The power of the ancients

Today’s scholarship has become an exercise in copying. I mean, the more entries you’ve on your bibliography the higher your paper, dissertation or thesis is rated or graded. We have come to call it research, and what is research if not the legitimization of plagiarism. More often than not, an academic paper is all about what everyone else said but the author. They start off quoting and quoting and quoting, then proceed to analyze and analyze and analyze those quotes, and then close by drawing obvious conclusions.
I woke up this morning with this thought on my mind: How did the ancients do it? #howdidtheyusetodoit. How could Aristotle write those big fat volumes with very little dose of ‘quotings’? How did Plato compose all those dialogues with little recourse to other materials? How did St. Paul produce those 13 (or 14) of the 27 books of the New Testament credited to him with only a minimal recourse to Old Testament scriptures? How did Thomas Aquinas write those volumes that make up his “Summa Theoligica” with little external inputs? How did Kant and Nietzsche write those seeming crazy pieces of theirs? How did Hume, Locke and Hobbes do it? #iStillTheWonder. Don’t get it twisted, it wasn’t like they weren’t quoting; they were, but very very very minimal. They were more of airing their views than reporting the finds of others.
My point: One thing school does to us is insult our intelligence. For instance, the dominant question on the lips of project supervisors is: What authority backs you? Or, get me the material where you found it. I’m angry because we’re not promoting original thinking; I realized that the ancients did it by indulging original thinking. And so we must rediscover the power of original thinking, and begin to employ them in both academic works and engaging our dawn to dusk problems.
This example will do. Peter Drucker has become the father of ‘scientific’ management. How did it happen? When he set out to research into that area, he found that there was little or no materials available. He then went on to deploy the power of original thinking, and here we are!
P.S. To academic guys in the house, be informed that I’m not feeling like anything. I’m simply insisting that students are capable of original thinking and should be given a chance to try.

A different kind of friendship – with benefit!


The singular best way to lose in an American presidential election is be Catholic. Here’s what I mean: of the 44 past American presidents plus Trump, only John F. Kennedy has been Catholic, and you know how he ended – assassinated! In fact, the America voters ensured JFK made it abundantly clear to them that he wasn’t gonna sell out to the Pope, and he did give them his word on that. The next person that came closest was John Kerry, who got kicked out at the Democratic primaries. My point is, Americanism and Catholicism appear to be parallel lines; Americans just can’t imagine a POTUS that bows down to the pope, or kisses the Ring of the Fisherman (pope’s ring), symbolic of submission to the papacy.
However, guess where Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 81st birthday? You’re correct if your guess was the White House. It was an elaborate celebration, one that lasted 90 minutes. In fact, of this event MailOnline writes, “The pontiff’s 90-minute stay at the White House was accompanied by the kind of pomp and pageantry rarely seen even on grounds accustomed to routinely welcoming royalty and the world’s most important leaders.” You may equally not have known that while the American Civil War lasted, the arrowheads of both warring camps, Abraham Lincoln (Union) and Jefferson Davis (Confederates), were corresponding with Pope Pius IX – who replied their letters. Needless to say that the friendship between the Catholic Church and the United States of America is deep!
Moreover, this is squarely a different kind of friendship, a friendship based on benefit. While America got the power and might, the Catholic Church got the intelligence. You don’t need to be told that the Catholic presence is the most present presence ever! Wherever you see Catholic priests and their religious men and women, and they are indeed everywhere, there you have seen the pope – everything is wired back to him. For America, that’s an invaluable asset. When America was after the head of Osama Bin Ladin, for instance, they simply tapped into the Vatican’s surveillance. On the flip side, when Pope John Paul II wanted to shutdown communism, he knew whom exactly to call on – George Bush, Snr.
My point: If the Catholic Church could do this, friendship with benefit I mean, then I see no reason why you should be more Catholic than the pope. While you keep at the traditional friendship, the type built on shared values, also try your hands on this other kind of friendship, the one strictly built on interests and benefits.

Rethinking Success

What is success, or what would it mean to have succeeded? Society has cowered most people into believing that success is all about: being able to afford shiny and expensive toys, making as much money as would last the 5th generation, living in palatial or posh homes, having an adorable family, attaining celebrity status, feeding sumptuously and partying lavishly, acquiring property all around the globe, threading the corridors of power and befriending those who run things, commanding the respect and admiration of town…

However, those are success improperly called. The succeeding quotes will cause you to rethink success, especially this 2017.


If you have a good name, if you are more often right than you are wrong, if your children respect you, if your grandchildren are glad to see you, if your friends can count on you and you can count on them in time of trouble, if you can face God and say “I have done my best,” then you are a success.

~ Ann Landers

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are no secrets to success. Don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.

~ Colin Powell

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is the way great spiritual giants are produced.

~ Swami Vivekananda

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

~ Michael Jordan

If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.

~ Albert Einstein

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.

~ Bruce Lee

Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”

~ Zig Ziglar

Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”

~ George Sheehan

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.

~ Bobby Unser