Leaders never lead. Communicators are never on Communication Committees. If she says, “I am the most loyal person”, you know she isn’t. If he says, “I am wise”, he is the opposite. “My door is always open”, and it never is.
As broad and simple as it sounds, it’s really an ugly thing, the reason for the missiles and executions, the world going to hell all around us. Hope remains the thing. Thanks for nothing.
I have blogged on my concerns for the future as of late, a dread that worsens daily. Henri Charriere concludes his opus of astonishing escapes, Papillon, with the following thought: We have too much technological progress, life is too hectic, and our society has one goal: to invent still more technological marvels to make life easier and better.
The craving for every scientific discovery breeds a hunger for greater comfort and the constant struggle to achieve it. All that kills the soul, kills compassion, understanding and nobility. It leaves no time for caring what happens to other people.
Charriere wrote those words in 1970, 53 years ago. And how much worse is it now? And how much worse is it going to get? (HInt: Much fucking worse.)
Biographies fascinate me. There is nothing more interesting than a life well lived. But the issue of how that life was actually lived is bent by the prism of the author, overstating or understating, or just getting it wrong about the diligence or chaos of that life.
I recently read the biography of film director Hal Ashby and was struck by the contradictory notes on his life, at one time proclaiming him extraordinarily dedicated – working 18 hours days weeks at a time – and then completely bemused and lost.
It’s a work of fiction in the end because nobody knows, not even the one who lived that life, as well lived as might be portrayed. The one thing that I have learned from these biographies is that confidence and humility is all that is needed.
You can genuflect and proclaim, be as poetic as you like, but there is nothing but those things. Confidence and humility, and all will be well, or at least well biographed.