This is John Galt Speaking
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst.
In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of people be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title.
Do not lose your knowledge that our proper estate is an upright posture,
an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads.
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.
Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it’s yours.
–from the Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
When she opened her eyes, she saw sunlight, green leaves, and a man’s face.
She thought: I know what this is.
This was the world she had expected to see it at sixteen.– and now she had reached it– and it seemed so simple, so unastonishing, that the thing she felt was like a blessing pronounced upon the universe by means of three words:
But of course.
She was looking up at the face of a man who knelt by her side, and she knew that in all the years behind her, this was what she would have given her life to see: a face that bore no mark of pain or fear or guilt.
— Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
Words on Wednesday
First there is the theme song, then a suave, and handsome Bond, as he walks and shoots. One of the first movies, I remember watching as a teenager was James Bond films. James Bond was obviously, always smartly dressed, handsome, knew every trick, and walked away without a stain to his suit. He got the beautiful girl to boot, as well!
The earliest recollection of reading I have are, when I started to read in middle school. We had a competition going, on who would read the most or the latest books. We read in school buses. I wanted to be well ahead of my friends in the most read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. With family members who read, I had no dearth of books to read, ranging from Arthur Haley, Robin Cook, Alistair MacLean, Arthur Hailey, Irving Stone, Irving Wallace, Ian Fleming, Daphne Du Maurier and more. My favorite undoubtedly was Alistair MacLean.
Maybe it is the books I read, but I have always been a fan of the strong, and silent hero. He always knew how to solve a problem, was resilient, strong, and got the best of the toughest villains. And the girl in the end.
I did have one gripe though: the girls in Alistair MacLean books, although beautiful, and most often assisted the hero, were also categorized into the dumb blonde category. Golden Gate, Seawitch, Force Ten from Navarone, and so on come to mind. There is a lot of history in Alistaire MacLean books. Set during the war or involving espionage, they are great read. And did I mention language? Language matters to me. There are few authors that can say what they want to say in the most efficient, effective and incredibly profound way, without resorting to vulgar dialogue. Alistaire MacLean was one of them.
Another author, who used words in the most effective way was Ayn Rand. Her books are based on philosophy. How can I talk about heroes without mentioning Roark, Galt, di Anconia and maybe even Rearden. If literature could influence and inspire me, it was in the books of Rand.
As an adult, I discovered and read Dick Francis vociferously. There are many heroes in Dick Francis novels: Syd Halley who spans three books, Kit Fielding who spans two, or many others who present an incredible strength of character to stand for what they believe in and ultimately win the day. Struggle, persistence, perseverance and other such emotions are excellently described and portrayed in Francis’ books.
Heroes come in all sizes and shapes. I am a great fan of Marvel Heroes as well: Iron Man, Bat Man, Spider Man, and more. Although I don’t read much comic books any more.
What inspires you? Who is your hero? Drop me a line….