2012: Tell the status quo to go to hell

Umair Haque'- one of the top 50 thinkers of 2011 in Mastering the Art of Living Well advises younger people what to do to contribute to the "betterness".
  • Do not study so you can be a faithful, loyal, unquestioning "employee" with the commoditized, routinized analytical skills to get the (yawn, shrug, eye-roll) neo-Fordist job done
  • Be a wholer person.  What society has a shortage of living, breathing well-rounded humans; with a moral compass, an ethical core, a cosmopolitan sensibility, and a long view born of historicism
  • Without a refined, honed, expansive sense of what great accomplishment is, you stand little to no chance of ever pushing past its boundaries yourself.
  • Your youth should be spent pursuing your passion — not just slightly, tremulously, haltingly, but unrelentingly, with a vengeance, to the max and then beyond.
  • Dream laughably big
  • If your quest is mediocrity, then sure, master the skills of shuffling Powerpoint decks, but if your quest, on the other hand, is something resembling excellence, then the meta-skills of toppling the status quo — ambition, intention, rebellion, perseverance, humanity, empathy — are going to count for more, and the sooner you get started, the better off you'll be
  • When you fail, and fail big — forgive
  • Mistakes aren't the end of the world, but the beginning of wisdom — and firmly step forward into possibility.
  • The status quo is no way near prosperity:   dying metropolises, battered exurbs, mass unemployment, nail-biting fear of the future, plutocracy and protest, the crumbling ruins of empire
  • So map the horizons of your own journey, and, when the status-quo tells you it can't be done, tell the status-quo to go to hell


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