Words of the Wise
‘Hierarchiologist' and educator, Laurence Johnston Peter (1919-1990) is famous in business studies for The Peter Principle (1968), in which he states: "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence ... in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties ... Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence." My God! Is that the reason why our top office bearers are always scolding their juniors as an expression of their 'achieved' ineptitude?
Peter, no we are not of the same age, and let me tell you, I , according to Peter have not yet reached my level of uselessness, went on to say, 'If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?' What a brilliant guy! That PS (Peter Statement) we have taken to heart and therefore we have decided to keep our city streets and open areas, and perhaps even our own homes unclean, okay dirty, lest anyone should think we have a clean head.
Now the above should have convinced you by now that I fall in the category of... nah! I am actually become self-conscious, in fact I am blushing... okay if you must know... in the category of intellectual because according to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of Obama land and a 5-star General, said that a man (that definitely is I) who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows (oops!) is an aatel. But you do not have to believe everything a President-cum-General said.
Now if you are wondering why I am blabbering, let me tell how wrong you are because I am actually riding on a creative wave. If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done. If you did not believe that because I said it, I caught you at silly mid-off because that was uttered by Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, (1889-1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher who also made notable contributions in the field of logic. His mentor and colleague Bertrand Russel described him as the most perfect example of genius as traditionally conceived passionate, profound, intense, and dominating.
You see there is so much to learn from life but even the greatest have surrendered to its vastness. Winner of four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry Robert Lee Frost (1874-1963) summed up everything he has learned in life in three words 'it goes on'.
We could also go on and on but I want to share with some fodder for thought. Listen to some quotes from some famous persons and then do the needful, think. That is exactly what they make you do.
Chairman of Microsoft and William Henry 'Bill' Gates III (1955-) said, 'If you were born poor it is not your mistake, but if you die poor it is your mistake'. Born in an upper middle class American-English-German, Scot and Irish family, Bill has been the world's wealthiest person from 1995 to 2007, and in 2009. An encouragement for readers who are not feeling like going to school tomorrow, Bill is a Harvard University dropout. I knew there had to be something wrong with the guy.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) has a recipe for success: know more than others, work more than others, and expect less than others. England's national poet and the greatest writer in the English (obviously) language worked hard. He composed 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several poems. He expected less than others because not until the 19th century had he became the bard of the world.
Adolph Hitler (1889-1945), the German dictator who led the Nazi forces in the violent and systematic murder of 17 million civilians said, 'If you win you need not explain. But if you lose you should not be there to explain.' The man lived up to his words. He committed suicide along with his mistress-turned-wife for less than two days Eva Braun when the allied forces triumphed. I believe if some losers in our elections at any and all levels would have taken his words in earnest, minus the mistress and the perversity of self-destruction, we would have had some peace.
Defeat in an election is not an ultimate failure. Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), the American inventor, scientist and businessman said, 'I will not say I failed 1000 times, I will say that I discovered there are 1000 ways that can cause failure'. What we need is self-analysis and self-criticism.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. I found out that Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), the Russian novelist of world repute, said that but this Chintito column has been harping on this 'change thyself' theme since the birth of this column.
Those who win in elections or in nabbing a post mist also stop the revelry and ponder what Bonnie Blair has to say. The American speed skater, one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history, five gold medals and one bronze in four Olympics, said: 'Winning doesn't always mean being first, winning means you are doing better than you have done before'. I will give her another gold medal for that.
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