. . . God is too busy making the sun come up and go down and watching so the moon floats just right in the sky to be concerned with color . . . only man wants always God should be there to condemn this one and save that one. Always it is man who wants to make heaven and hell. God is too busy training the bees to make honey and every morning opening up all the new flowers for business.
It is better just to get on with the business of living and minding your own business and maybe, if God likes the way you do things, he may just let you flower for a day or a night. But don't go pestering and begging and telling him all your stupid little sins, that way you will spoil his day.
Always in life an idea starts small, it is only a sapling idea, but the vines will come and they will try to choke your idea so it cannot grow and it will die and you will never know you had a big idea, an idea so big it could have grown thirty meters through the dark canopy of leaves and touched the face of the sky.' He looked at me and continued. 'The vines are people who are afraid of originality, of new thinking. Most people you encounter will be vines; when you are a young plant they are very dangerous.' His piercing blue eyes looked into mine.' Always listen to yourself, Peekay. It is better to be wrong than simply to follow convention. If you are wrong, no matter, you have learned something and you grow stronger. If you are right, you have taken another step toward a fulfilling life.
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Over all this lay Hoppie's dictum: First with the head and then with the heart. Winning was something you worked at intellectually, emotion clouds the mind and is its natural enemy. This made for a loneliness which often let me aching to share an emotion but equally afraid that if I did so I would reveal a weakness which could later be used against me.
While I told myself that each win was a small deposit on the ultimate ownership of the world welterweight crown, the enormous need in me to win touched a whole heap of other responses a fourteen years old can't really work out. It had something to do with rejecting the Lord, with my mother, the Judge, being surrounded by guys who came from wealthy homes, even my headless snake. While I didn't think of it as camouflage, I now know that it was, that I kept myself protected by being out in front. Too far in front to be an easy mark.
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Cleverness is a false presumption', Doc had explained, 'it is like being a natural skater, you are so busy doing tricks to impress that you do not see where the thin ice is and before you know, poof! You are in deep, ice-cold water frozen like a dead herring. Intelligence is a harder gift, for this you must work, you must practise it, challenge it and maybe towards the end of your life you will master it. Cleverness is the shadow whereas intelligence is the substance.
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The thing about fires most people don't realise is the noise. It's deafening so even if you shout, you can't be heard three feet away. You can never quite get used to the fury of it, it's like a mighty roar of anger that just keeps going. I suppose flame is beautiful, the way it leaps into the air like it's free to do what it wants. Other elements are also free and I guess the sea can be pretty awesome, wind too, and lightning, but fire has a mind and a determination. You don't see it as a blind raging thing, which I suppose it is, but something that attacks and thinks and changes tactics. It has a malevolence that uses surprise, dirty tricks, cunning. You get to think of it as someone, not something, and it's someone you have to beat, but right from the start you don't like your chances because it's so big and unpredictable and can do so much harm.
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Advertising seemed almost natural to me because it was a business where you had to inform, persuade and educate. And so from being a junior copywriter to being the creative director of one of the largest advertising agencies in the country took me 4.5 years, which is, well, a fairly spectacular rise.
In this world are very few things made from logic alone. It is illogical for man to be too logical. Some things we must just let stand. The mystery is more important than any possible explanation. The searcher after truth must search with humanity. Ruthless logic is the sign of a limited mind. The truth can only add to the sum of what you know, while a harmless mystery left unexplored often adds to the meaning of life. When a truth is not so important, it is better left as a mystery.
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The man assumes the role of the loner, the thinker and the searching spirit who calls the privileged and the powerful to task. The power of one was the courage to remain separate, th think through the truth and not be beguiled by convention or the plausible arguments of those who expect to maintain power, whatever the cost.
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If you don't know where you are going, then how will you get there? VISUALISE! Make pictures in your mind. See the desination. Imagine your arrival. Dream in perfect detail. See yourself the way you want to be when you arrive. See yourself arriving. Make yourself a road map and study it every day until you know the way and the destination by heart.
As is so often the case with a legend, every incident has two possible interpretations, the plausible and the one that is molded to suit the making of the myth. Man is a romantic at heart and will always put aside dull, plodding reason for the excitement of an enigma. As Doc had pointed out, mystery, not logic, is what gives us hope and keeps us believing in a force greater than our own insignificance.
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Let me conclude by saying in my experience the glittering prizes in life come more to those who persevere despite setback and disappointment than they do to the exceptionally gifted who, with the confidence of the talents bestowed upon them, often pursue the tasks leading to success with less determination.