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Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

Image via CrunchBase

Apple founder and architect behind the company�s phenomenal rebirth and
phoenix-like rise from what everybody had once presumed was the
atrophying skeleton of a very sick but fabulous company, Steve Job�s
inspiring speech at the Stanford University Commencement Function 2005
ended with a quote from a magazine of his college days, �Stay Hungry,
Stay Foolish� (speech available on www.youtube.com). This was, in
essence the advice he had for the �freshers� who had joined the
prestigious Ivy League University in California, USA in that year. The
advice might as well have been extended to not just every scholar in the
world but to everybody else who value creativity. Learning is a process
and not any finite event. But much more than the mere statement of a
well acknowledged truism, it is a clarion call to all to never settle at
any destination in life, but to continue to strive to be better. The
only way to ensure the energy for this outlook to life remains
undiminished, is to always thirst for more knowledge in the belief that
what is already known is nothing compared to what can still be learned.
There can be nobody more fit to preach this than the Steve Job, whose
creative energy continues to remain at its peak even as he is in the
late 50s of life, having designed extremely successful �cool� products
that did not end with just personal computers and laptops, but also went
ahead to redefine the way the world listened to music, watched movies,
kept in touch, or visited the virtual world of the internet. Quite
without doubt one of the richest man in the world today, there probably
would not be many anywhere whose lifestyles have not been influenced in
some way or the other by the numerous creations of somebody who may go
down in history as one of the most creative men ever. Arguably in this
sense he would have touched more lives than even his old time arch rival
and founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, although on the philanthropic
mission and not just creativity, the latter would be undoubtedly  far
beyond him, too far perhaps for him to ever catch up.

This editorial however is not an attempt to assess and compare the
achievements of the two. There is in fact little left to be written
about them and their achievements anymore and we in any case claim to be
no authority on the subject. Our point was merely to underscore the
message that creativity is about remaining creative forever, and this
precisely through a willingness to remain hungry and have the humility
to acknowledge there can never be anything as enough when it comes to
learning. This spirit of adventure, defined by a burning desire to
discover, invent, venture and take risk has been the hallmark of all
successful and creative societies. Consequently, all societies which
have ceased to be adventurous would with a measure of certainty,
stagnate and ultimately fade into insignificance. The important and more
urgent question is, where would our own society fare against such a
barometer of creative energy? Are we still hungry for achievement? Can
we still claim to be creative? It probably is a mixed bag. On the one
hand there is a constant escalation of what is probably the biggest
agent for the destruction of creativity � official corruption. Merit,
enterprise, endurance and all such priceless qualities that add to the
creative energy of a society are being systematically decimated. By
choice and increasingly by compulsion, more and more are being drawn
into the vortex of this depthless Black Hole of corruption. Sadly, the
accepted social goal of respectability today has also come to be simply
�wealth� without any qualification as to how it had been acquired. The
easiest way to acquire wealth in the present social circumstance being
corruption, the issue has undergone a terrible mutation so that it has
literally come to mean the most corrupt and thereby the most filthily
rich, are also the most respected citizens of today. If this is one side
of the story, there is another where the picture is not so depressing.
In fields of activities autonomous of the government job market, the
hunger for achievement is undiminished. The evidence for this too is not
far to seek. The Manipur society continues to produce extremely talented
professionals in a varied number of fields. Just watching Mary Kom�s
progress on the sporting arena should be enough to convince anybody of
this. Can anybody also doubt the state�s theatre, cinema, other
performing arts, doctors, scientists, sportspersons etc, have also
consistently earned the respect of the rest of the country and outside?
If the government were able to improve its work culture and marginalise
corruption, who can say Manipur�s future would show no signs of hope on
the horizon.

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