Musings on Africa, Politics, Technology, Love, Life and Trifles...

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lundi, juillet 20, 2015

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

By Robert FROST

mardi, juillet 14, 2015

There are things we don't want to happen, but have to accept. Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

The Jennifer "JJ"Jareau principle

In the critically acclaimed US TV Show Criminal Minds, Jennifer "JJ"Jareau a.k.a "JJ" quoted nicely her exit interview in the 2nd episode of the 6th Season. 
Here's what I named it the Jennifer "JJ" Jareau principle.

I'm thankful for my years spent with this family; for everything we shared, every chance we had to grow. 
I'll take the best of them and lead by their example; where ever I go.
 A friend told me to be honest with you, so here it goes. 
This isn't what I want, but I'll take the high road. 
Maybe it's because I look at everything as a lesson, or I don't want to walk around angry. 
Or maybe it's because I finally understand. 
There are things we don't want to happen, but have to accept;
things we don't want to know, but have to learn,
and people we can't live without, but have to let go.

As you can see, this is a pretty lenghty quote, and for my return on the blog, I've decided to do a serie based on quotes from the quote. So stay tuned and let me know what you think by dropping me a line in the comments section or on twitter .

This isn't what I want, but I'll take the high road. | JJ Principle (1)

Take the High Road.

I am sure several ones of you have heard it before tossed at like a wisdom nugget, and have wondered "which road is that ?" or worse, should you have been too stunned or lost, your mouth merely expulsed two words "come again ?"

Truth be told, it's one of these sentences that are thrown away when a conflict arises, but on which, few can give a precise defintion. I'll try my best to remedy to that.
So what does "Take the high road" really means ?

John C. Maxwell theorized The High Road Principle gives us a good explanation by stating that there are three roads or options that we can take in life:  
  1. The low road : where we treat people worse than they treat us.
  2. The middle road : where we treat people the same as they treat us
  3. The high road : where we treat people better than they treat us
Let's ponder the options set out by Mr Maxwell

1. The Low Road

If treated poorly, one reaction could be to hurt even more the person responsible for the outrage. If bad spoken to, many would be so incensed at the other person and thus defer with politeness or what they might see at the time as philosophical platitudes. 
Many would agree that the "F..." word can prove liberating sometimes. But based on my experience, the instant gratification never lasts and leaves a bad feeling afterwards. So to me, it's not worth it!

 2. The Middle Road

Gandhi has summarized it best for all of us by stating “An eye for and eye and whole world goes blind.” 

3. The High Road

Wisdom, Class and one's sense of self-respect would advocate in favor of taking the high road. It is so easy to just lower the level of the debate in the gutter by treating people worse than they did to us. 

The rationale for treating people better than they did to us is multi-folded : one should never respond to rudeness, or let bitter or unhappy people drag us down, we might even gain some peace of mind by doing so. Etc.. To summarize and to quote special agent Jenifer Jarreau JJ in Criminal Minds (S06E02) and start a series of what I will call the JJ exit principle

This isn't what I want, but I'll take the high road.

I have gathered around the web a mosaïc of opinions in favor of the latter option. Enjoy!

mercredi, décembre 31, 2014

L'Invitation Au Bonheur

"Le bonheur, c'est de continuer à désirer ce que l'on possède déjà!" disait Saint Augustin.

Voilà une page du livre de la vie qui est en passe d'être tournée et que vient pour nous le temps de faire nos adieux à 2014 pour mieux étreindre 2015 avec comme impérieuse résolution la recherche du bonheur! 
Saint Augustin nous aiguille sur une des façons de répondre à l'invitation au bonheur. Invitation faite au sein d'un  monde si fragile en proie à mille maux allant de la fièvre hémorragique - aka  Ebola (du nom d'un fleuve au Congo), cette peste des temps modernes - aux avions qui disparaissent sans crier gare (n'y voyez aucun vilain jeu de mots), en passant par la terreur aux facettes aussi multiples que ses nouvelles recruesNous sommes ainsi forts loin du monde "là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté, Luxe, calme et voluptéque décrivait Baudelaire dans son Invitation au Voyage.

Qu'est-ce à dire sinon qu'il existe tant de raisons pour les hommes de baisser les bras, de désespérer pire de ne plus "y" croire ? Le monde tel que nous le percevons maintenant, c'est à dire au travers du prisme de l'instantané que nous donnent les 365 jours de l'année 2014, a eu son lot de turbulences qui ont contribué à l'augmentation des désespérances aussi bien individuelles et que collectives. 

Mais au moment de tourner la page et d'aborder un nouveau chapitre, je veux le faire non sans reprendre mon souffle d'optimisme et regarder le versant heureux de la face de Janus qu'est ma vie. J'invite chacun de vous à en faire autant. Tout n'est pas à jeter dans ces heures écoulées! Alors dans un soupir d'aise revivons no(tre)s bonheurs vécus au travers d'un fou rire inextinguible et contagieux, d'une émotion qui suscite une larme, d'un mets qui ravive les appétences, d'une rencontre que le hasard sait si bien arranger, d'une communion de tendresses, d'un amour qui ne saurait passer etc... Oui, nos réussites et les fragments de joie que nous avons goûtés, aussi fragiles et  évanescents qu'ils aient pu être, doivent nous rendre gourmands et avides de bonheur. En cela, nous pouvons lire l'exhortation de Saint Augustin comme une belle invitation !

A toi, mon unique qui possède les clés de mon cœur et à chacun de vous, je vous souhaite le meilleur et puisse 2015 être pour vous une invitation au bonheur !!!

Belle et heureuse année !!! 

dimanche, décembre 21, 2014

Quote of the day "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe." Anatole France
Source: @forbesthoughts

Sent from my iPhone

vendredi, septembre 19, 2014

Smoking Hot Innovation : Boeing Fuels Its Airplanes With Tobacco

While the idea is not new, Boeing Co., one of the world's leading aircraft makers made the headlines when it announced in August 2014 that it will use for its planes biofuel created with a tobacco plant called Solaris. One may contend that this move could result in a major boost for the cigarette industry and consequently increase the adverse impacts to health throughout the world. But wait, there is a catch (isn't that always the case? :-) )! Solaris, the tobacco plant used to create the biofuel is completely new, it virtually doesn't contain any of the addictive component of tobacco that is Nicotine. Therefore the headlines claiming "innovation" were to some extent justified. Added to that, tobacco plants are ubiquitous around the world, and the plant generates multiple harvests per year; which makes this tobacco based hybrid biofuel even more appealing if not ideal for the Seattle-based Boeing Co. who partnered with South African Airways and a Dutch aviation biofuels company called SkyNRG.

By using hybrid tobacco, we can leverage knowledge of tobacco growers in South Africa to grow a marketable biofuel crop without encouraging smoking,” Ian Cruickshank, South African Airways Group environmental affairs specialist, told the LA Times

To summarize : Boeing will power its aircrafts with tobacco making this biofuel innovation smoking hot (small pun intended...) and furthering the steps toward a renewable-based world economy.

Image source: le Quotidien du Tourisme newsletter du 19 Septembre 2014

dimanche, septembre 22, 2013

Amar Bose : Portrait of a curious genius

Check out the great profile of Amar Bose life, the man behind the Bose Corporation. I've been meaning to post the link of this article featured on Popular Science website on Amar Bose, the genius mind behind the eponymous audio system brand.  

"The future," Bose [- a renowned MIT professor -] famously told his students, "isn't in solving the problems to which we already know the answers. It's in learning how to work through the problems you'll experience in life, in any subject."

"The value of Amar Bose isn't so much in the things he has invented, but in the sense of possibility he inspires. Even the company's consumer slogan—BETTER SOUND THROUGH RESEARCH—appears on the trucks only, Veranth says, "because trucks can be repainted." In the lobby of Bose headquarters, set in stone, is a broader slogan: BETTER PRODUCTS THROUGH RESEARCH."

Bose reminds us that we could all afford to be much more skyward-looking, far-fetched and curious, and that we could all believe more strongly in our own potential to create.

vendredi, août 23, 2013

Good Habits versus Bad ones

"An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones."

W. Somerset Maugham

jeudi, mars 14, 2013

Tout va bien...

Tout va bien...

La mort n'est rien en soi... Je suis seulement allé dormir dans la pièce à côté. 

Je suis moi et vous êtes vous... Quel que soit le lien qui ait pu nous unir, il est toujours le même.
Appelez-moi par mon surnom, parlez-moi le plus naturellement comme vous l'avez toujours fait. Ne changez pas de ton. N'y mettez aucune solennité ni tristesse. Riez aux petites plaisanteries que nous aimions tant nous faire.
Jouez, souriez, pensez à moi.
Que mon nom soit utilisé de la façon la plus naturelle comme il l'a toujours été. Qu'il soit prononcé sans effort, sans le moindre ombrage.
La vie signifie tout ce qu'elle a toujours signifié. Elle est toujours celle qu'elle a toujours été.
Pourquoi devrais-je sortir de votre esprit, parce que je ne suis plus là?
Moi, je vous attends, pour quelque temps, quelque part tout près, juste au coin de la rue... 
Tout va bien.

d'après Henri Scott Holland (1847-1918) 

tant d'années déjà et l'absence toujours aussi cruelle...

jeudi, février 14, 2013

Lincoln's Constitutional Leadership

Must a government, of necessity,” he asked, “be too strong for the liberties of its own people or too weak to maintain its own existence?”  Abraham Lincoln (1).

"Political genius" or "aspiring tyrant" ? Understanding the political legacy of Abraham Lincoln and his life's work has posed throughout the years a great challenge to many.  Scholars have described as an exemplary leader, a symbol of moral grandeur and heroism during times of hardship for the United States. Describing Lincoln as a complex mind and leader is an understatement.

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) political leadership is back on the limelight. The philosophy of the 16th president of the United States has long been the subject of public scrutiny, interest in his legacy has never waned, even more recently thanks to the Academy's award nominated movie by Steven Spielberg, in which Daniel Day-Lewis offers us a stunning performance playing a Civil War time president, battling in the political field to pass the thirteen amendment regarding slavery abolition.

Yale political science professor Stephen B. Smith (2), presents the principles of constitutional government according to Lincoln, in a New York Times' article, poses the question 
What Sort of Leader Was Lincoln?

In essence one could summarize A. Lincoln views as:
  • The principles are opposed to that of majority rule.
  • constitutions are made :
    • to restrain power whether it is 
      • power of a king (It is a device that helps to prevent the boundless field of absolutism) or 
      • power of popular majority (its vote doesn't confer the absolute power to do what it wanted)
    • to avoid a descent to anarchy by means of the aforementioned power of popular majority.
  • Individual consent forms the essence of constitutional government.
  •  Secession impedes the operations of a free elected government
  • A government should carry on its constitutional duties regardless of political motives or opportunities
"To his infinite credit, Lincoln realized that free elections should not, even in principle, be sacrificed even if the cost might be the end of constitutional government. For constitutional leadership, the ends do not justify the means. Constitutional leadership is necessarily limited or bounded leadership. It is in this possibility of a leader operating within the limits of constitutional restraint that the hope of our republic rests."

(1) : Abraham Lincoln's Special Message to Congress of July 4, 1861.
(2): Stephen B. Smith article on Lincoln's constitutional leadership.
(3): images sources:  lincoln and constitution