Make America AWAKE Again

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One is not enough

The title of this article is a spin on the famous slogan that was successfully used during the election campaign to make Donald Trump the president of the United States. The slogan “Make America Great Again” raises some interesting questions such as, when exactly was this great time we are attempting to return to? “Make America Great” without the “Again” part might have been a better choice. I think a more important question to ask though is why do we continue to believe one single human is capable of changing a nation of nearly 320 million people in a meaningful way ? During these past 8 years Barack Obama showed us this is simply not possible despite some very inspired voters that hoped it was. He obviously accomplished many great things during his time in office, and there is a complicated explanation for why he didn’t accomplish more, but he alone was not enough. A person like the Dalai Lama can be an effective leader of many people, though I would argue that is because he is much more of a spiritual leader than a political leader. It always helps to have a great leader, and to have your preferred candidate in the White House, but we need to be realistic about our expectations of being saved by one single person.

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Make your mark upon life – Steve Jobs quote

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“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life, life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use, and the minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it, that’s maybe the most important thing, is to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it, I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up in a lot of ways. Once you learn that you’ll never be the same again.”

Watch a video of this from the Silicone Valley Historical Association.

Ever since the death of Steve Jobs there has been a great examination of the life of the man who changed the world perhaps more than any other person in recent times. Many people have focused on his tendency to have an overly aggressive and sometimes rude personality. While I do not endorse this behavior I prefer to focus on his many admirable qualities instead. He accomplished such enormous feats that it is difficult to imagine our current lives without his influence. Above you saw an excerpt from an interview with him in 1994 that was recently featured in the film Jobs. I was really attracted to this quote because it clearly displays the potential we all have in our lives. While Steve may have been born in the right place at the right time, he still demonstrates that anybody has the potential to change the world if they are determined to do so.

In Ayurveda the function of transformation or digestion is called pitta, and pitta is best described as being hot, or composed of fire. People who primarily have pitta attributes can be ambitious, aggressive, argumentative, passionate, irritable, focused, and logical. From a distance I think it is safe to say that Steve Jobs exhibited many of the signature pitta attributes. Even someone unfamiliar with Ayurveda could easily see the fire burning within that man. Unfortunately Steve Jobs died at a relatively young age and I can’t resist wondering if the intensity of his personality negatively impacted his health in some way. Did his fire burn too hot? This is purely speculative of course, but at the very least it must have been difficult to simultaneously maintain good health while leading one of the most powerful corporations on the planet. Regardless, I find his work and his words to be inspirational, and I hope you can appreciate the quote as much as I did.

Steve Jobs was born February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California.