Friday, January 21, 2011
STAND STRONG ABOVE THE CROWD
One of my favorite authors, Ayn Rand, wrote books celebrating the power of individuals within a fictional world embracing societal equality (The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged). Her novels depict individuals whose unique and special gifts are stolen (without guilt or appreciation) by a society seeking ownership of all ideas and concepts as it seeks to impose equality (as opposed to equity) on men. Ayn’s documents the problems created when society takes from those who have, gives to those who choose not to contribute and punishes anyone foolish enough to think they have the right to place their own needs or desire above those of a needy public.
In The Fountainhead, Ayn writes of an architect who overcomes societies’ destructive expectations of mediocrity by forming a fragile alliance with one of its spokespeople (a newspaper publisher) who was one of his strongest critics. In sticking to his principles (and even breaking several laws), Roark was able to stand tall in the end (literally), with “right” overcoming “might” (though at an almost impossible cost).
In Atlas Shrugged (by far my favorite book), several individuals having unique talents are “sacrificed” (i.e., destroyed) by society because they refuse to release their work to others incapable of developing OR sustaining it. (This book should be a “must read” for Human Resource professionals wishing to see the results of effective recruiting!) Ayn portrays a society that has progressed so far down its socialistic path it is incapable of acknowledging the worth of an individual – an injustice that can be resolved ONLY when the world’s innovators escape from the grasp of human mediocrity, undeserved success and a widespread “handout” mentality by literally disappearing into a new world.
Why should I write of such things within my BLOG? Take the time to read both of these books and you may understand. We live dangerously close to the times described within both writings. If we are to avoid the “end” Ayn predicts, we must open our eyes, express our outrage and act before we can no longer “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.”
To quote another of my favorite authors, the recently deceased James Kavanaugh, our world is full of “men too gentle to live among wolves.” Let us embrace the value these individuals bring – giving them the credit and recognition they deserve – rather than taking from men (and women) based on their perceived ability to give while giving to others based solely upon their needs (without regard to their abilities).