That question resonates like a thunderclap. I first read the book “Atlas Shrugged” in 1996 and it was if my values and somewhat amorphous beliefs congealed with each page I read. Up to that point, I had pondered and thought lots on what I believed and what my values represented, but, I had not put those things into words. Along comes this book that basically acted as a catalyst. Ayn Rand is what I would consider a philosopher. She cleverly crafted and articulated her thoughts on individualism in the form of gripping novels. The poignant differences in some of the societal beliefs took on a stark contrast in her novels.
Exaggerated? Perhaps. Effective? Definately!
There are many aspects of Ayn Rand’s books that I do not wholly or completely endorse, but the aspect of personal accountability is one that I relate to at a cellular level. Stand up and be counted. Take responsibility for your ACTIONS. Take responsibility for your INACTIONS. Each person must grip the reins of his or her life and direct it in a manner of self fulfillment. Many people misconstrue this to be pursue wealth and happiness at the cost of others, simply not so.
To me this is about embarking on an introspective journey to define yourself and your parameters for happiness. Once that has begun, you can begin to chart a course to achieve those personal goals and fulfill your personal destiny. What I find incredulous is that so many people give all of the keys to their personal happiness and well being to others. I can not fathom that. I can not imagine giving the responsibility of my happiness to someone or something else.
Today, I would like to give thanks to Ayn Rand for helping me fuse my values and beliefs. Her writings were a key component in the foundry of my belief system.
Who is John Galt? – A key phrase and a call to everyone to stand up, be counted, and take the reins of your own destiny.