Quote for today.
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” – Ayn Rand, from Atlas Shrugged
Some people have questioned why I am a fan, of sorts, of Ayn Rand, particularly as her philosophies have been hijacked by people calling themselves members of the modern-day “Tea Party” movement. (Her political and economic policies advocate laissez faire capitalism, which, I think if there were no greed on this Earth, might be able to work. In this world, alas, greed is everywhere, as well as people and organizations to seek to take advantage and harm others.)
Well. Her fiction calls on the power of the individual to follow his/her calling according to his ability, which lies within his/her competence and knowledge. Her heroes are strong, empowered individuals who fight against collectivism, the naysaying of trends and the masses, the mediocre and the apathetic. Her heroes strive for knowledge; they ignore those who tell them what they’re doing isn’t “acceptable”. They march to the sound of their own drum. Her philosophy also advocates that one must not harm another in their pursuit of their vision. To harm another means to mooch off of them; to have a victim means that you’re taking from that victim and not working on your own accord. This aspect of her philosophy appeals to me very much. Work hard, make money doing what you do best, and don’t harm others in the process. Sounds like a good way to live, yeah?
If you know anything about me at all, you’ll see why these stories have inspired me so much. My tattoo, the star in the circle, is not only a derivation of a logo used by the band Rush, but also a visual manifestation of these ideals. The band’s drummer created the symbol to represent the masses, the collective, the mediocre, the naysayers – I put it on my back to remind me that I have a duty to myself to push ahead on my own, regardless of whatever obstacles come before me. I am my own leader, and I will follow my vision.