Death is inevitable.
It is the only constant.
Be good, before it gets too late.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
by Charlie Chaplin (this speech is an excerpt from the Charlie Chaplin movie, The Great Dictator
I'm sorry but I don't want to be an Emperor - that's not my business - I don't want to rule or conquer anyone.
I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say "Do not despair".
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish...
In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written " the kingdom of God is within man " - not one man, nor a group of men - but in all men - in you, the people.
You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. let us all unite!
Look up! Look up! The clouds are lifting - the sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world. A kind new world where men will rise above their hate and brutality.
The soul of man has been given wings - and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow - into the light of hope - into the future, that glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up. Look up."
Sunday, May 27, 2012
What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after: If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them. Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making: Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the overbearing father; disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
Choose a different path and personal style if you are the daughter or son of a great person. You will forever be in your predecessor’s shadow unless you find a way to shine on your own.
Only after the father figure has been done away with will there be space to establish a new order.
Do not become complacent once you reach success and security. Prosperity makes us lazy. Writers like Tennessee Williams preferred the struggle to security; the way poverty or emotional difficulties pushed them to create good work.
When using great man’s shadow to ride to the top.
Use the great man’s method if they are wise and accepted.Beware of others below you stepping into your shoes.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual - the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoner of goodwill. If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
Within any group, trouble can be traced to a single source, the unhappy, chronically unsatisfied one who stirs up dissension and infects the group. Recognize troublemakers by their complaining nature. Separate him from the group.
In every group power is concentrated in the hands of one or two people. Human nature shows people will orbit around a single strong personality.
Beware if they can return to harm you, however keep them close to disarm them.
Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.
Transgression of the Law:
Marie-Antoinette was put to death by guillotine in 1793, after the French monarchy was ended by the revolution. Not a single soul came to her defense. Marie-Antoinette brought upon herself the hatred of all. Her jewelry, wardrobe, hair, and masked balls, her lavish lifestyle had been more important to her than the needs of her people.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
Aim at the primary emotions: love, hate, and jealousy. Be alert to people’s individual psychologies and their basic emotional responses.
Maintain a stable of writers, artists, or intellectuals who are very good at appealing to people’s hearts and minds.
Friday, May 11, 2012
The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson. Few can resist the power of the Mirror Effect.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
- The neutralizing effect: Do what your enemies do, follow their actions and they will not see what you are up to. When you mirror them, it mocks and humiliates them. Mimicry infuriates.
- The Shadow effect: Shadow your opponents’ every move, gather information, and gain insight to their routines and habits without them seeing you.
- The Mirror effect: Show you understand by reflecting their innermost feelings.
- The Moral effect: Teach others a lesson by giving them a taste of their own medicine.
- The Hallucinatory effect: offer a perfect copy of an object, place or person and see how people take the bait.
- When you cannot mirror to the right level.
- Where you get wrongly associated with the people left behind.
Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old ways of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
- Make change and reform seem like a gentle improvement on the past. People are creatures of habit and the sudden change will cause some to rebel.
- Disguise change by dressing it in tradition.
- An unacceptable past that has been removed, however do not leave a void as it create terror.
- Art, fashion and technology, however the past is more stable.
Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but the most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
- Never underestimate the power of envy. Occasionally reveal a weakness, defect, or anxiety, or find new friends. It is the people in your own circle of peers who will be the first to envy your success.
- Envy is often a problem for people who have great natural talent. You may think you are charming people with your natural talent when in fact they are coming to hate you for it.
- To deflect envy, employ a display of weakness, or a harmless vice.
- Envy is disguised sometimes as excessive praise, or slander and criticism. Win your revenge by ignoring the envious.
Display the utmost disdain for those who envy you. Instead of hiding your perfection, make it obvious. Make every triumph an opportunity to make the envious squirm.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
- The powerful know that the essence of strategy is controlling what comes next.
- There is no better time to stop and walk away than after a victory.
- When you need to completely destroy the enemy, however do not create more enemies.
- Buyers remorse is unnecessary.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. Be as fluid and formless as water, adapting and moving with change naturally. The powerful are creative in expressing something new. This feminine, formless style of ruling as practiced by Elizabeth of England and Catherine of Russia, allows flexibility and makes subjects feel less coerced. Play the chameleon but break your enemy from the inside. Morph and adapt but keep your long-term strategy in mind at all times.
Concentrate power when needed.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Why should anyone be led by you? This is the seminal question for all leaders. People arrive at a position of leadership in many different ways – some individuals openly and aggressively seek out positions of leadership, while leadership is thrust upon others. Whether leaders are elected, appointed, anointed, or self-proclaimed, and regardless of whether it is by design or default, once in a position of leadership they nonetheless carry the burden and responsibilities associated with being a leader. So back to the original question – Why should anyone be led by you?
Have you ever felt as if the term “leadership” has a bulls-eye painted on it? Well, it’s because it does – the very mention of the word leadershipseems to draw fire from increasingly large numbers these days. The term has been inappropriately hi-jacked by the politically correct who mock it, the avant-garde who belittle it, the naive who discount it, and the public at large seems to be growing tired of hearing about it. I’m befuddled by this dismissive attitude, and am left wondering how we could have arrived at such a place – how could something so valuable be trivialized by so many?
I’ve come to the conclusion that the reasons so many attempt to ridicule leadership are twofold: 1.) The masses of feigned leaders in the public eye make it easy to do so, and; 2.) Real leaders tend to practice their craft quietly, and with great humility, often going unnoticed in the public eye.
I was at a leadership workshop over the weekend and witnessed a leader self-assess himself as his own greatest risk. It’s true for all of us. Here’s a sobering thought for you to ponder – YOU are the single biggest threat to your role as a leader. Which means YOU are also the single biggest risk to your success in the workplace, with your spouse, to your children, and to your friends. If you are in a position of leadership, you will lead – you will either lead people toward the right things or lead them astray, but you will lead.
By my definition, leaders are not self-promoting, pseudo celebrities whose propensity for personal achievement and media attention far outweigh their true contributions. Rather than focus on the braggarts that litter the media with their personal triumphs, or the charlatans who provide constant reminders of failed leadership, we need to focus our attention on the true leaders who quietly walk among us each day…ethical business people, soldiers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, principled educators, pastors & theologians, medical practitioners, responsible parents, student achievers, volunteers, statesmen (notice I didn’t say politicians), good Samaritans, and the every day hard working American citizen. These are the real leaders who through their personal sacrifice, committed service, and selfless acts who deserve our respect and attention.
We’ve all witnessed the leader who tries to do too much, and conversely, most of us have also observed the leader in stealth mode. We’ve gladly followed the bright, affable and charismatic leaders and rebelled against the arrogant and self indulgent leaders who love to do little more than pontificate about their legendary prowess. The truth is no single label receives the unrelenting and often terse scrutiny (public and private) than that of leader. The pressure is intense, and the risks are high. The good news is the rewards can be tremendous for those who possess the requisite skills and character to not only hold the title of leader, but who are also capable of living up to the title.
When you closely examine the core characteristics of what really makes for great leadership, it’s not power, title, authority or even technical competency that distinguishes truly great leaders. Rather it’s the ability to both earn and keep the loyalty and trust of those whom they lead that sets them apart. Leadership is about trust, stewardship, care, concern, service, humility and understanding. If you build into those you lead, if you make them better, if you add value to their lives then you will have earned their trust and loyalty. This is the type of bond that will span positional and philosophical gaps, survive mistakes, challenges, downturns and other obstacles that will inevitably occur. Leadership isservice. It’s not about you, but about the serving the needs of those whom you have responsibility for.
You don’t change mindsets by being right, you do it by showing you care. Logic and reason have their place, but they rarely will overcome a strong emotional or philosophical position. Trying to cram your positional logic down the throat of others will simply leave a very bad taste in their mouths. This is a very tough lesson for many to learn, but a critical one if you take your duties, obligations and responsibilities as a leader seriously.
The best leaders are capable of aligning and unifying opposing interests for a greater good. You won’t ever become a truly successful leader until you understand a person’s need to be heard and understood is much more important than satisfying your need to impart wisdom. I’m going to make this as simple as I can…leadership is all about the people – nothing more & nothing less. Are you worthy of being a leader? Why should anyone be led by you?