“Look past the range of the moment, you who cry that you fear to compete with men of superior intelligence, that their mind is a threat to your livelihood, that the strong leave no chance to the weak in a market of voluntary trade. What determines the material value of your work? Nothing but the productive effort of your mind—if you lived on a desert island. The less efficient the thinking of your brain, the less your physical labor would bring you—and you could spend your life on a single routine, collecting a precarious harvest or hunting with bow and arrows, unable to think any further. But when you live in a rational society, where men are free to trade, you receive an incalculable bonus: the material value of your work is determined not only by your effort, but by the effort of the best productive minds who exist in the world around you . . . .”
As an active Slacktivist it’s now time to lay it out for Mrs. Rand. When I was young and just moved to the big apple, a flame gave me a copy of “The Fountainhead”. It sat on my nightstand for a while. It was a thick and intimidating book with tiny lil letters. I started it and fell off of it. It wasn’t till about 4 months that I picked it up and really, REALLY fell into it.
I also happened to land my first full time gig in the city after months of promo modeling. Which was so hard for me as a small town girl trying to fit in. Wrong Crowd.
On those Metro North rides into Grand Central – I’d whip that book out. Something about brandishing a book on those trains, you kinda oughta be proud of what you’re reading. (Once I caught a man reading “She’s Just Not That Into You” tucked inside a car magazine.)
As that train hurled into the station. I’d gather myself for a subway leg down to Wall Street via the 4 train, then walk down wall to water. That walk, surrounded by the suits, the smoke of the vendors and cigarettes, the faint rock music of the Mudd Coffee truck at the end of Wall, I’ll hold forever. Here I was 19 years old, in a blue pinstripe suit I got at the thrift store before I skipped town – making things happen.
As I progressed through the book, some here, some there. I took valuable things away. She wraps her “Objectivism” up in a fictional story, wrapped in hustle, design, architecture, love, integrity and social dynamics with this tiffany blue bow of language and intellect.
A lot of people have this almost religiouslike interpretations of her words, ands surely in Atlas Shrugged and her later interviews more and more of her politically charged feelings were released. Her perspective is a hard one being that she came from a communistic and tough life. Gosh, what a great book, a magical book. Putting all of the political stuff aside, she aknowldged mystical principals I experience all the time. Synchronicity.
Sometimes in life, well actually all the time, we shake hands and ew deny the hands we are meant to. What I mean by that is, we are experiencing a chess game. Its governed by things beyond comprehension and it’s goverened by us. She offers us a window into how we might tap into more means of controlling the game. Really, she suggests if you do not attempt to control the game to some degree – the game controls you.
I am a woman of charity and I do all of the thoughtful things I do, with thought in mind. It is the type who just acts because they are expected to or because of the credit that we have to really worry about. Ayn suggests this too – and later it’s claimed that she “denounces charity” etc etc – not the case – she thinks charity is of worthyness to those worthy! I would never offer my own charity to someone who is laying around doing nothing to help themselves but expecting the help to come. How is this wrong?
By the time I had completed the book, I’d been offered a full time position at the company I was working for and 2 subsequent promotions. There is no doubt that her work offered me a perspective in the place I was in my life, that helped me learn an incredible amount about the real world, business and artistic integrity.
To conclude and touch on the quote above, nothing ever achieved, is done alone. No genius is ever a genius until someone says “that kid is a frikken genius”. There is a myriad of principals working around us at all times. How we manage these principals, relationships with people, and also our networks truly hendges us for advancement.
Ayn Rand – You my friend, were a lady genius!