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Home > Truth is a Pathless Land > Selected Writings - Nadesan Satyendra > Reflections 2008 > Reflections 2007 > Reflections 2006 > Reflections 2005 > Reflections 2004 > Reflections 2001 > Reflections 2000 > Reflections 1999 > Reflections 1998
Reflections 1998 : Chinthanaigal
Saturday 26 December 1998
" If I were asked to name the most important date in the history and prehistory of the human race, I would answer without hesitation 6 August 1945. The reason is simple. From the dawn of consciousness until 6 August 1945, man had to live with the prospect of his death as an individual; since the day when the first atomic bomb outshone the sun over Hiroshima, mankind as a whole has had to live with the prospect of its extinction as a species. We have been taught to accept the transitoriness of personal existence, while taking the potential immortality of the human race for granted. This belief has ceased to be valid. We have to revise our axioms..."
Saturday, 19 December 1998
- from a poem by Subramaniya Bharathy
"It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet. These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow."
Saturday, 12 December 1998
" No man is an island; he is a 'holon'. Like Janus, the two-faced Roman god, holons have a dual tendency to behave as quasi independent wholes, asserting their individualities, but at the same time as integrated parts of larger wholes in the multi- levelled hierarchies of existence. Thus a man is both a unique individual but also part of a social group, which itself is a part of a larger group, and so on....Order and stability can prevail only when the two tendencies are in equilibrium. If one of them dominates the other, this delicate balance is disturbed.... in the light of the new cosmology, the strictly deterministic, mechanistic world-view of the last century, which still dominates many fields of contemporary science, has become a Victorian anachronism. The nineteenth-century clockwork model of the universe is in shambles, and since matter itself has been de-materialised by the physicist, materialism can no longer claim to be a scientific philosophy..."
(from Janus, A Summing Up by Arthur Koestler, published by Hutchinson of London, 1978)
Saturday, 5 December 1998
"The principle of ‘next time’ is one of the most practical, liberating concepts that can help you change your orientation to influencing other people. If you focus on the past, all you can do is feel bad. What already happened cannot be changed. But a different future can be created. Next time I can be wiser. Next time I can try harder. Next time, if I see things differently, I can respond differently. There is hope in ‘next time’. The positive approach to discipline focuses 20 percent on what went wrong, and 80 percent on what could be different next time." (Blaine Lee, Author of ‘The Power Principle)
"Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself." (John Macnoughton)
Saturday, 28 November 1998
"I believe that leadership is not a position. It’s a combination of something you are (your character) and something you do (your skills and competence). In addition, I believe the best model for leadership is that of a servant leader, who leads by serving the needs of people. A servant leader doesn’t do others job for them, but rather enables others to learn and make progress toward mutual goals. When a leader creates an environment for personal growth, people rise to their potential and beyond." (Ken Melrose Chairman and CEO of The Toro Company a Fortune 500 Company)
"People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualise in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life's circumstances to push them down and hold them under." (Charles Swindoll)
Saturday, 21 November 1998
".... the old rules of traditional, hierarchical, high-external-control, top-down management .... aren’t working any longer. They are being replaced by a new form of control that the chaos theory people call the ‘strange-attractor’ - a sense of vision that people are drawn to, and united in, that enables them to be driven by inner motivation toward achieving a common purpose. This has changed the role of manager from one who has driven results and motivation from the outside into one who is a servant-leader - one who seeks to drawout, inspire and develop the best and the highest within people from the inside out. The leader does this by engaging the entire team or organisation in a process that creates a shared vision that inspires each to stretch and reach deeper within themselves and to use their unique talents in whatever way is necessary to independently and interdependently achieve that shared vision...." (Stephen R Covey, author of the best selling Seven Habits of Effective People, published by Simon & Schuster, 1990)
"Vision without action is a day dream; Action without vision is a nightmare." (Japanese Proverb)
Saturday, 14 November 1998
"A correct opinion is of no use to the world if it is held with such moderation that its holder never does anything about it. The perfectly clear headed man may be like Paul Valery's Monsieur Teste, who could see no sufficient argument against complete inaction. All the same, passionate feelings about opinions (as opposed to facts) do tend to signify irrationality in proportion to their strength. We need to hold opinions with sufficient certainty to act on them; but this is different from passionately defending a belief against all comers..." (Stuart Chase in the Proper Study of Mankind, Harper & Brothers, New York 1956)
Saturday, 7 November 1998
"Can an organisation intentionally shape itself into a movement? One of the first things required in movements is spirit-lifting leadership, leadership that enables, enriches, holds an organisation accountable, and in the end lets go.
Also high on the list of requirements is competence. I would expect a movement to be highly participatory, but I would also expect people there to realise that participation and representation are no substitute for simple competence. When I think of competence, I mean competence in relationships as well as technical competence, for poor relationships sabotage even the most competent persons. Success in our job requires technical competence. Success as human beings requires competence in relationships.
A movement requires a high sense of creativity. In some places of realised potential, creativity becomes a moral issue: it is the means through which we protect the human environment. In others it becomes a process of discovery to bring about necessary change." - Max De Pree
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it is the size of the fight in the dog." - Dwight D Eisenhower
Saturday 31 October 1998
"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the World. I found it difficult to change the World, so I tried to change my nation. When I found that I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now as an old man I realise the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realise that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have had an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the World." - (An unknown Monk 1100 AD)
Saturday 17 October 1998
What we can learn from Geese -
- Contributed by a Tamil visitor to the website from Washington,
1 October 1998
" Vision has become one of the most overused - and least understood - words in the language.The word vision conjures up all kinds of images. We think of outstanding achievement. We think of deeply held values that bond people in a society together.We think of audacious, exhilarating goals that galvanise people. We think of something eternal - the underlying reasons for an organisation's existence. We think of something that reaches inside us and pulls out our best efforts.We think of the dreams of what we want to be. And therein lies a problem.All of us know vision is important, but what exactly is it?"
"A well-conceived vision consists of two major components - core ideology and an envisioned future. A good vision builds on the interplay between these complimentary yin-and-yang forces: it defines 'what we stand for and why we exist' that does not change (the core ideology) and sets forth 'what we aspire to become, to achieve, to create' that will require significant change and progress to attain (the envisioned future)
To pursue the vision means to create organisational and strategic alignment to preserve the core ideology and stimulate progress toward the envisioned future. Alignment brings the vision to life, translating it from good intentions to concrete reality...
....Instead of being oppressed by the 'Tyranny of the OR', highly visionary companies (and organisations) liberate themselves with the 'Genius of the AND' - the ability to embrace both extremes of a number of dimensions at the same time. Instead of choosing between A OR B, they figure out a way to have both A AND B.
We are not talking about balance here. 'Balance' implies going to midpoint, fifty-fifty, half and half. A visionary company doesn't seek balance between short term and long term, for example. It seeks to do very well in the short term and very well in the long term. A visionary company doesn't balance between idealism and profitability; it seeks to be highly idealistic and highly profitable. A visionary company doesn't simply balance between preserving a tightly held core ideology and stimulating vigorous change and movement; it does both to an extreme. In short, a highly visionary company doesn't want to blend yin and yang into a grey indistinguishable circle that is neither highly yin nor highly yang; it aims to be distinctly yin and distinctly yang - both at the same time, all the time.
Irrational ? Perhaps. Rare? Yes. Difficult? Absolutely. But as F.Scott Fitzgerald points out ' The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.' This is exactly what the visionary companies are able to do." ( Built to Last : Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins, Jerry I. Porras)
1 September 1998
" Trust grows when people see leaders translate their personal integrity into organisational fidelity. At the heart of fidelity lies truth telling and promise keeping. In organisations truth is not, as some like to think, power. Truth sets us free. Truth gathers no adjectives. We know that truth's nakedness leads us either toward trust or away from it. Truth is the gift of liberty and clears the ground for trust. Without truth, trust becomes overshadowed and stunted by the undergrowth of partial lies and outright falsehoods.
The moral purpose of our organisations and of our personal
commitments is the soil in which trust can take roots and grow... Our character
and experience and beliefs allow trust to mature. Like values, moral purpose
needs to be an open book in organisations seeking their potential. It needs to
expressed and debated and repeated." (Max De Pree in
Leading Without Power : Finding Hope in Serving Community - where
he concludes that the most successful organisations of the information age will
operate not as a controlled collection of human resources but as dynamic
communities of free people)
1 August 1998
1 July 1998
10 May 1998 - Launch Date of tamilnation Website
"Don't aim at success - the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run - in the long run, I say! - success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it."