Sunday, April 3, 2016


"What is it that I like so much about the house you're building for me, Howard?"
"A house can have integrity, just like a person," said Roark, "and just as seldom."
"In what way?"
" Well, look at it. Every piece of it is there because the house needs it - and for no other reason. You see it from here as it is inside. (...) But you've seen buildings with columns that support nothing, with purposeless cornices, with  pilasters, moldings, false arches, false windows. You have seen buildings that look as if they contained a single large hall, they have solid columns and single solid windows six floors high. (...) Do you understand the difference? Your house is made by its own needs. Those others are made by the  need to impress. The determining motive of your house is in the house. The determining motive of the others is in the audience."
Conversation between Howard Roark and Austen Heller from "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The need to impress others is a strong drive for many ambitions, habits and lifestyles. The opinion of others, their perceptions of us and what we have, have done, where we have been is often more important than what we think of ourselves. 

Or, is it possible, that the low opinion of ourselves is a driving force to raise the opinion of us by others to a higher level to make up the difference for the deficit between the two? It's so much easier to put up a fake facade and create deceivable perceptions of who we are and what we stand for in the eyes of others than within ourselves. 

Our own soul mirror doesn't distort, lie and fool what we know, do and believe. The only honest way of seeing a true reflection of something that is worth in us, is by living to our fullest potential, standing for our ideals and dreams, and going through the struggles, hardships and disasters with our heads held high. When one forfeits everything that is dear to him or her, passions and dreams that keep him or her going, one forfeits his or her own spirit that keeps one truly alive and living. 

For what is life that lacks passion for what you do? 

It's a living nightmare, a rainy day on a beach, a steam-engine without steam, a sail without wind.

We are social animals, who need human interaction, acceptance and often approval. The integrity of an individual who refuses to follow the herd-like mentality of social circles, just to fit in, is truly admirable.  We crave admiration of our families, spotlight among coworkers and praises of admiring stranger. We seek to project our minuscule attempts at achievements with a hurricane force of a PR agent, upgrading them to lifetime achievements and making them a milestone markers of life not being wasted. "Look at me" we scream on the top of our lungs..."Look how smart I am!" without being able to back it up  without any solid proof of true scholarship and innovative thinking. "Look how wonderful my life is and I'm really really not wasting it..." as it the high school reunion was around the corner, and shedding of 10 lbs and successful resume were the requirements to attend the party.

Who would you rather have for a friend: a brilliant writer, whose selfish drive to create keeps strangers and friends at bay or drunken socialite who will waste tons of any one's time on an empty chatter? Or a innovative engineer whose idea of conversation includes nothing but constant search for solutions or a big mouth suck up whose parasitic tendencies drain your energy and time from what is really important to you. 

The pretentious relationships between people based on who knows who, who has connections and how one can benefit from such connection is what history is made of. Taking an easy path to success by calling on your connections as opposed to building on its own merit and struggle carries a smaller price tag on the value of your soul. We are selling ourselves cheap for search of recognition in our lifetime hoping to enjoy the material and intellectual fruits of our talents and skills. And its absolutely understandable... for what is success after death, it's pointless unless one seeks more than material rewards. 

The genius of any talent is about revealing the truth about the nature of things around us, showing its timeless beauty, irrevocable wisdom and passionate spirit. It will stand on its own despite of time, politics or connections. It will linger in the air like a delicate perfume or a strong weft of a good cigar. It will survive the graveyards of mediocrity. It will sustain itself in the new generations on a hunt for their destinies and life fulfillments.

Live as you are, don't pretend to be someone else. Those glasses won't make you look smarter, unless of course you do something with that knowledge. Those expansive clothes and diets won't make you look thinner, unless of course you put in effort and dedication in being healthy. Those travels won't make you wiser, unless of course you harness the wisdom beyond collection of postcards and magnets. Be honest, be a true reflection of who you are on the inside, don't mask it with a false facade, fake columns that support nothing and cornices that decorate nothing.

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