Sunday, November 13, 2011

stay hungry, stay foolish

from the whole earth catalog via steve jobs via his 2005 stanford university commencement address via my stepfather, mike. whew:
stay hungry, stay foolish.

may I always remember to do this, no matter how much planning I do and protection I wear.
no, it doesn't mean don't overeat.
no, it doesn't mean don't educate yourself.
instead, it means don't let yourself be satisfied with median fare, and never let yourself believe that you know all there is to know about anything: be open to knew thoughts, knowledge, beliefs.

in the tarot card deck, the card assigned the value zero is called The Fool. often called the card of infinite possibilities, it is described by the website in this way:

the Fool is a newborn - fresh, open and spontaneous. The figure on Card 0 has his arms flung wide, and his head held high. He is ready to embrace whatever comes his way, but he is also oblivious to the cliff edge he is about to cross. The Fool is unaware of the hardships he will face as he ventures out to learn the lessons of the world.

if we were aware of the hardships, difficulties, pain and sorrow ahead of us, we might all be immobilized. the fool carries with him a small bag which contains everything he will need along the way, and the fool moves forward with an open heart, trusting in the universe to provide him the experiences he needs and his own spirit to guide him through what lies ahead.
when we are willing to approach life from a position of being foolish, we are giving up our barriers and supports, masks and facades, and instead living from a place of vulnerability. this is when we say, I don't know, I don't have the answers, I may need help, I might need to learn how to see things differently.
I will move this way, take this class, open myself up to whatever comes, follow my intuition, and eventually, it will all make sense.
I will admit I don't know, I will let others share their wisdom with me, I will learn to see through eyes not my own.

most of us strive to be competent, experts in our fields, learned. excellent goals, all. but we can at the same time retain the spirit of the fool, being willing to admit our ignorance, being willing to take a chance on the unknown. expand ourselves, fail, lose. step off a cliff. experiment. climb out of our rut, no matter how successful we are within it, and stub our toes on the rocky hillsides that surround it.

I realize that I am just one of countless humans talking, writing, and thinking about steve jobs and the impact he had on our world. I am simply passing along--with commentary--words and thoughts he put out into the universe years ago. but this is how we operate, this is how we process and learn and grow. I don't profess to offer much original thought: the world ran out of that long, long ago.
but like all good marketing students, I know that we learn through repetition. so each time we hear that we should stay hungry, stay foolish, it builds upon the previous times we heard that, and eventually it impacts our beliefs and behavior.
give it a chance.

stay hungry, stay foolish.

have faith.

the commencement address

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