RIP to a man who lived a life that we all wish to emulate (though few could have endured it as he did). Nelson Mandela was a leader like so few who walk with us in life. His trials and tribulations were so like and yet unlike ours. He lived them with the convictions that the world could be a better one, and showed us the change that we were capable of.
A poem that helped him survive his years of imprisonment which led to a change that we see too little of: freedom for a people.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Today, another great man left his earthly bonds, though he will never leave us. Nelson Mandela has been on our watch, as his frail body continued to remind us that our time with him and with this planet is finite. I can’t claim to have known him, but have tried to learn from his courageous actions that stand as a shining example of hope in a world that is so often dark with intent. It’s examples such as his that remind us of our own destinies that await us from our birth.
We are all searching for a raison d’être. We all hope that we will feel it like those few true leaders who understood what it meant to feel the meaning of our existence. They build themselves up by acquiring the tools needed to wield their dreams. But they do so with a humility that is so rare in those who choose to lead. It’s not about the power for them. It’s about the purpose of their lives. They don’t do things for golden accolades or fruitful treasures that build into thrones to their greatness. They do things because others need them to complete these actions. To remind us that we all have obligations to one another. To tell us that love is so much more powerful than fear or greed or selfishness.
When there are insurmountable walls that keep us from greater opportunities, there are ways to get around the barriers. Those true leaders we choose to remember understand that a helping hand builds a much stronger ladder that will scale these walls. They help us envision a land of wealth that has little to do with material things. They listen and they encourage. They acknowledge when others provide better examples. They give wind to our sails when there is no wind to be found. They argue against the norm when the norm becomes dangerous to the greater good. They have no problem being wounded if it means that others can be safe.
The legacies that live on are those that make us think twice about who we are and what we choose to do. In a world where emptiness in our souls yearn to be filled, those whose legacies serve as examples to the rest of us need to be exalted above the vacuous pageantry that dominates. The legacies that survive bring us together. The legacies that survive give us hope. The legacies that survive push us to be better. The legacies that survive deserve to live on in our hearts, minds, and souls. They live because they are alive in all of us.
Speaking upon his release (courtesy of CTNews01):
We need no reminder because we always remember those important to us. That is a true legacy.
The whistle-blowing of information regarding out-of-control institutional global surveillance has finally brought some much needed conversation and thoughts to the important topic of increasing loss of human rights. And today, there’s finally a glimmer of hope that a few governments get what so many people are worried about. Yes, there is hypocrisy because everyone spies on others. But that doesn’t negate the fact that we all have basic rights that should not be taken away by selfish institutional interests that are increasingly taking over individual rights.
Meet the newest UN conversation brought out by Brazil and Germany, seeking to equalize global human rights in regards to privacy and freedom of expression:
And read about the latest attempts by certain “superpowers” who wish to continue business as usual:
If you’re wondering what all of the testing that SpaceX has been doing is for, then here’s an awesome reminder of what we are capable of when our minds are set to new horizons. If you’re a fan of space exploration, then you already know that SpaceX won a contract with NASA for sending cargo to the ISS. You’ve probably also seen the pretty amazing launch tests and landings that the Grasshopper has been completing.
This video shows the mindset that SpaceX has followed in order to re-imagine the possibilities with space flight that factors in reducing the costs incurred on these missions so that more can be done with less. Considering the amount of success that SpaceX has already achieved, and the beautiful minds that stretch into exploring the unknown, it looks like Elon Musk’s team has put a firm foot into outer space. Now if we can only keep our governments from profiteering from those achievements, then maybe we can see that these steps are indeed for humanity as the previous generation of space explorers from NASA and other space agencies recognized.
SpaceX’s vision shows us the possibilities when we move past questioning new practices and embrace radically changing models that only hold us back. And you have to admit that Elon Musk is definitely a person who travels on paths rarely trodden (how about the Tesla). This is the kind of leadership mentality that the 21st century needs more of. Not the antiquated, close-minded kind that we currently have all over our fragile planet.
If you’re a fan of science fiction then you probably know the story of Metropolis well. I’ve been a die-hard fan of this silent movie since I first saw it as a teenager. It’s rare when you can find a movie that can take the intricate web of society and masterfully tell its story in silence, and that is what Metropolis did back in 1926. When it came out that they were remastering and adding lost footage to this powerful classic, people everywhere took note as it was clearly a movie that spoke to the masses. No matter how many times you see it, the message of life still tolls as clearly as it did the first time that you watched in wonder as the real world unfolded in all of its hideous glory. Only then did you realize that the world that we made and accepted was truly built upon little but movie magic so that we would accept the illusions of civility.
Well, Reddit just got a share of a new version made by a fan who must have spent a massive amount of effort in recreating the classic into a version with sound. John Fredersen made this emotional piece using the remastered version, the audiobook, submissions from many other YouTubers, and a beautifully chosen score that blends into a version that should build upon the legacy that was the original Metropolis.
I’m planning on settling down to enjoy this version when I get my focus back. Because nothing less than 1000% should be given to a work of love like this one! Whether you like originals to stay intact or support creating alternates that take flight from a work of art, give it a chance. The world is large enough for serious interpretations that seek to keep creation flowing respectfully. Seriously, THANK YOU, John Fredersen (MetropolisRemix). I hope that you get the acknowledgement that you deserve for all of your dedication, time, and love for a movie that speaks to so many of us out there.
We are in the midst of some major moral dilemmas. With an increasing frequency of dramatic actions by individuals standing up to heinous misconduct from our leadership, we are being forced to decide on what is most important to us. Some of the balancing that we are being forced to confront hits straight to our heart. Who is more important: our immediate loved ones or everyone in the world? How does someone answer such a question when it would depend on the circumstances. If the lives of a majority are in peril, and could potentially impact your own loved ones, wouldn’t you want to think that you’ll act for the good of everyone and not just our loved ones?
This quote by Thich Nhat Hanh answers my feelings exactly on how I choose to live my life. It’s not an easy way to live because it requires a very high degree of understanding who you want to be. That takes time and dedication. Especially if you are looking to live a “moral” life. Not by words we read from a book, but by the very actions that show others our own measurement of morality. By the idea that we should “do unto others as we would have done to us”. You know, the Golden Rule. And it’s even more difficult if you still consider yourself to be a work in progress. But if you care, you keep trying.
When we are forced to make the ultimate choice of our country over everyone, then we are being put into an unfair position. This specific choice has been the foundation of all of the wrongdoing that we’ve done through our history. Life is much more than he who has the most wins. It’s definitely more important than which country is the best. If more people are losing to protect the few, then all of the words in the world won’t exonerate us from our one-dimensional obsessions.
It’s these stark choices that we’re being confronted with that is causing people to become much more vocal. We’re being forced to confront who we choose to be. We’re being asked what is most important to us. Increasingly, more people find the world to be more important than any one country. That’s just giving respect to humanity over nationality. Do you feel that your life so far is an accurate signature that you want to portray? Are you proud of your actions, or do you need to change to fit the signature that you want? I’m still working on bettering my words and actions so that I can worthy of the signature that is my goal. It’s not easy, but then nothing worthwhile ever is.
This image by Theirry Legault (2010) shows us where are dreams can take us:
The ISS transit across the moon in 2010 (photo credit: Theirry Legault)
That little flake you see near the center is the ISS as it streaks past our Moon. The shot was an incredible feat as the whole transit took half of a second! But those who are fascinated by space (the final frontier) saw whatever they dreamed about. I thought that I caught a glimpse of the Starship Enterprise for a moment. And to think that the ISS is the precursor to all of our space explorations still to come.
And this is why having dreams can be so powerful. The imagination is ready to take you on a wondrous ride, but only if you are open to the experience. Are you?
- check out the ISS on Reddit. You’ll catch some great dreams!
The one thing that you can say for the business world is that they do have experience. This video called Meals Per Hour is being sponsored by Toyota, who is offering to donate one meal to the New York Food Bank for every viewing that it gets. This is what people talk about when they speak of charitable efforts that can be done by large corporations. Instead of protecting their processes through IP (intellectual property), they have a chance of making a huge difference to start-ups who are still trying to understand how efficiency can improve anyone’s process.
The Toyota Production System (TPS) is one of the shining examples of how Kaizen has been the standard that most industries follow to assist in continued improvements that translate to bigger successes. When you complete repetitive work, you learn throughout the process so that you can:
Define the work
Turn it into photo stops
List what each step requires
Refine it to reduce waste and improve efficiency
Rev it up towards a better process
Rinse and repeat
As life incorporates the same need for steps in order to complete a day, we’re always looking for mechanisms that will help improve our quality of life. But quality of life isn’t just about improving a single process. It’s also about improving every aspect of ALL life. The one mistake that many make is to assume that measuring metrics is the only way to ensure success. Nothing in life is so simple that we can just live by numbers. Life is all about the messy emotions, thoughts, and experiences. None of these can be distilled to formulas. And that’s why we see so much failure in our current way of life. Until we learn to understand that the immeasurable also have an important place in formulas, we’re never going to get life right.
But at least we can use the experiences of work to better enhance how we complete certain repetitive tasks that bombard us on a daily basis. Just remember that there are people involved in those equations, and they aren’t made up of numbers.
Find out more about this brilliant partnership between experts who want to make the world just a little bit better than the day before: Meals Per Hour
News everywhere tells us how broken our foundations are becoming. People speak of lost hope and despair at the stagnancy of our lives. We wonder how things will ever get better for ALL of us. Many times, we’re told to “just drop it, because nothing will change”. And yet every movement towards betterment in society was done by the few who ignored those who chose to stand still. Isn’t this current moment in our time just such a time where more of us need to ignore the accepted and look for ways to finally fix things?
I’ve been thinking heavily about this because I’ve spent the majority of my time trying to make things better from within the system. When you’ve heard your entire life that this is the most efficient way of perpetuating change, you tend to follow the advice of those who seem to know more about the system than you. Until you wake up one day and realize that, maybe just maybe, the system is now on autopilot and really doesn’t want our intelligence. It’s working for the system, so why would it want things to change?
When so many recognize that the broken bough cannot hold on in perpetuity, then it behooves us to look past the system and try working from other directions. Our education lights the way towards how we think things should behave. Without knowledge, we have to rely on others to tell us right from wrong. Just how comfortable would you be with someone telling you how you should act at all times? If you consider yourself to be an individual, then you’ll probably cringe at the thought. And this is where your brains come in. It points you to the information that you should be gathering so that you can use it to create alternatives that work better for you, and that could work better for many others. Education has to be on-going in order for us to recognize when change needs to happen.
Organizations in general require a blind trust that they are doing their best for you. But lately, there is news everywhere that is challenging the notion that they are benevolent and all-seeing. Just like the rest of us, they have personal needs, and those needs will override the collective because it needs to find a middle ground on which to operate. But when the middle ground continues to fail to include the outlying activities that refuse to fit the norm, then we need to look at the signals to understand what is failing. But we need to go past just seeing the failing, because we should also want to fix them. If you’re waiting for someone else to fix a bad situation, then you’ll probably be waiting in vain because others around you are doing the same thing.
When someone tells you that this is the way things have always been done, you should be asking them if the current times match the times when the actions were first developed. Times change so it would be almost impossible to think that the situation will stay the same as when the solution was created. Our creativity and ability to expand upon our knowledge is precisely the tools that we’re given to learn from life…and to improve.
We don’t have to accept that the broken bough is the only branch on which we can stand. There are a lot of branches around us waiting to take on the weight of lives. All of these branches lead to the trunk that will safely hold these branches together so that we have the ability to move from branch to branch as we need to fit where we should be. It’s about time that we find and build solutions where we’re standing, and not on the middle ground. Chances are, there will be others nearby who want to help build a viable alternative that is much better than status quo, so that a new middle ground can take root.
p.s. Check out Great Mind Quotes to see if you find some valuable words that will help you to understand and maybe even motivate.
Most of us need a primer on the various schools of economics, told to us in simple words that highlights what really is happening in our world today. Enter Prof. Mark Blyth, as shared by Cory on BoingBoing, telling us about the colossal stupidity that is austerity. If you’ve been watching the news in the past few years, especially since the 2008 global collapse, then you are probably really confused about those people in charge who are literally shooting at the balloon that is keeping our boats above water.
Sorry for the heavy content of late, but seriously, we really should be concerned about all of this because it directly impacts our ability to stay creative. We need the type of creativity that will create a new explosion of ideas that will take us well into the 21st century which is counting on us to stay curious and keep learning. So, take a listen to a really interesting and funny talk by Mark as he explains why so many people at the top are really clueless in the school of economics as it works in the real world.
“Bait and Switch” should give you a clue on how you should be currently feeling. Economics is now easy to understand because of Mark, but we still need to work on a better alternative than a method that was made popular with the likes of used car sales and the like.
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** STOP CENSORSHIP! **
Our censorship fight with the US Congress is far from over, as they continue to attempt to break the Internet with legislations driven by crony capitalism in the US and abroad. Though SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) have been pulled back for now, more continue to follow them. Now, we have to contend with ACTA(more) and TPP(2), which are international attempts to censor and control the Internet for the sake of commerce. And if that's not enough, now there's CISPA (more).
Go to EFF.org to keep up with the legal news that impacts our world and its technology. The greed won't stop, so we have to stay vigilant as well. Especially now that lobbyists are admitting out loud that they expect to be rewarded for their "contributions": Read it on TorrentFreak
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I want to thank all of my visitors who are taking the time to leave such inspiring and thoughtful comments. I'm glad that I'm able to connect with so many of you through my writing. This blog is all about things that drive my creative inspirations, and all of you are part of that inspiration. So, thanks for your support. I look forward to getting to know you better throughout this creative journey.