் அச்சமின்றியிருப்பான்.
The law of humility states that what you refuse to accept will continue for you. This law seems to be a difficult one to understand for many people.
It can be explained with examples. In psychotherapy, this law could be called “denial.” What you choose not to see that may be happening in your life becomes most difficult to deal with. Awareness is the key to change. Similarly, what you refuse to accept will also continue for you.
Perhaps there is someone in your life that is extremely hard for you to deal with. Maybe you see them as controlling.
This characteristic surfaces the most with couples. One is always feeling controlled in some manner by the other. They can feel controlled by manipulation, martyred or victim behavior, someone’s health issues, the other’s grief, the other having more or less money, their children or any other reason they feel there is an aura of control darkening their relationship. This may be felt in a work environment, family of origin, or among friends.
If at first you choose to not accept this trait about the other, it will end up creating damage in your body, mind or soul. By not accepting this about the other, it becomes repressed by you and ends up being manifested in many other ways. It can often turn to depression, migraines, back pain, allergies, shingles, or a host of other physical ailments. By not accepting it, you may turn to drugs, prescription medication, drinking, sex or food to numb what it is you cannot accept. It may make you feel as if you’ve become lost in the dark and cannot see the light anymore. Your ability to meditate, pray or connect with spirit will most likely be sabotaged.
So, what does this law of humility mean for you to do?
Awareness is key to change!
You can choose to not see these characteristics as flaws or negatives, but instead decide to accept them as what they are. If someone is controlling, see it for what it is, and decide that this is in your life for some reason for you to learn from it to further your soul growth. Perhaps you needed to find your strength again to be with this person. Perhaps your strength will even allow you to accept this person. As you come from a higher level of spirit and understanding, your strength and inner knowledge will help you make decisions.
Moving into the role of the observer will always help you accept more clearly that which is tugging on your soul. It has been placed there for a reason! Meditating will also allow you to see it more clearly.
Are you focused on a higher level of being yet? Can you observe without being pulled into the negative? Are you able to accept others wherever they are in life?
Remembering that even with acceptance you can still make whatever changes are necessary for your body, mind and soul to move further on your journey of spirit!
What is Karma? Karma is the Sanskrit word for action. It is equivalent to Newton’s law of ‘every action must have a reaction’. When we think, speak or act we initiate a force that will react accordingly. This returning force maybe modified, changed or suspended, but most people will not be able eradicate it.
This law of cause and effect is not punishment, but is wholly for the sake of education or learning.
A person may not escape the consequences of his actions, but he will suffer only if he himself has made the conditions ripe for his suffering. Ignorance of the law is no excuse whether the laws are man-made or universal.
To stop being afraid and to start being empowered in the worlds of karma and reincarnation, here is what you need to know about karmic laws.
1. THE GREAT LAW
- “As you sow, so shall you reap”. This is also known as the “Law of Cause and Effect”.
- Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us.
- If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Love, Friendship… Then we should BE Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a True Friend.
2. THE LAW OF CREATION
- Life doesn’t just HAPPEN, it requires our participation.
- We are one with the Universe, both inside and out. – Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
- BE yourself, and surround yourself with what you want to have present in your Life.
3. THE LAW OF HUMILITY
- What you refuse to accept, will continue for you.
- If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.
4. THE LAW OF GROWTH
- “Wherever you go, there you are”.
- For us to GROW in Spirit, it is we who must change – and not the people, places or things around us.
- The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES and that is the only factor we have control over.
- When we change who and what we are within our heart our life follows suit and changes too. THE
5. LAW OF RESPONSIBILITY
- Whenever there is something wrong in my life, there is something wrong in me.
- We mirror what surrounds us – and what surrounds us mirrors us; this is a Universal Truth.
- We must take responsibility what is in our life.
6. THE LAW OF CONNECTION
- Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected.
- Each step leads to the next step, and so forth and so on.
- Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
- Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance,
- As they were both needed to accomplish the task.
- Past-Present-Future they are all connected…
7. THE LAW OF FOCUS
- You can not think of two things at the same time.
- When our focus is on Spiritual Values, it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.
8. THE LAW OF GIVING AND HOSPITALITY
- If you believe something to be true,then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that particular truth.
- Here is where we put what we CLAIM that we have learned, into actual PRACTICE.
9. THE LAW OF HERE AND NOW
- Looking backward to examine what was, prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW.
- Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams…
- Prevent us from having new ones.
10. THE LAW OF CHANGE
- History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.
11. THE LAW OF PATIENCE AND REWARD
- All Rewards require initial toil.
- Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.
- True joy follows doing what we’re suppose to be doing, and waiting for the reward to come in on its own time.
12. THE LAW OF SIGNIFICANCE AND INSPIRATION
- You get back from something whatever YOU have put into it.
- The true value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
- Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
- Lack luster contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it.
- Loving contributions bring life to, and inspire, the Whole.
Socrates was the great philosopher in ancient Greece and was held in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”
“Hold on a minute”, Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”
“That’s right”, Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test.
The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?” “No,”,the man said, “Actually I just heard about it and …” “All right”, said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not.
Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?” “No, on the contrary.”
“So”, Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true.
You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?” “No, not really.”
“Well”, concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
The twenty-three marble relief portraits over the gallery doors of the US House Chamber depict historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law. They were installed when the chamber was remodeled in 1949-1950.
Created in bas relief of white Vermont marble by seven different sculptors, the plaques each measure 28 inches in diameter. The eleven profiles in the eastern half of the chamber face left and the eleven in the western half face right, so that all look towards the full-face relief of Moses in the center of the north wall.
The subjects of the reliefs were chosen by scholars from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia Historical Society of Washington, D.C., in consultation with authoritative staff members of the Library of Congress. The selection was approved by a special committee of five Members of the House of Representatives and the Architect of the Capitol.
The plaster models for these reliefs are on display on the walls in the Rayburn House Office Building subway terminal.
George Mason (1726-1792).
American political leader; drafted the Virginia Constitution and Declaration of Rights in 1776; was a member of the constitutional convention of 1787; led opposition to the ratification of the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added.
Robert Joseph Pothier (1699-1772).
French jurist; author of the Digest of Pandects of Justinian, a classic study of Roman law; author of several treatises on French law, which were incorporated in the French Code Civil.
Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683).
French finance minister and controller general under Louis XIV; codified commercial, maritime, and colonial ordinances; reformed the French legal system.
Edward I (1239-1307).
King of England; founded the parliamentary constitution of England; eliminated the divisive political effects of the feudal system.
Alfonso X, the “Wise” (1221-1284).
King of León and Castile; author of the Royal Code, a compilation of local legislation for general use; originator of The Seven Parts, the code used as a basis for Spanish jurisprudence.
Gregory IX (c. 1147-1241).
Medieval pope; author of a compilation of decretals (i.e., authoritative decisions) on canon law; during a critical period he was instrumental in maintaining the remnants of Roman law.
Saint Louis (1214-1270).
King Louis IX of France; author of the Mise of Amiens, a judgment on a dispute between Henry III and rebellious English barons.He ruled when France was at the height of its political, economical, and military power; then being the most powerful country in Europe at the time.
Justinian I (c. 483-565).
Byzantine emperor; appointed Tribonian to compile and consolidate the Roman legal code into the Justinian Code, which he supplemented with a collection of rulings and precedents.
Tribonian (c. 500-547).
Byzantine jurist; head of the commission that codified the laws under Justinian I.
Lycurgus (c. 900 B.C.).
Semimythical Greek legislator; traditional author of laws and institution of Sparta.
Military-savvy war veteran who, as regent or tutor to King Charilaus, outlined a great deal of reforms that became the basis of fundamental Spartan Law.
Hammurabi (fl. c. 1792-1750 B.C.).
King of Babylonia; author of the Code of Hammurabi, which is recognized in legal literature as one of the earliest surviving legal codes.
Moses (C. 1350-1250 B.C.).
Hebrew prophet and lawgiver; transformed a wandering people into a nation; received the Ten Commandments.
Solon (c. 638-559 B.C.).
Athenian statesman; author of constitutional and legal reforms. Accredited as one of the Seven Sages of Greece.
Papinian (c. 146-212).
Roman jurist; author of fifty-six books about legal questions and decisions, extracts from which were influential in the development of the Justinian Code.
Gaius (c. 110-180).
Roman jurist; author of numerous works, the most noted being the Institutes, a complete exposition of the elements of Roman law that were the foundation of Roman civil law. He served under Emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus.
Jewish philosopher of Cordova, Spain; compiled a systematic exposition of the whole of Jewish law as contained in the Pentateuch and in Talmudic literature.
Sultan of Turkey; reformed and improved civil and military codes; united a group of unstable territories into an empire. Also known as, Suleiman the Magnificent: Turkish Sultan of the Ottoman Empire; Known in the Islamic world as “The Lawgiver”, he set up massive reforms that ushered in a golden age for the empire.
Innocent III (1161-1216).
Medieval pope; student of canon and civil law, who, like Gregory IX, preserved the remnants of Roman law during the Dark Ages.
He reigned at the height of papal power, defining religious totalitarianism and absolutism.
Simon de Montfort (1200-1265).
English statesman; advocated representative government; established an early form of representative government in England.
Hugo Grotius (1583-1645).
Dutch statesman; Advocate-General of Holland and Zeeland; author of On the Law of War and Peace, the first treatise on international law.
Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780).
English jurist; professor of common law at Oxford; author of Commentaries on the Laws of England, which had considerable influence on the importation and adaptation of English common law in America.
Napoleon I (1769-1821).
Emperor of France; appointed a commission to draw up the Code Civil, a combination of tradition and Roman law that influenced the legal systems of European and American states during the 19th century.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).
Third President of the United States; wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom.
Anton Ansgar is discussing. Toggle Comments
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
My third story is about death.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.
In medio stat virtus : Virtue stands in the middle.
Virtue is in the moderate, not the extreme position. – Horace
Voltaire said : The better is the enemy of the good.
The perfect is the enemy of the good.
The best is the enemy of the good.
In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined a virtue as a balance point between a deficiency and an excess of a trait. The point of greatest virtue lies not in the exact middle, but at a golden mean sometimes closer to one extreme than the other. For example, courage is the mean between cowardice and foolhardiness, confidence the mean between self-deprecation and vanity, and generosity the mean between miserliness and extravagance.
Virtue, by definition, is a characteristic that promotes individual and collective well being. A vice, on the other hand, does not promote well being. What is surprising to me is that a virtue stands between two vices.
Now, this is something to think about. The present day paradigm is being the best. We all are told that we have to be the best at what we do. And we even strive for it.
We give up things just to be the best in what we do. We encourage children to be first in class. In fact our lives are so competitive that we call it a rat race. We drive ourselves hard and get burnt out.
No wonder this puts things out of perspective. We feel miserable when we cant be the best. We don’t forgive our own mistakes.
Pushing to extreme cant be a balanced way of life, even if the extreme is perfection. Being the best may be good for business, but it may not be good for the spirit.
Patty Golden is discussing. Toggle Comments