Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs – Notes ‘mortality motivated him’

Think “Kalpanakaranna!” The attitude one has to the enjoyment of living, and knowledge that each day on this earth theoretically can be your last, is likely to energize the productive and innovative streak in us to perform to the fullest of our expectations and abilities, and not waste a moment in self pity.

We must be taught at a young age, how fleeting youth is. We should not waste a moment of our youth. However, I spend a lot of time interacting with youth in Sri Lanka whose attitude to life is negative. Society has given them a false sense of entitlement. They expect someone to help them. I have people who want us to provide them with sports equipment if they want to play, or provide them with a sports ground to play. They want us to give them jobs, and when we give them one say that it is not what they want! Then their parents come with the CV that would not have any place other than the bin, and say their kids must be found a job without delay as they have been committed party workers for three generations, and that this is the least one can do for that commitment.

These examples mirror the attitude, with the finding of government jobs being considered the prize goal in life. The need to excel in studies and obtain the necessary qualification for them to succeed in the future seems to be the furthest. There is always a reason why that is not possible. Usually, it is the lack of financial resources to follow the course of study. It is surprising that for young people satisfying their alcohol and smoking habit is considered in priority to paying to study for a qualification.

The question facing nearly every country on earth is how to deal with youth unemployment. I am more significantly pursuing the practical solutions to this problem in Sri Lanka, and what distresses me on first facing this is how the precious period of youth is wasted, particularly by many of our young men. I do not as yet come into contact with our young women, so am unable to comment on them, though I do believe they are more diligent in setting goals in life, but get sidetracked by the devious qualities of young men who attempt to distract them in that process, partly out of jealousy and partly out of peer pressure to score!

The youth of today have so many more opportunities than were available to us older people a generation ago, and I still live by a discipline of not wanting to waste anytime bemoaning the lack of time to carry out all the tasks I have set myself. It is better to be in a hurry than to hurry to be idle!

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