God Bless You, Mr Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut

Eliot Rosewater was the President of the Rosewater Foundation. A sum of money was the leading character in this story about people. The money was placed with a charitable foundation in 1947 for Norman Mushari, a boy. The president post of the foundation would be handed down to Senator Lister Ames Rosewater. All the siblings would be officers of the Foundation by default. The purpose of the Rosewater Corporation was to generate more money through purchase of stocks and bonds of other companies. They owned some other side businesses too. The Corporation gave money to the Foundation but they had no control what each other did. Norman Mushari, of Lebanese decent, was a lawyer who designed the Foundation and Corporation. No one in the law firm ate with him. He wanted to overthrow the foundation. Leech, his professor, told him that lawyers should show to transactions where large amounts of money changed hands.

In every big transaction, there is a magic moment during which a man has surrendered a treasure, and during which the man who is due to receive it has not yet done so. An alert lawyer will make that moment his own, possessing the treasure for a magic microsecond, taking a little of it, passing it on. If the man who is to receive the treasure is unused to wealth, has an inferiority complex and shapeless feelings of guilt, as most people do, the lawyer can often take as much as half the bundle, and still receive the recipient’s blubbering thanks. – Leech

Eliot Rosewater was the senator’s son and suspected to be insane. Eliot became president of the foundation in 1947. Mushari investigated him some 17 years later. He wanted to prove that Eliot was insane. Eliot’s grandpa became rich in the past by bribing the government and by buying all the farms in Rosewater County. He owned many stakes in the county’s other operations. The problem of society was that personal wealth had no limit to it. This was the American class system. Praise was given to those who committed crimes against which no laws had been passed. Those hardworking people were bloodsuckers and only the mighty powerful few controlled the county. The rich were too obscenely wealthy. ‘Grab much too much, or you’ll get nothing at all’. Samuel married Geraldine Ames Rockefeller. He didn’t believe in a utopia, yet he spent a lot of money on expensive paintings. Lister Ames Rosewater married Eunice Eliot Morgan. Eunice was a chess master in her heyday. She died in an accident and was concerned about the poor. My father, Lister, worked in the Congress as a senator and taught morals. He gave 95% of his inherited wealth to the Foundation. Eliot married Sylvia DuVrais Zetterling, a beauty of a woman. Later, Eliot became a drunkard and an aimless fool. His advice in a letter for the new President of the foundation was to be sincere towards the poor. Mushari requested letters from Sylvia for his investigations and eventually got them.

Eliot’s father was a senator. He went to good schools, but was never outstanding. Later, he volunteered for the US infantry. Soon, he graduated with a law degree and took over the Foundation. He was a heavy drinker too. The foundation helped a birth control clinic. Eliot spend a lot of the foundation’s money. Eliot said this in a science-fiction writers’ event.

Many, many good things have I bought! Man, many bad things have I fought! – Eliot Rosewater

You’re the only ones with guts enough to really care about the future, who really notice what machines do to us, what wars do to us, what cities do to us, what big, simple ideas do to us, what tremendous misunderstandings, mistakes, accidents and catastrophes do to us. You’re the only ones zany enough to agonize over time and distances without limit, over mysteries that will never die, over the fact that we are right now determining whether the space voyage for the next billion years or so is going to be heaven or Hell. – Eliot Rosewater

He wished for Kilgore Trout. He admired him when no one else knew about him. Mushari thought Trout’s books were dirty. Trout longed for an impossibly hospitable world. ‘What in hell are people for?’ Eliot was a fireman. He admired people who worked in the infantry. His father had high hopes for him when he was young. Eliot drove away his rich friends because they were only lucky. Now Eliot went back into the arts and sciences and was popular again. His analyst and him often spoke about American history.

And what methods did Caesar Augustus use to put this disorderly house in order? He did what we are so often told we must never, ever do, what we are told will never, ever work: he wrote morals into law, and he enforced those unenforceable laws with a police force that was cruel and unsmiling. He made it illegal for a Roman to behave like a pig…Did it work? You bet your boots it did! Pigs miraculously disappeared! …This was known as the Golden Age of Rome. – Eliot Rosewater

I see two alternatives…we can write morals into law, and enforce those morals harshly, or we can return to a true Free Enterprise System…I emphatically favor the latter alternative. We must be hard, for we must become again a nation of swimmers, with the sinkers quietly disposing of themselves. – Eliot Rosewater

Eliot saw similarities between himself and Hamlet. He left his wife and wanted to roam. Later he was arrested in Texas. He believed in equal distribution of wealth. He wanted a revolution led by infantry veterans and volunteer firemen. Eliot was going crazy and thought his wife was Ophelia. The problem was that he didn’t want to reveal his location. The foundation owned many real estate. Eliot was in the Rosewater County and felt that was his true home. He was there to care for people. All the factories were mechanized and there was no need for humans. No one cared about there.

I look at these Americans and I realize that they can’t even care about themselves any more – because they are useless. I’m going to be an artist. I’m going to love these discarded Americans, even though they’re useless and unattractive. That is going to be my work of art. – Eliot Rosewater

Many people lost money in their investments in Rosewater. The brewery on the county was a real proud thing to have. There was a saw company there too. There was a veteran’s memorial park too. It was like a monarchy run by Eliot. Many people from Avondale respected him. Eliot and Sylvia throw rich banquets for poor people. They took care of the poor people. Later, the people of Avondale started to rebel. Sylvia suffered a nervous breakdown 5 years later. She entered a mental hospital. Ed Brown was the psychiatrist and Charley was the Fire Chief. The treatment made her dumb but sedated her consciousness. Samaritrophic treatment wouldn’t work on Eliot because he was too strong willed and compassionate. Later, Sylvia would enter stages of paranoia. She was happy for a moment before she was crazy again. She still wanted to help the people in Rosewater. Divorce proceedings finally begun. People thought that if Eliot wasn’t drunk, he wouldn’t care about the people. Although he had an awesome life, he was rich and stuff, he didn’t like it. He could have been the president of the US, but chose not to and look at where he ended up now. Eliot was a fat man now, so unlike the days when he was with the US Army.

To help people, Eliot needed medicine too. Astronauts bored them. His father wished that Eliot and him were both dead. Sylvia didn’t want a reconciliation with Eliot. She felt worthless and thought about suicide. The senator that the people Eliot were helping were worthless and useless. Lightning turned everything to blue-white diamonds. When he was a fireman, Eliot was always busy fighting fires. ‘This is the Rosewater Foundation. How can we help you?’ Only a handful of people tried to leave Rosewater County to find proper work. Diana Moon Glampers, a hopeless old woman, was too dumb to live and called Eliot. She was the cleaner of the Rosewater mansion. Her parents died from lightning attacks. Eliot said that he would try to help her because she was scared of electricity. Eliot cared about too many people and didn’t want to see them die. She said life was hopeless because of her health problems. She complained about her kidneys and Eliot wanted her to visit a doctor. The doctor said that the problem with her kidneys were because she was overthinking it. She respected Eliot for living a humble life where he could help others.

You gave up everything a man is supposed to want, just to help the little people, and the little people know it. God bless you, Mr. Rosewater. Good night. – Diana Moon Glampers

The senator didn’t like his son. He blamed himself for the misfortune for how Eliot turned out. During the WWII, Eliot accidentally killed three unarmed firemen when he raided a place by throwing a grenade. Later, Eliot wanted to kill himself and laid on the road. Luckily, the vehicle stopped in time. Eliot despises art and feels that it failed him. Discrimination happened when you loved someone more than another. There was a man, Arthur Ulm. Eliot gave him money simply because he wanted to tell the truth without any economic consequences. Eliot allowed him to pick his own subject. Sylvia were talking to the senator and McAllister in the room. There was one poem which was Eliot’s favorite. Eliot hated the arts but liked writing poems. ‘If you would be unloved and forgotten, be reasonable.’ Eliot was now reading a book by Arthur Ulm. Ulm wrote about how horrible society was and was thankful for Eliot’s encouragement along the way. The Senator rued not taking care of Eliot when he was younger. In the past, a psychoanalyst was being difficult with the Senator and asked what the definition of obscenity was. To the Senator, sending people to prison even though they committed a small crime was not obscene. The psychoanalyst told him that if a man gets aroused by something other than a woman, he was a pervert. Every case of perversion was a case of crossed wires. Eliot was bringing his sexual desires to Utopia.

If a man has but one child, and the family is famous for producing unusual, strong-willed individuals, what standards can the man have for deciding whether or not his child is a nut? – The Senator

If Eliot is going to love everybody, no matter what they are, no matter what they do, then those of us who love particular people for particular reasons had better find ourselves a new world. – The Narrator

We don’t piss in your ashtrays, so please don’t throw cigarettes in our urinals. – Poster

Two-Seed-in-the Spirit Predestinarian Baptist. That’s what I generally say when people insist I must have a religion…Foot washing is practiced, and the ministers draw no pay. I wash my feet, and I draw no pay. – Eliot Rosewater

Those who write on Heaven’s walls should mold their shit in little balls. And those who read these lines of wit should eat these little balls of shit. – Eliot Rosewater

Heaven is the bore of bores, so most wraiths queue up to be reborn – and they live and love and fail and die, and they queue up to be reborn again. – Eliot Rosewater

A man dialed the black phone and Eliot answered. He admitted that he was worst than nothing. It was a hotline for people to dial when they wanted to kill themselves. People thought that Eliot was a saint who gave love and money. Eliot dreaded a moment, but didn’t say what it was. Eliot said he represented the government. The man invited him over to his house after Eliot challenged him ‘I’d ask you to name the rock-bottom price you’d charge to go on living for just one more week’. Later, Eliot recorded the man’s details in a book and awarded him a Rosewater Fellowship of $300. Those were grateful for Eliot’s help would help him swat flies in his office. Eliot didn’t want to be reborn. He didn’t believe in a Heaven. Someone else dialed the helpline. She was Stella Wakeby. She complained that people used to stand on their own two feet. She called just to inform Eliot that the Wakebys were fine. The problem was that she wanted to be a Senator Rosewater person but can’t now and had to be an Eliot Rosewater person. Then his dad called him one fine day. His dad didn’t like that he was talking down to him. In a moment, his dad wanted Eilot to question about his dream and reflect on how he entered such a disreputable condition. He loved his life and didn’t want to buy expensive paintings again. Eliot had communist thoughts in a way when he wanted to help others. He wanted people to share more. In a moment of reflection, he knew that the Rosewaters were born near the money river. The senator suggested that people should work hard instead. Eliot believed that to be rich, one had to go to the money river and interact with the rich and the powerful. He didn’t believe that life was fair to the poor sometimes. Eliot gave everyone notes that read ‘I love you’. However, his dad didn’t want to receive any of that. Later, his ex-wife, Sylvia got to speak to Eliot. Initially, Eliot didn’t want his wife to care about anything. Mushari was suspicious when he overheard Eliot wanting to baptize young children.

I think it’s terrible the way people don’t share things in this country. I think it’s a heartless government that will let one baby be born owning a big piece of the country, the way I was born, and let another baby be born without owning anything. – Eliot Rosewater

Born slurpers (people obsessed with money) never admit that they are. And they can’t imagine what the poor people are talking about when they say they hear somebody slurping. They don’t even know what it means when somebody mentions the Money River. – Eliot Rosewater

Eliot and Sylvia agreed to meet again for once. Mushari was eavesdropping on their conversation. He wanted control of the Foundation to go to Eliot’s second cousin, Fred Rosewater, so that he could get a cut of the proceeds in future. Fred was a very ordinary man and wasn’t aware that he might get rich. A lot of people in Pisquontuit were rich but their lives lacked wisdom, wit and invention. Fred was poor and worked hard. To get rich, one would had to insure themselves and then die soon because Fred sold insurance. His wife was Caroline and he had a kid named Franklin Rosewater. Fred didn’t know his ancestors. The bible says ‘business is business.’ George Rosewater filed no suit against his brother, Noah but they never communicated since. Later, George left Rosewater County and went East. George was blind after being involved in an accident. Later, he married an orphan (Faith Merrihue) who took care of him. Fred did think about killing himself sometimes. Fred loved it when his bride came to thank him for being so nice and for the things he had done

With a simple stroke of the pen, we’ve created sizable estates. That’s the miracle of life insurance. That’s the least we can do for our brides. – Fred Rosewater

Fred practiced ennui now. There were many in the newspapers advertising themselves because they wanted love. When reading, Lila (daughter of his wife’s best friend) appeared. She was a good sailor with Pisquontuit Yacht club. Harry, a fisherman, came to talk to Fred. He used to sell insurance until he nearly died on some chemical and vowed to work outdoors instead. Harry didn’t seem to like insurance. He also didn’t believe in matrimony. Harry filled in the form but filled Fred’s name at the end of the form to know women. Caroline and her lesbian friend, Amanita, liked to hang out. She married thinking Harry was rich but in the end, he was not. To her, money could solve all issues. Fred complained about treating Amanita and supporting his wife, because the meals were expensive. Lila was the daughter of Amanita. Amanita kept wanting to get richer. Later, Lila got dirty pictures because she scoured through the raunchy ads in the American Investigator. Lila hung out with Fred once in a while. Fred had cuts on his legs because his wife didn’t keep dangerous objects out of the way at home. Later, Fred picked up a novel by Kilgore Trout in the library.

Lila admired how some people didn’t have to work very hard and yet were rich. One day, she realized her father Stewart Buntline was asleep. He had 14 million dollars. Stewart didn’t know much about business and was a recipient of a Trust fund. He was represented by the reputable law company that represented Senator Rosewater. Reed McAllister was the partner. McAllister was generally told Stewart about socialism as Stewart didn’t believe in the free enterprise and wanted to give all his money to the poor in the past. Now, Stewart for some reason, believed in free enterprise fully. Stewart didn’t care about sex and misguided pity. McAllister thought that the chronically unemployed were very pitiful and was mankind’s creation. He revealed long ago that some men were born to lead, and that there was a possibility that they didn’t revel in it. Long ago, he said that saints wannabe like Stewart were nothing special. Stewart approached McAllister after his first year at Harvard.

History tells us this, if it tells us nothing else: Giving away a fortune is a futile and destructive thing. It makes whiners of the poor, without making them rich or even comfortable. And the donor and his descendants become undistinguished members of the whining poor. – Reed McAllister

Your fortune is the most important single determinant of what you think of yourself and of what others think of you. Because of your inheritance, you are extraordinary. Without it, for example, you would not now be taking the priceless time of a senior law partner. If you give away your money to the poor, you will become utterly ordinary, unless you happen to be a genius. – Reed McAllister

Without money you’ll surely be less comfortable and free. Not only that, but you will be volunteering your descendants for the muggy, sorehead way of life peculiar to persons who might have been rich and free. – Reed McAllister

People get what they deserve. That’s the First Law of Life. – Bunny Weeks

Money is dehydrated Utopia. ‘That to be born rich and to stay rich is something less than a felony.’ Fred, Caroline Rosewater and Stewart and Amanita Buntline all owned yachts while Harry owned a fishing boat. Harry had two sons who were also fisherman. Caroline was very impressed with Amanita and looked up to her. Bunny hugged Amanita. The senator would be resigning soon and Bunny could never remember Caroline well. Bunny challenged Amanita and Caroline to guess what he bought and they would get the product free if they guessed correctly. Caroline was very thrifty and didn’t want Amanita to buy it for her in the end when they couldn’t guess what it was. Amanita went ahead to buy. Bunny Weeks once owned an expensive restaurant. Harry and his two sons were fishing frantically but were hopeful of a big catch. Harry killed 8 great tuna. The boys smiled and seemed very happy at their feat. Suddenly, Caroline commented that Harry was like a God. Bunny believed that Harry and his sons would go bankrupt some day and that was no need for men to work with their hands and backs as they were not needed by society. He commented that men like Harry were losing.

They made her recite this every morning ‘I do solemnly swear that I will respect the scared private property of others, and that I will be content with whatever station in life God Almighty may assign me to. I will be grateful to those who employ me, and will never complain about wages and hours, but will ask myself instead, “What more can I do for my employer, my republic, and my God?” The verse

I understand that I have not been placed on Earth to be happy. I am here to be tested. If I am to pass the test, I must be always unselfish, always sober, always truthful, always chaste in mind, body, and deed, and always respectful to those whom God has placed above me. – The Verse

Mushari drove to find Fred Rosewater. Fred was sick in bed. He turned out to be on his sailboat. Selena was an orphan who worked for the Buntlines now. Selena wanted to be a nurse. Wilfred Parrot was the head of the orphanage and Selena wrote to him. Selena was often scolded even though she didn’t open her mouth but because in Mrs Buntline eyes, she thought that from her facial expression that Selena was disagreeing with her. Once, Mrs Buntline played Beethoven at 78 revolutions per minute instead of 33 and it still sounded like Beethoven to her. Caroline Rosewater also kept agreeing with her. Selena wanted to speak us but couldn’t as she was scolded. Once, I watched Lila sail. She was a brilliant sailor. During the sailing race, Mrs Buntline yelled like she had rabies and acted all so crazy. You thought that everything in the world depended on the race. Mrs Buntline once took Selena out to view sunset but only waited for her to say ‘Thank you very much’ before she was satisfied. Since then, Selena thanked her for the ocean, the moon, the stars in the sky, and the United States Constitution. Mushari toured the Runfoord Mansion. The thing was that The Rumfoords were still alive, hated the public, but still collected money from entrance fees. The previous founder did this once every 5 years so that he can get a sense of what the ground was like. Lance Rumfoord came and poked fun at Mushari. Caroline was drunk in her room. Fred wanted to kill himself but remembered about Franklin, his son. By accident, Fred chanced upon a pornographic picture that Franklin bought from Lila Buntline. He was in shock. Fred found a historical document about his family in the basement and started to read it. Rosewater was a pseudonym used by the oldest trace back to his roots, James Graham. He was a nobleman who eventually wanted to be a simple farmer. Frederick was John’s son and was the ancestor of Rhode Island Rosewaters. Fred took Caroline down to the basement and he said to her that he was proud of his history and that they used to be somebody. He was fed up that he usually started conversations with ‘Excuse me’, instead of Hello or Goodbye! Caroline liked to agree with people and was dumb in nature. It was when Fred was trying to kill himself that Mushari came in and told him that he stood to inherit a great sum of money. Fred fainted.

What gets me most about these filthy rich people, isn’t how ignorant they are, or how much they drink. It’s the way they have of thinking that everything nice in the world is a gift to the poor people from them or their ancestors. – Selena

So we’re poor! All right, we’re poor! This is America! And America is one place in this sorry world where people shouldn’t have to apologize for being poor. The question in America should be, ‘Is this guy a good citizen? Is he honest? Does he pull his own weight? – Fred Rosewater

It was time for Eliot to meet Sylvia in the Bluebird Room. Many people in Rosewater were sad to see him leave. Delbert Peach was a drunkard who started acting like a dog. He thought that Eliot would not return. Eliot said that he definitely won’t be leaving. Mr Peach swore off liquor as a tribute to Eliot. Eliot was angry when Mary Moody called the fire department and said the fire was in my heart. He blasted Mary for abusing the hotline. She later called the counselling line and was crying. Eliot didn’t know why she was crying. Later, his father visited him. Peach commented that the Senator was rude to him. The senator didn’t really care about America. Dad mentioned that someone was trying to prove that Eliot was insane. Just then, Eliot sounded the fire alarm. It was high noon in Rosewater. Eliot was shocked but he did have doubts on his sanity. His dad wanted to leave Rosewater for good and return home. He thought Eliot was crazy to live in Rosewater, no matter how he wanted to defend himself. Eliot told a story by Trout to his dad and his dad was pissed. In a country, the sole purpose was to eliminate all odors. Instead of creating a chemical that would eliminate all odors, he eliminated noses. Eliot showed his naked body to his dad and later picked up the phone when it rang. The woman on the line felt that others might think Eliot was crazy for paying so much attention to them. Everyone on the county was afraid to see him leave. His dad complained that Eliot smashed every ideal he held, unknowingly. Later, his dad stormed out. The phone rang but Eliot didn’t answer it this time.

You’ll get up there to Indianapolis, with all the excitement and lights and beautiful buildings, and you’ll get a taste of the high life again, and you’ll hunger for more of it, which is only natural for anybody who’s ever tasted the high life the way you have. – Delbert Peach

He couldn’t remember his fight with his father. He entered Chief Charley’s insurance office. Eliot paroled a guy who was now the cleaner. He was Noyes. The man never thanked him but Eliot didn’t need gratitude. His memory was failing him. People knew that he wasn’t okay anymore. A man mentioned that he could tell when a man ‘clicked’. This would mean that he went crazy. He would start doing exactly what his brain told him. Noyes was jealous at Eliot for achieving it. Eliot felt a new phase of his life was beginning. Lincoln Ewald hated money and scorned at America. Eliot couldn’t remember people’s names now. Roland thanked Eliot for saving his life. The ticket lady stamper his ticket to Indianapolis. Now, Eliot read about Kilgore Trout. Diana Moon suddenly appeared. Eliot looked back at Rosewater. He didn’t miss it at all. The outskirts of Indianapolis were destroyed in a fire-storm and Eliot witnessed it.

She cried and said ‘You’re my church group! You’re my everything! You’re my government. You’re my husband. You’re my friends.’ Diana Moon Glampers

Eliot woke up in a dry fountain. He was in a mental hospital now. Eliot kept observing a bird. Four men were in business suits near him. All of them looked sympathetic. There was a lawyer and a doctor. Strangely, Eliot couldn’t recall what he wanted to say. The doctor was not confident that Eliot could prove himself not to be insane. Then in his pocket, Eliot read about the lawyer and his client, Fred Rosewater. Senator actually brought Trout here because Eliot wanted him around. Trout recited to him exactly what must be told in tomorrow’s hearing. How do you love people who have no use? Trout mentioned that firemen were useful when putting out fires. The thing was that the Senator and Trout got along very well. Trout knew that Eliot offered unconditional love to others, without expecting anything in return. 57 women in Rosewater claimed that Eliot was the father of their children. Mushari went around town and persuaded others to say bad stuff about Eliot. Suddenly, Eliot managed to recall some stuff and he wanted to write checks. There were 3.5 million dollars and Eliot gave 100k to Fred, his cousin. As for the remaining money, Eliot told his lawyer to give them to the children of Rosewater County. On the last note, Eliot said ‘And tell them, to be fruitful and multiply’.

In time, almost all men and women will become worthless as producers of goods, food, services, and more machines, as sources of practical ideas in different areas. So if we can’t find reasons and methods for treasuring human beings because they are human beings, then we might as well, rub them out. – Kilgore Trout

Americans have long been taught to hate all people who will not or cannot work, to hate even themselves for that. We can thank the vanished frontier for that piece of common-sense cruelty. – Kilgore Trout

Poverty is a relatively mild disease for even a very flimsy American soul, but uselessness will kill strong and weak souls alike, and kill every time. – Kilgore Trout

Firemen rush to the rescue of any human being, and count not the cost. The most contemptible man in town, should his contemptible house catch fire, will see the fireman put the fire out and he will be comforted and pitied by the Fire Chief. There we have people treasuring people as people. It’s extremely rare. So from this we must learn. – Kilgore Trout

god-bless-you-mr-rosewater

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Business related quotes 51 to 100

  1. ‘Most people with my kind of track record don’t look to change. But I always felt I couldn’t afford not to change. We had to be successful—there was no other option for me—and I would explore any means of improving. I continued to work hard. I treated every success as my first. My job was to give us the best possible chance of winning. That is what drove me.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  2. ‘One of the things I’ve done well over the years is manage change. I believe that you control change by accepting it. That also means having confidence in the people you hire. The minute staff members are employed, you have to trust that they are doing their jobs. If you micromanage and tell people what to do, there is no point in hiring them.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  3. ‘I don’t think many people fully understand the value of observing. I came to see observation as a critical part of my management skills. The ability to see things is key—or, more specifically, the ability to see things you don’t expect to see.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  4. ‘My presence and ability to supervise were always there, and what you can pick up by watching is incredibly valuable. Once I stepped out of the bubble, I became more aware of a range of details, and my performance level jumped.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  5. ‘Winning is in my nature. I’ve set my standards over such a long period of time that there is no other option for me—I have to win. I expected to win every time we went out there. Even if five of the most important players were injured, I expected to win. (Prepare to win)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  6. ‘If you are too soft in your approach, you won’t be able to achieve good football tactics. Fear has to come into it. But you can be too hard; if players are fearful all the time, they won’t perform well either. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see that showing your anger all the time doesn’t work. You have to pick your moments. As a manager, you play different roles at different times. Sometimes you have to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a father.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  7. ‘I would tell them that having a work ethic is very important. It seemed to enhance their pride. I would remind them that it is trust in one another, not letting their mates down, that helps build the character of a team.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  8. ‘No one likes to be criticized. Few people get better with criticism; most respond to encouragement instead. So I tried to give encouragement when I could. For a player—for any human being—there is nothing better than hearing “Well done.” Those are the two best words ever invented. You don’t need to use superlatives. (Match the message to the moment)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  9. ‘It’s important to have confidence in yourself to make a decision and to move on once you have. It’s not about looking for adversity or for opportunities to prove power; it’s about having control and being authoritative when issues do arise.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  10. ‘Some English clubs have changed managers so many times that it creates power for the players in the dressing room. That is very dangerous. If the coach has no control, he will not last.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  11. ‘If the day came that the manager of Manchester United was controlled by the players—in other words, if the players decided how the training should be, what days they should have off, what the discipline should be, and what the tactics should be—then Manchester United would not be the Manchester United we know. (never ever cede control)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  12. ‘I constantly told my squad that working hard all your life is a talent. But I expected even more from the star players. I expected them to work even harder.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  13. ‘I had to lift players’ expectations. They should never give in. I said that to them all the time: “If you give in once, you’ll give in twice.” And the work ethic and energy I had seemed to spread throughout the club. (Set high standards and hold everyone to them)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  14. ‘Although I was always trying to disprove it, I believe that the cycle of a successful team lasts maybe four years, and then some change is needed. So we tried to visualize the team three or four years ahead and make decisions accordingly. Because I was at United for such a long time, I could afford to plan ahead—no one expected me to go anywhere. I was very fortunate in that respect.’ (Dare to rebuild the team.)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  15. ‘I always take great pride in seeing younger players develop. The job of a manager, like that of a teacher, is to inspire people to be better. Give them better technical skills, make them winners, make them better people, and they can go anywhere in life. When you give young people a chance, you not only create a longer life span for the team, you also create loyalty. They will always remember that you were the manager who gave them their first opportunity. Once they know you are batting for them, they will accept your way. You’re really fostering a sense of family. If you give young people your attention and an opportunity to succeed, it is amazing how much they will surprise you.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  16. ‘From the moment I got to Manchester United, I thought of only one thing: building a football club. I wanted to build right from the bottom. That was in order to create fluency and a continuity of supply to the first team. With this approach, the players all grow up together, producing a bond that, in turn, creates a spirit.’ Sir Alex Ferguson (Building the foundation)
  17. ‘Am I getting enough challenges? Do I have a healthy work/life balance? Does my job give me a personal sense of fulfillment, of achievement? Do I have a sense of community? Do I feel appreciated?’ Irene Ross, on five questions you should ask yourself about your job once in a while

68.”成功固然需要鲜花和掌声,但是失败更需要鼓励和支援,没有失败的积累和沉淀,哪有成功的辉煌和灿烂,

失败是成功的基础,只有基础扎实了,成功自然就来了,

很多人总想一步登天,那只能是梦想,没有任何人没有失败就成功的。”

  1. ‘Beijing is using a softline economic approach to groom Shanghai to compete with, or possibly, replace Hong Kong. The implicit message is clear if that Hong Kong continues to have political squabbles, its economic status will suffer greatly.’ Sonny Lo, on China’s idea of establishing a FTA in Shanghai
  2. ‘In terms of condition, the guys have to be honed athletes. They have to be strong, with good cardiovascular fitness. The need for strength is underestimated sometimes. You’re digging deep into your reserves in a race like that. It’s a mental as well as a physical challenge.’ Gerry Convy, on F1 drivers
  3. ‘It doesn’t seem as easy (start an IT firm in India) as Silicon Valley where you have an idea you can simply execute it with hard work. But I admire folks who are doing things in India. It requires a lot of grit and determination.’ Ruchi Sanghvi
  4. ‘I’d love to do something if it was easier to do it. It is difficult to do exciting things in India. There are a lot of issues and barriers, simple things like a good internet line to the office.’ Ruchi Sanghvi, on starting an IT firm in India
  5. ‘The solution to not having useless 25 [and] 30-year-olds living at home is not sending them out of the home, it’s making them do their own washing, pay their own way, pay towards the rent, pay towards the bills, to take responsibility for cleaning up their bedroom and not waiting on them hand and foot.’ Sarah Beeny
  6. ‘By working faithfully, eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss…and get to work twelve hours a day.’ Robert Frost
  7. ‘Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.’ Benjamin Franklin
  8. ‘Decide in your heart what really excites and challenges you and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.’ Chris Hadfield
  9. ”If you’re opening a business just for the money, you’ll fail. There’s too much work before the money comes. Your heart needs to be in it.’ (from a random blog)
  10. ‘If you’re limiting yourself to what you experienced, you are going to be in trouble…I studied the Great Depression. I studied the Weimar Republic. I studied important events that didn’t happen to me.’ Ray Dalio
  11. ‘I hardly made any money, but I remembered I loved it. And that was great. Even back then, I was never really concerned with money past a certain point of utility. I was happy sleeping on a cot in a studio apartment. All I cared was having the freedom to do what I wanted to do.’ Ray Dalio
  12. ‘Above all else, I want you to think for yourself – to decide 1) what you want, 2) what is true and 3) what to do about it. I want you to do that in a clear-headed thoughtful way, so that you get what you want.’ Ray Dalio, a famous hedge fund manager
  13. ‘I didn’t really feel any anxiety about starting out on my own. I could pay the rent. I had free time to do what I wanted – I like the independence. And so I thought if it didn’t work out, I’d go get a job. And if it did work out, then I’m free.’ Ray Dalio
  14. ‘It’s strange. Bankers are so smart, yet they get this thing wrong. They spend their lives in an office when the only valuable thing in life is time. It is the only thing that is not replenishable. You can always make more money, but you can never get more time. Maybe it’s because death is such a taboo in our society, that people live in this illusion that their life will go on forever.’ (random banking product structurer)
  15. ‘The world of investment banking is a meritocracy. Nobody ever asked me what university I went to (I’m a drop-out). I never encountered racism, sexism or homophobia and the simple reason is that people just don’t give a fuck who you are. It’s what you can do.’ (random investment banker)
  16. ”I think ego stands in the way of a lot of people doing that (starting a business). It’s like learning how to ski…the sting of the fall hurts for about a minute but that’s how you learn.’ Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates
  17. ‘Research shows that the life of a wild animal is mostly suffering; stress and fear and pain. Yet do we believe pets to be happier? For me the buzz that comes with the pressure for survival is attractive. I’d rather be the wild animal than the pet.’ (random investment banker)
  18. ‘It’s the competitive element which attracts me to banking and which makes me a happy banker. To know that those who don’t make the grade get cut. I have a lot to prove to myself. I’m the kind of person who wants to swim with sharks and see if I can survive… Happy bankers are those who don’t do it for the money but for the thrill.’ (a random banker)
  19. ‘The key to success is big vision and determination to achieve it. The lesson we have been taught is that you should always aim high. Once you have sorted your vision, execution is another important element in success. If something doesn’t work out just yet, make sure you pivot over and over again, and if it fails, celebrate failure early enough and start again.’ Audra Pakalnyte and Reda Stare
  20. ‘Using leverage is like playing Russian roulette. It means that you are inevitably going to get a bullet in your head.’ Ray Dalio
  21. ‘What has made Buffett successful, what has made other people very, very good, is their ability to see things in the available data that others don’t see.’ Marc Lasry
  22. ‘You have to be assertive and open minded at the same time. This is true in the markets; this is true in almost everything. You have to learn from your mistakes to keep getting better. And it’s through learning from those mistakes that you learn what reality is and how to deal with it, which is called principles. Knowing what is true, whether you like it or not, is a tremendous asset. There’s no sense in fighting reality.’ Ray Dalio
  23. ‘I wanted to be able to say whatever I wanted to say. I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted to do.’ Bill Ackman, on his decision to start his own hedge fund
  24. ‘Raising money for a start-up hedge fund is a lot like blind dating. You meet someone you’ve never met before, you have a limited time in which to make the pitch, and then you try to close the deal. Charm matters.’ Bill Ackman
  25. ‘Warren Buffett said that one can immediately obtain the qualities that make for a good reputation by just making good everyday life decisions. He also reminded us that your reputation can be lost overnight and to therefore protect it with your life. I never forgot that.’ Bill Ackman, a hedge fund manager
  26. ‘We all understand that independent thinking is a necessity. We understand it better than other people because value-added alpha is zero-sum. So if you think about almost any career and any job, you can add value and it’s not zero-sum. If you’re a doctor and somebody breaks their leg, you can fix their leg, you can add that value.’ Ray Dalio
  27. ‘The stereotypical ways that Wall Streeters cope with pressure – they drink, they have affairs, they cultivate expensive hobbies like collecting cars – don’t work for me. Instead, I exercise maniacally.’ Mike Mayo
  28. ‘Failure is “an inherent part of entrepreneurship”. It’s difficult to learn and improve if you don’t take some risks.’ Judy Estrin
  29. ‘You can have mid-level success as an entrepreneur and you can still be having a lot of fun solving a lot of good problems, making money for your investors. Not every company is a Google or a Facebook.’ Judy Estrin, on the need to recognize different levels of success
  30. ‘Some people can be content lying on the beach indefinitely, but I can’t. I desperately wanted to keep working.’ Mike Mayo
  31. ‘My stepdad always said he’d rather live well with risks than play it safe and be bored. That’s something I’ve tried to apply to my own life and career, as well.’ Mike Mayo
  32. 100. ‘In our business (hedge fund) we’ve learned that it’s not so easy to have an opinion and be confident that opinion is right. I learned this at a very early age… I also know it’s not so easy to have an opinion that you’re confident in. Be careful of the opinion that you’re overconfident in.’ Ray Dalio

planning-4

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Progress report 1. I was considered to be used by Dr Strauss. Miss Kinnian thinks I can become smart again. My name is Charlie Gordon and I work in a bakery. I am 32 years old. I am retarded.

Progress report 2. I think I might have failed a test. Burt tested me using a few cards. I couldn’t see pictures on the cards when there were supposed to be. Miss Kinnian is my teacher in class. It was called a raw shok test. I was afraid I didn’t clear the test.

Progress report 3. The professor was called Nemur. I was Miss Kinnian’s favorite student. Learning was always my goal. The experiment they were planning on me was so far only conducted on animals. My sister was Norma but I have never seen my mum and dad and her for a long time.

Progress report 4. I took a thematic appreciation test now. I had to make up a story about people in pictures I saw. I was angry as I hated lying to come up with stories. Later, I started drawing pictures. Next I played a puzzle game. Algernon was a mouse on the 5th floor. He was a very smart mouse. The mouse managed to complete the puzzle that I was assigned. Now, I had to race him. For every wrong move I made, I received an electric shock. I didn’t known mice were so smart.

Progress report 5. Mum and Norma gave permission for my operation. I was happy and ready to go. The good thing that the professor said I had was motivation. I was interested and eager to please. The aim was to improve my intelligence. Prof Nemur wasn’t on my side. However, there were a lot of risks associated with the experiment. Algernon had successfully undergone the experiment. Even if the experiment failed, I would have contributed to society.

Progress report 6. Many people wished me luck. I kept the lucky penny with me just in case. I was not to disclose this secret to my colleagues at work. I hoped to read and spell better and I wanted to beat Algernon in the race. This experiment might be repeated in others if it was successful. ‘I don’t care so much about being famous. I just want to be smart like other people so I can have lots of friends like me.’

Progress Report 7. The operation was over. I could spell Progress and March now. There were bandages on my head. I was gassed during the operation. Burt monitored me after the operation on a daily basis. All the progress reports were kept. I wanted to be able to participate in intellectual conversations.

If your smart you can have lots of frends to talk to and you never get lonley by yourself all the time. – Charlie Gordon

Hilda the nurse brings things for me to eat. Maybe Dr Strauss had no right to operate on me. Was it against God to receive the operation?

Hilda said mabey they got no rite to make me smart because if god wanted me to be smart he would have made me born that way. And what about Adem and Eev and the sin with tree of nowlege and eating the appel and the fall. And mabey Prof Nemur and dr Strauss was tampiring with things they got no rite to tampir with. – Charlie Gordon

Lucille replaced Hilda as my nurse. I thought that I would be smart instantly after the operation. It would be slow and I would have to work very hard. The operation would improve my memory. I wanted to show off to others how smart I was.

Progress Report 8. I thought all the tests were stupid, so were the progress reports. Mum told me that I should love god and pray to him. I visited a college and I was to clean a psych department lab. Nemurs did not want to seem like a failure. Burt was a graduate student in psychology. I hated Algernon for being very smart. I wasn’t smart yet. I hated my life and didn’t want to write progress reports anymore. I was paid to write but it’s very difficult for me. I was going back to work in the bakery. It took a long time for Algernon to be 3 times smarter. He was unique because he could stay smart for a long time. Mr Donner hired another boy Ernie to help. I was working at the bakery since I was 17. My uncle passed away when I was 19. Mr Donner said I could have the job for life. Gimpy was the head baker. I wanted to learn to be an apprentice baker. Mr Donner said the work was complicated and that I shouldn’t think about it for now. I didn’t want to visit the lab and race Algernon. Prof Nemur brought me a teaching machine. Dr Strauss persuaded me to try it. I had to have faith in myself. The machine could teach me things when I was sleepy and also induce dreams. I missed Miss Kinnian. The brain learns when it is asleep too. Maybe only certain shows made me smart. The device woke me up at night. I walked into the school hall. I recalled the time when I first met Miss Kinnian. Thinking and remembering was very difficult for me. I had to attend therapy sessions with Dr Strauss now. I talked about the bakery experience. I had to turn on the TV at low volumes when I went to bed. Dr Strauss explained that sometimes I couldn’t sleep because everyone has two minds, the conscious and subconscious mind. I played drinking games with Joe and Frank. However, they teased me at the bar. I was lost when I couldn’t find Joe. I started crying. It was all a very bad dream. Now, I started beating Algernon. I wanted to feed him as I felt bad for beating him. Algernon had to complete puzzles to get food now. ‘I don’t think it’s right to make you pass a test to eat.’ Charlie Gordon. I didn’t feel any change in me but they were saying I was smarter. Miss Kinnian came to visit me one day. She said that she had confidence in me. I pitied Robinson Crusoe because he was a lonely man. Miss Kinnian thought me to spell better and how to remember

Progress Report 9. I started working the dough-mixer because Oliver quit. Gimpy and Joe liked to tease me and they challenged me to try. However, I proved myself that I could use the machine. I also demonstrated it to Mr Donner. I did a better job that Oliver. Mr Donner gave me a 5 dollar raise. Instead of washing toilets, I would get to use the machine. I finished reading Robinson Crusoe. I was learning fast. I recalled at how my mum was when I was younger. Mum slapped me when I touched my little sister when I was very young.

She said for a person who God gave so little to you did more than a lot of people with brains they never even used. – Miss Kinnian

Today, I learned, the comma, this is, a, comma (,) a period, with, a tail, Miss Kinnian, says its, importent, because, it makes writing, better, she said, somebody, could lose, a lot, of money, if a comma , isn’t in, the right place… – Charlie Gordon

Miss Kinnian taught me to use a comma and I experimented with it. I started remembering better and how to use comma as a punctuation. I started learning about other forms of punctuation. I started reading a grammar book. The progress report showed that I was developing and I could compare with my previous self. I stayed home as I was sick. I started dancing with Ellen after being persuaded by Joe to do so in a club. Everyone started laughing at me but I didn’t feel amused. I was getting upset after realizing that I was being bullied and treated like a kid. I wanted to run away and hide. The rest liked to hang out with me just to poke fun at me. I fantasized over Ellen at night.

It’s because I’m so dumb and I don’t even know when I’m doing something dumb. People think it’s funny when a dumb person can’t do things the same way they can. – Charlie Gordon

My spelling has improved tremendously. I recalled the first day when I joined Donner’s Bakery. I could now picture how I was back then. Dr Strauss said the best way was to recall memories and write it down. He was a neurosurgeon and a psychiatrist. The key was for me to understand yourself. Memories may not be pleasant and I might not be able to handle them

The more intelligent you become the more problems you’ll have, Charlie. Your intellectual growth is going to outstrip your emotional growth. – Dr Strauss warned me

Soon, I would be able to lead foreign languages. I read The Great Gatsby and the American Tragedy. I was still angry that people were making fun of me. There was much debate about what IQ could measure. Mine was over a 100 now. Soon, I would be taking the Rorschach test. . The subconscious was about to block my consciousness from remembering. I remembered a girl named Harriet in my younger days. She was a favorite among the boys. I took a piece of red ribbon and got a friend to help me compose a message for her for Valentine’s day. Harriet didn’t wear it the next day and looked upset. Gus, her brother, pushed me. I was labelled as a degenerate and wasn’t welcome in the school. Gus and Oscar hurt me. Harriet never returned the locket. Rorschach test was the one with ink blots. It was a standard personality test. I shouted at Burt because he lied at me when he said there were pictures on them previously. I was upset again. Prof Nemur grabbed me on the way out. Now, I was suspicious to the world around me. I could make out certain shapes on the inkblots. I didn’t think I could trust Burt again. Now, I knew what I was writing would be under close examination.

Progress Report 10. Mr Donner gave me a raise when I improved productivity. No one talks to me at work anymore. Frank liked to bully me in the past. Gimpy was defending me when I started recalling an incident. Gimpy wanted me to learn how to make rolls. Gimpy and Frank demonstrated differently and I was confused. Charlie didn’t dare to start as he was afraid of making mistakes. He didn’t manage to do it due to the fact that they couldn’t wait for him. How would Frank and Gimpy feel about me now.

Would he ever learn to read what was in the balloons? If they gave him enough time – if they didn’t rush him or push him too fast – he would get it. But nobody has time. – Charlie

The people at the bakery were hostile to me. They were getting jealous of my success. Now I knew that I would not write private matters for Dr Strauss. I was allowed to keep the personal reports for myself. I overhead that Dr Strauss and Nemur that he would be presenting my case to a convention in Chicago. They were engaged in heated battle. Nemur wanted to present the findings while Dr Strauss thought it was too premature. I left in shock. They were just men who wanted to claim credit for their work. I can better understand conversations at the university canteen. People were talking about politics, art and God. They talked about whether there was a God and I was shocked. I read about most of the famous philosophers and writers.

Now I understand one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you’ve believed in all your life aren’t true, and that nothing is what it appears to be. – Charlie Gordon

Mum wanted to be in an elementary school but the principal wanted me in a special school. Mum cried. This was all when I was 6 years old. Mum didn’t want to take me as she was moving out as she thought there was something wrong with me. All these arguments affected Charlie. Charlie was directed to the bathroom. His mum didn’t want to follow him and show him the way to the toilet. I finally recalled that my mum was Rose and my dad was Matt. My dad, in a fit of rage, walked out of the apartment.

Progress Report 11. I went with Miss Kinian for dinner and then to the movies. I really wanted to touch her. She was very beautiful indeed. I could deeply understand the film and was improving in my perception and judgment of issues. She admitted that I was much better than an ordinary person and that I was revealed as a genius. She hoped that I wouldn’t get hurt. Miss Kinnian was afraid that something might go out. I admitted I liked her. I was becoming more and more self-conscious. Miss Kinnian was apologetic that when she said that perhaps I shouldn’t have told her that and connect with her on an emotional level. She declined my advances and said that we not ready. I was furious with her. I realized that I couldn’t learn anything from books. My past always haunted me and seemed blurred. I was starting to have nightmares now as well. I found it hard to control the directions of my thoughts. Charlie followed a loose button on the ground when he was younger. There was dried blood on Norma’s underwear. Gimpy undercharged the customers and I wanted to find out why. I didn’t trust his actions. He started pocketing the loose change in his pocket. In a way, I was afraid of learning the truth. Once I saw him stealing, I wanted to punch his face. I felt like telling Mr Donner about it. In the past, it was me who was assisting the theft of money, it was just that I didn’t know it. If Mr Donner sacks him, how will he be able to feed his kids? Intelligence isn’t helping.

Professor Nemur said that I shouldn’t be involved. I begged to meet Alice at the café again. I didn’t want her to ignore me anymore and she agreed to meet me. I admitted that I liked Alice right away. She thought that it was inappropriate though. Alice was Miss Kinnian. I wasn’t very good at listening and kept interjecting. I kept persisting and that made her feel awkward. I desperately wanted to be with her. In a way, I was afraid of being rejected. I was in love.

Charlie, you amaze me. In some ways you’re so advanced, and yet when it comes to making a decision, you’re still a child. I can’t decide for you, Charlie. The answer can’t be found in books – or be solved by bringing it to other people…You’ve got to find the answer inside you – feel the right thing to do. Charlie, you’ve got to learn to trust yourself. – Alice

I learned to rely on my intuition. I decided to tell Gimpy the truth one day. Gimpy stormed off when I told him. My studies were going well. I could link a few disciplines together now and I felt much smarter than before. Most of the school talk was too childish for me now. Even economics professors couldn’t think like me. They were not willing to show their ignorance. They were far from intellectual giants. I watched the concert with Alice. I was contemplating putting my arms around her but held back. Surprisingly, I was still behaving like a kid. Then I saw a guy who pulled down his trousers and chased after him furiously. Somehow, I felt embarrassed to be caught together with Alice. I was becoming increasingly sensitive. It was a hallucination. Apparently, I was still sexually retarded. I was fired from my job at the bakery. Apparently, everyone hated me and it appears to them that I was a changed man. I didn’t have to work there anymore. He mentioned that I was also too smart for such a job. I begged him to allow me to stay. Frank spoke to me now.

Because all of a sudden you’re a big shot, a know-it-all, a brain! Now you’re a regular whiz kid, an egghead. Always with a book – always with all the answers. Well, I’ll tell you something. You think you’re better than the rest of us here? Okay, go someplace else. – Frank

I was making them look lousy and they hated it. Everyone signed a petition for me to leave.

But what’s wrong with a person wanting to be more intelligent, to acquire knowledge, and understand himself and the world? – Charlie

If you’d read your Bible, Charlie, you’d know it’s not meant for man to know more than was given to him to know by the Lord in the first place. The fruit of the tree was forbidden to man. – Fanny Birden

I was making them look lousy and they hated it. Everyone signed a petition for me to leave. . She wanted me to be a simple man again. I was a strong believer in Science. Now, I was more alone than ever. I went to Alice’s apartment. Her house was super neat. I didn’t go to the lab for a few days. I was still traumatized by the fact that I was thrown out. Strangely, I couldn’t understand the fear and why I was kicked out. ‘I’m like an animal who’s been locked out of his nice, safe cage.’ Charlie. I had the maturity of a boy. My mum used to whip me when I was younger. She thought I was a dirty animal. I started to sob while hugging Alice.

Progress Report 12. My relationship with Nemur was strained. He referred to me as a lab specimen. Alice and I had a platonic relationship. I had a bad nightmare again. The memories come at weird timings and I can’t control them. I remember my sister behaving like a big baby and not playing with me when I was younger. She wanted a dog from my parents and didn’t want to share it with me. Norma threw a big tantrum. I overheard Norma talking about me in her room to her friend.

He is not my real brother! He’s just a boy we took in because we felt sorry for him. My mamma told me, and she said I can tell everyone now that he’s not really my brother at all. – Norma

I had a bad quarrel with Alice today. I headed down to the Adult Centre to pick her up and it was a bad idea. Alice was teaching a lady at the centre. There were some new students in the school. The other students could recognize me. Alice was annoyed. They wondered why I wasn’t going back to the school. She was upset with my attitude towards others. I didn’t want to receive the crap from others previously. She couldn’t talk to me. She felt stupid beside me and she was worried that she was losing intelligence. I told her too complex stuff which she couldn’t understand. I was too self-absorbed and lacked empathy. Alice wasn’t going to the convention with me. I sort of realized that we were not compatible for one another.

How do you know what I feel? You take liberties with other people’s minds. You can’t tell how I feel or what I feel or why I feel. – Alice

I prowled on the city streets. I happened to meet a lady at Central Park. She eloped and was married to a sailor. However, he was violent and she never saw him again. I brushed my palm against hers. I kissed her and she suggested that we go up to her hotel room. She was pregnant and it wasn’t her husband’s. I commented that she was filthy and that she should be ashamed of herself. Then she started screaming. I ran into the darkness and ended up in a children’s playground. I finally emerged from the park unscathed. Some part of me wanted to be caught by passer-bys in the street.

Progress Report 13. We were about to head to Chicago. I was terrified of being in the air. God was never something I talked about much when I was young. When I was 5 or so, my mum brought me to a doctor who would help me get smart. My mum thought that she could pay so that I could be intelligent. Dad disagreed. We all headed to Dr Guarino’s office. Guarino started to examine a young Charlie. Charlie was restrained to a table and strapped down. He screamed. He placed me inside a big machine to see if I could become smarter. Charlie couldn’t scream because there was a cloth placed in his mouth. Charlie wet his pants. I had to return every few weeks. Charlie hated the voice of his parents quarreling at home. Dad thought that I shouldn’t be changed and that the money should have been devoted to the barber shop instead. Nemur referred to be as a guinea pig and not as a human. I am learning to control resentment and my patience. We had to be shifted to the Independence hotel because of some screwed up arrangements. Nemur was annoyed at the attention I was receiving. Nemur explained the procedure with the other scientist. Apparently there was another paper published on another method of the operation. I was disappointed when Nemur couldn’t understand other languages. They were ignorant in their own fields! It was appalling. I dug further and realized how little he knew. Burt defended Nemur and said that he was trying to make a name for himself. It turns out that it was Nemur’s wife who helped his career a lot and got him his professionship. Burt commented that I lacked tolerance and understanding for others. Was I a genius? Failure would destroy Nemur as he was too old to start again. However, I should not be too impatient with them. I have surpassed them in many aspects.

But still it’s frightening to realize that my fate is in the hands of men who are not the giants I once thought them to be, men who don’t know all the answers. – Charlie Gordon

I was under a huge emotional strain I walked out on the whole thing and flew to New York. A few psychological papers were published. I didn’t like trivial stuff. Algernon and I were the main attractions of the conference. I toyed with the lock on Algernon’s cage. Algernon would have to complete a maze in order to prove that he was smart. Algernon was getting increasingly erratic and sometimes refused to work. The other mice did not have this problem but neither were they as intelligent as him. Such information was withheld from me. Films of my lab tests were now being shown. The audience laughed when they saw how I stupid I looked in the tests. No one considered me a human being. It was Nemur’s turn to speak. I was deeply angry inside. I realized that the results were premature and it would require longer before the results could be presented. Just when it was my turn to speak, I released Algernon. Nemur begged the others to get Algernon. Everyone was on a merry go round chase for the mouse. I managed to find Algernon and I kept him in my pocket, without telling anyone else. The plan was to take off and never return. Initially, I thought of seeing my parents as soon as I could and travel to New York.

Progress Report 14. The press was mad that we escaped. My parents didn’t know where I was. I saw her picture in the newspaper. She had a split personality and I was very confused as to how I was being treated. I didn’t know why I wanted to see mum anymore. Long ago, mum wanted to send me to Warren State Home and I could still remember vividly. She wanted to protect Norma’s development. I was tempted to call Alice but decided against it. I found an apartment near the library. Algernon can drink and watch TV. I wanted to build Algernon a complicated maze. I met Fay Lillman, my neighbor. My neighbor invited me into her apartment. It was like an art studio in a mess. This place was heavily burglared. She wanted to have a beer with me and I agreed to it. There were self-portraits and nude paintings. She later put on some clothing when we started chatting more. I left the house as I couldn’t think I could stay there. Later, I invited her to my place. She suggested we dance. She commented that my place was too neat and that stifled creativity. She started playing on the piano. Later she ventured into the room and saw the maze. Then, she left abruptly, saying she had to meet another date. Everything about her was attractive.

I went to look for Dad, Matt, at a barbershop. Dad always dreamt of being his own boss. Dad liked to defend me when I was younger. I had to remind who I was before he too notice. He trimmed my hair. I recalled the past now. My mum was once again persuading dad to send me to the Warren State Hospital. I didn’t have the courage to tell the story. I felt faint when I realized he didn’t recognize me. He should have seen how different I was now. I left the shop and did not reveal that I was his son.

I added time sequences to Algernon’s maze. However, his behavior was erratic at times. Fay brought a female white mouse to keep him company. I’m glad that Algernon was no longer alone and was with ‘Minnie’. Fay introduced me to a man named Leroy. Later on, I heard noise from her apartment. She was apparently having sex with him in the room. However he made a pass on her. I revealed that I wanted her and she showed me her bosom. I felt her emotional level was right for me. I wasn’t feeling well that night and she admitted she liked me. We started drinking gin. She got me drunk that night. I acted strange when I was drunk. I was all confused and silly and I talked about how I wanted to go to school and be smart. She had the feeling that I had some compulsive disorder. I did act like a little kid when I was high. The Charlie from the past was still with me.

I headed to the cinemas to watch movies alone. I wanted to be with others in the darkness. I spotted a young boy who was a dishwasher but after dropping some dishes, the rest started laughing at him. I begged the others to believe that he was a human being. The boy reminded me of the old Charlie. It was unbelievable that initially I did too join in the laughter. That really hurt

Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men…A child may not know how to feed itself, or what to eat, yet it knows hunger. – Charlie Gordon

I wanted to contribute back by working on improved human intelligence. I wanted to tell Alice about my dream to help the other retarded people around. I called Alice. I told her that the old Charlie exists. The emotional problems can’t be solved like intellectual ones. I started crying. The old Charlie didn’t seem to want me to like Alice. I wanted it to be dark, so that I could visualize Fay and yet have Alice. But after a while, I pushed her away and admitted that the old Charlie didn’t allow me to love her. I simply wanted her body but did not love her. I left her apartment and wanted to return to the lab once I was ready. Eventually, I headed home and knocked on Fay’s door. Apparently I was coming on to strongly and she didn’t like it. She didn’t want me to disappoint her this time. When doing it to her, I imagined someone else at the window watching me.

I didn’t know how much time I had left and whether I would remain intelligent forever. I needed to find out the side-effects of the experiment. I grew closer to Fay and stopped wandering on the streets. She was a free spirit who didn’t care about much stuff. Fay was divorced 5 years ago. It was not love we felt but I did liked hanging out with her. I dedicated my first piano concerto to her. She was bright and good-hearted. She was open and trusting. Fay and I kept dancing all the time and visited different clubs. Minnie seemed to be afraid of Algernon after his erratic behavior. Algernon bit Fay today. There was a gash in Minnie’s chest. Algernon’s actions were kid of getting out of control. I was going to call Nemur to find out why.

Progress Report 15. Burt, Nemur and Strauss were all waiting for me. Nemur was grateful that I was back. Burt indicated that Algernon had forgotten most of the complex responses required in the maze. I could have everything that I wanted, but time was the barrier. I probed Nemur to find out what plans he had for me if the experiment failed somehow. I wanted to visit Warren as a visitor. Their plan was to send me to Warren if the experiment failed.

Progress Report 16. This was the day I headed to Warren. I headed and visited the head psychologist, Winslow. There were no closed gates and people would be free to leave. However, most of them can’t survive outside and will return. He showed me how the place was run and how they took care of the boys

Normal kids grow up too soon, stop needing you… go off on their own… forget who loved them and took care of them. But these children need all you can give – all of their lives. It was hard work. – Thelma

There was a huge waiting list of patients trying to enter the mental hospital. There were some who were deaf-mutes and also those that were emotionally unstable. I believed that no one was beyond help.

There are a lot of people who will give money or materials, but very few who will give time and affection. – Winslow

I wanted to visit my mum but first I had to work on my research. I was disappointed with Algernon’s behavior. Fay hated it when I talked about work. My room was getting messier and not as orderly as usual. I was changing. Alice finally met Fay. They liked each other. To Fay, sunbathing could solve the world’s moral problems. Alice was concerned about her influence on my drinking habits. Alice said I could see her and that she might, in a way, be good for me. I went home to make love to Fay. Fay was getting to resentful over my work. I had to cram a lifetime’s worth of research into a few weeks. Memory and the present confuse me and sometimes I don’t know which is which. Fay had a new boyfriend. They were on her couch already. Algernon reacted violently when he didn’t complete the maze. Suddenly he curled up into a ball and didn’t want to move. It was weird and I couldn’t understand such behavior.

If I can find out that out, and if it adds even one jot of information to whatever else has been discovered about mental retardation and the possibility of helping others like myself, I will be satisfied. Whatever happens to me, I will have lived a thousand normal lives by what I might add to others not yet born. – Charlie Gordon

I am now really absorbed in my work. This is pure joy. Fay’s new boyfriend is also a dance instructor at the Stardust Ballroom. I was making little headway in my research. I needed the whole mind to work hard at solving the problem. I headed to Mrs Nemur’s cocktail party. Conversation with others was difficult because they would always hide in their shell. The issue with this kind of research was usually funding. Strauss and Raynor wanted to take this research and make the results permanent. I didn’t really feel I belonged at the party and left. Strauss slammed me for being ungrateful. Nemur wanted to hear what I had to say. I turned from a nice retarded man into an arrogant, anti-social bastard. Everyone thought I was drunk when I spoke

I’ve learned a lot in the past few months, not only about myself, but about life and people, and I’ve discovered that nobody really cares about Charlie Gordon, whether he’s a moron or a genius. So what difference does it make? – Charlie Gordon

The problem, dear professor, is that you wanted someone who could be made intelligent but still be kept in a cage and displayed when necessary to reap the honors you seek. The hitch is that I’m a person. – Charlie Gordon

I’ve learned that intelligence alone doesn’t mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there’s one thing you’ve all overlooked: intelligence and education that hasn’t been tempered by human affection isn’t worth a damn. – Charlie Gordon

Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love…And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain. – Charlie Gordon

When I was retarded I had lots of friends. Now I have no one. Of, I know lots of people. Lots and lots of people. But I don’t have any real friends. Not like I used to have in the bakery. Not a friend in the world who means anything to me, and no one I mean anything to. – Charlie Gordon

I saw the old Charlie in the mirror in the toilet. I was not ready to give up my intelligence. Why am I so alone in the world? I headed back to the lab at 4:30am to continue. I wrote a letter to Professor Nemur. I have completed my research on the study of increased intelligence. Algernon has regressed mentally and was suffering from amnesia. ‘Artificially-Induced Intelligence deteriorates at a rate of time directly proportional to the quantity of the increase.’ I knew that I would deteriorate rapidly. Although this would happen, I was still grateful for having improved the knowledge of mankind. I must not panic and should try to recall as much as possible when I’m still intelligent. Alice cried on learning the news. The scientists were working on my paper now. No one was to be blamed for any of this. I didn’t want to see anyone suffer. Professor Nemur says that my results were confirmed. The current science cannot overcome the problem. Time is the key factor. I will not have the time to pursue more research.

I started becoming more forgetful. Algernon passed away 2 days ago. My research was proven right. I buried Algernon and put flowers on his grave. I would see mum tomorrow. I saw Rose three days ago. I spotted her but didn’t walk away. She didn’t seem to recognize me too. She did gasp ‘Charlie!’ After that she entered the house and locked the door. I banged on the glass and wanted to enter the house. I broke into the house. Later she finally came out. I explained the whole experiment that I undergone. She was surprised and wanted to tell everyone that I was normal again. For the first time, she was happy. I needed to go off now. I gave her a scientific report called the Algernon-Gordon Effect. Norma also didn’t recognize her but later was in shock once she knew I was Charlie. She was pleased to learn that I was a genius. Now, Norma was warm and affectionate. She hated me in the past because I was not punished for being slow. Should I be pleased that she was closer to me? Would she be so nice if I were retarded again? Norma didn’t want me to go and clung to me. Rose suddenly grabbed the knife and thought I was trying to hurt Norma. Now, Rose ordered me out of the house. I reluctantly left.

Progress Report 17. My condition was heading downhill. I tried to recall being intelligent again. I am edgy and irritable. I suffered a hallucination when talking to Dr Strauss. I told him therapy would just prolong the inevitable and was a waste of time. I had this strange sensation that old Charlie was coming back. I let the light in. This was the last time I wanted to see Dr Strauss. I found it increasingly difficult to write anything. It took me longer to complete the race. I tried the Rorschach test. It was impossible! I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do for the test anymore. I told everyone no more tests for me. At that moment, I just wanted to be alone. I picked up Paradise Lost but couldn’t remember what it was about anymore. I could picture myself learning to read like old Charlie. In a fit of anger, I ripped the book apart. Please, God, don’t take it all away. I couldn’t remember where I lived anymore. There is nothing I can do about it.

Alice was in my apartment now. She wanted to see me after she heard I was acting all weird. She wanted to spend time with me. Until I went to Warren, Alice would spend time with me. It felt powerful, something better than love. It was then that I realized how powerful physical love was. We went to a concert together but I couldn’t pay attention. My mind was deteriorating rapidly. I did not understand the scientific paper I wrote. My motor skills were deteriorating. Alice kept cleaning up after me. I kept watching tv. The child was reclaiming my mind. I lost the ability to read German. Alice as gone. I didn’t want her cleaning up my stuff anymore. She admitted that I was still very cold towards her. That’s more to it than just having a high IQ.

I could only write using longhand now. I decided to keep reading stuff I didn’t understand and perhaps that could still help me a little. Fay didn’t understand me anymore. I was lying in bed very often nowadays. Mrs Mooney was worried about me. I have to keep re-reading stuff now. It is very difficult to write. I still placed flowers on Algernon’s grave.

It’s getting chilly out but I still put flowers on Algernon’s grave. Mrs Mooney think I’m silly to put flower on a mouse’s grave but I told her that Algernon was a special mouse. – Charlie Gordon

Mrs Mooney called a doctor to see me. I ran out of the house after he didn’t believe that I was previously a genius. I needed to earn money and wanted to visit the bakery again. Alice came but I didn’t want to let her in.

Mr Donner was very nice when I visited the bakery again. Klaus bullied me and I crapped in my pant. But Joe Carp grabbed him and scolded Klaus and warned him not to touch me again. Joe wanted to tell Donner that he should get fired but I decided to forgive Klaus. Joe and Frank were finally my friends. I tried attending Alice’s class but she was so choked with emotion that she left. I decided to attend Warren Home School again. Looking back, I was glad I learned a lot of stuff in this world and that I discovered my family

Im glad I got a second chanse in life like you said to be smart because I lerned a lot of things that I never even new were in this werld and Im grateful I saw it all even for a little bit. – Charlie Gordon

Anyway I bet Im the frist dumb persen in the world who found out some thing inportent for sience. I did something but I dont remember what. So I gess its like I did it for all the dumb pepul like me all over the werld. – Charlie Gordon

P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard.

flowers-for-algernon-by-daniel-keyes

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Neil moved into his new flat in Sussex, South of England. There was a door that opened and a brick wall was on the other side. The book was for my daughter who liked scary stuff. In the story, Coraline would end up rescuing her parents. Although I took very long to complete writing it, people still liked it and the book managed to win awards. It was about being brave and doing the right thing

Being brave didn’t mean you weren’t scared. Being brave meant that you were scared, really scared, badly scared, and you did the right thing anyway. – Coraline

Coraline discovered the door in the old house. Miss Spink and Miss Forcible lived below her. They used to be famous actresses. There was an old man who was planning a mouse circus living above her. He wouldn’t show her how the mouse performed. Coraline explored the garden, the well and looked for animals. Her mum cooked for her but Coraline liked to explore the house. Her parents worked from home. Her dad allowed her to explore the drawing room but warned that she should not touch anything. Coraline took a count of every door, window in the house. There was a door which opened to a brick wall. She didn’t lock the door. Deep in the night, she heard a creek. It was a black shape and it was in the drawing room. Later, when she switched on the lights, the black shape disappeared and there was only a brick wall. The black shapes started to sing but Coraline ignored them and went to sleep.

Coraline met Miss Spink on her way out of the house. She explored the area and went back after a while. The old man above her waved at her. It was misty and they started chatting. The mice warned Coraline not to go through the door. Coraline tried to kill time by drawing. Her parents were busy and she played with Miss Spink and Miss Forcible instead. Miss Spink read her future and warned that she would be in serious danger. To her, many adults didn’t make sense when they spoke. Miss Spink gave Coraline a stone with a hole in it for safekeeping.

Her dad headed to London for a business trip. Coraline went shopping with her mum. She wondered what was in the empty flat beside their house. Her mum later left to run errands and left Coraline alone at home. Now, she grabbed the keys and entered the empty room again. When she opened the door, a dark hallway awaited her. The interiors were exactly like her home and she was confused. There was a lady who touched her, her skin was like paper and she much slimmer. It was her other mother. Her other father was also in the house. The food was wonderful and the three of them had a meal together. Later, her other mother would let her play with rats and she grew excited. There were many objects that caught her attention. The rats gathered and started to sing ‘We have teeth and we have tails; We have tails we have eyes; We were here before you fell; You will be here when we rise.’ The rats returned to the old man and he welcomed her to visit anytime. Now, Coraline started to explore the house on the outside.

She met a cat who could speak. The cat seemed familiar. Coraline said that they could be friends. The cat appeared arrogant. The cat mentioned something about her bringing protection…. Later, Coraline continued exploring and came into a dark theatre where a dog started speaking to her. Later, the dog directed her to an empty seat. All of the other members of the audience were dogs and they were watching Miss Spink and Forcible perform. Later, Coraline volunteered herself on stage. Miss Forcible was blindfolded and she, thankfully, threw a knife on a balloon perched on Coraline’s head. She gave the chocolates she won to the dog. Later, she walked out of the theatre and saw her parents. Now, her other parents persuaded her to stay in the other house forever. Her other mother placed her hand on her and Coraline backed off. Then, she made her exit and headed back to her real home. Her heart was pounding wildly as her other parents tried to stalk her.

Cats don’t have names. Now, people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names. – The Cat

Coraline was home now. Her parents were not in for the entire day and she entertained herself. Her parents seemed to have disappeared. A cat led Coraline to her parents, who were in a mirror and appeared sad. They wrote this message ‘Help Us’. The police refused to take action as they didn’t believe her story. Coraline was talking to the cat about how brave her dad was in the past. His dad let Coraline run first so that not many wasps would sting her. She wanted to go back into the dark world to save her parents. Her other mother saw her and hugged her tightly. She demanded the return of her real parents. Her other mother promised to take good care of her. Her other parents were tired and went to sleep. The cat admitted that her other parents wanted someone to love and that is why they were so fond of Coraline. The cat advised Coraline to challenge and play games with her.

Coraline woke up after her night of sleep. She changed and placed the stone in her pocket. Her other mother locked the door and prevented from going back to her real house. There was a bowl of glass on the mantelpiece. Later, Coraline explored the trees outside the house. A cat approached her suddenly and they started conversing. It seemed like the world was something the other mother created and everything was not real. The rats were apparently the spies of the other mother. The cat caught a rat in that moment. Coraline went back in the house, only to be confronted by her other mother. She wanted to play games with the girl. All this while, Coraline acted very rebellious. Her other mother ate beetles for a snack. She was pissed at Coraline’s behaviour and threw Coraline into a dim space behind the mirror.

She was placed into a small closet. Later, she heard a voice. There were little children in the closet who refused to reveal their names. The other children suffered the same fate as Coraline and some of them never saw their real parents again. They encouraged Coraline to flee. The other mother would remove your heart and soul and make you feel meaningless. There were 3 other children in the closet and Coraline was starting to feel hungry. The other children didn’t think they could escape because their hearts were stolen and they could not be exposed to light.

One day, the other mother came to pick up Coraline. Coraline challenged her to a game, where if she lost, she would continue staying with her. If she won, Coraline would get reunited with her real parents and the children would be released. The game would be to explore and find her real parents. Coraline started to comb the house with the stone in hand and attempted to look for the souls. Now, she looked through the stone and everything appeared grey except a bright orange object on the floor. The orange marble was one of the souls she uncovered. There were still two more to go. The weather worsened and the sand gushed in the wind. Once she entered the abandoned theatre, Coraline searched the room for a soul. There was a sac in the theatre and had the form of a monster. After looking through the stone, she concluded that it was a soul and that she had to approach it even if she was extremely fearful of it. She grabbed the marble from the creature. The creature resembled the other Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and woke up as soon as Coraline grabbed the marble. Thankfully, Coraline escaped in the nick of time.

Coraline returned to the house and updated her other mother that she found 2 souls. Her other mother seemed furious and cross. Although she did provide love, she was not real and Coraline had to leave her behind. Later, she handed Coraline a key to an empty room. It seemed like a trick but Coraline did explore the room. There was a cold ring set in the floorboards and she tugged at it. Then, after tugging, a trapdoor opened and Coraline continued to explore. After much difficulty, she found a foot sticking out from the curtains. It was pale and puffed up, but had the shape of a human. Coraline retreated in horror. It was her other father. The other mother punished him for telling Coraline too much initially. When the other mother was unhappy, everyone else would suffer. The thing approached her now. Later Coraline plucked out his other button eye and the thing wailed in pain. She managed to close the trapdoor and prevented the thing from following her. After she exited the room, the other mother was not waiting for her.

Now, Coraline explored the topmost flat, where the crazy man lived. A part of her feared entering, but she felt nothing could trump her previous experiences. Many mice were staring at her and there was a terrible stench. Everything was all made up by the other mother. The snowglobe on the mantelpiece gave Coraline a clue. The voice encouraged her to love her new world, where it was more exciting. The voice was coming from under the old man’s hat. Coraline knew that he possessed a soul after looking at him through the stone. Later, all of a sudden, the man disintegrated and many rats ran about. The largest one of them was holding the remaining soul. She kept her focus on the one with the marble and followed it. Coraline was hurt after a fall while chasing the rat and the rat eventually got away. As she started to wallow in self-pity, the rat appeared. Well, the cat actually attacked it and brought the dead rat to her. With the three marbles, all she needed to do was to find her parents. The thing was that the other mother couldn’t create anything new, but could only transform, twist and change reality. The appearance of the house was appearing like a drawing instead of a photograph now. The cat was weak and trembling and Coraline carried it. The door shrank much but Coraline still managed to enter it.

You really don’t understand, do you? I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? – Coraline

The other mother appeared and talked to Coraline. Her other mother stared at Coraline while she entered the drawing room. She was awful-looking and didn’t resemble her mother at all. She challenged Coraline to look for her parents and suggested that they might be in the cellar. Coraline said they were in the passageway between the houses. Now the other mother smiled on hearing Coraline’s answer. She started drawing the key to open the door. Coraline backed away to the mantelpiece. Coraline threw the cat on the other mother and it started scratching and attacking her. Black stuff oozed out from her other mother’s face. In the meantime, Coraline grabbed the snowglobe on the mantelpiece. The cat followed her into the corridor. Now, Coraline closed the door. With the help of the other children, the door shut even though the other mother tried to open it. Coraline started on her uphill run. She managed to make out the 5 figures in the vicinity, there were three children and two adults. The world now seemed normal and the scenery outside was beautiful. Now, Coraline felt into a deep sleep.

It was her real mother who woke her up the next day. Her parents didn’t realize what had happened. The marbles were still in her pocket intact. It certainly wasn’t just a dream. Coraline ate the pizza that dad made for her.  To be safe, she kept the key around her neck. She dreamt in her sleep now. It was a picnic setting with three other children. The children were very grateful for the experience. Later, everyone headed to the meadow to play. Everything they did was a pure joy to watch. They were grateful for Coraline’s help. The boy started holding her hand. The boy advised her to be wise, brave and tricky in order to survive. The children headed off to the huge moon. There was a rustling noise outside her room now. Apparently it wasn’t over yet. Something was heading to the front door. It was like a crab scuttling around. It was her other mother’s right hand which was looking for the black key.

It was the next day. The marbles now looked like dead eggshells once the children had been released. Hamish the Scottie dog was injured while fighting with a hand. The old man’s mice were scared and didn’t want to play any musical instruments too. In the night, the hand crept to her window ledge. Coraline grabbed her picnic items and headed out to the meadow. She removed planks in the ground to reveal a brick-lined hole in the ground. Coraline wanted to give others the impression that was enjoying herself. Then, later she checked on Hamish’s condition. Now, Coraline held the key and sauntered through the woods. She placed the key on the tablecloth which covered the well. It was all up to the hand now. The hand did come and it leapt onto the tablecloth. The weight of the hand caused it to drop into the well. Coraline covered the well with the planks. Soon after, the cat appeared all excited at what Coraline did. When she returned to the house, the old man promised that she could watch the mice perform. She returned the stone to Miss Spink and Miss Forcible. Everyone thought that Coraline was an extraordinary girl. Coraline could look forward to school with optimism. Nothing fazed her anymore.

Coraline_Paperback_1258910704

Business related quotes 1 to 50

  1. ‘When you see your competitor drowning, grab a fire hose and put it in his mouth.’ Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds
  2. ‘I will spend as much money as I need to make sure my little girls go to Chinese schools, because the best skill I can give to two people born in 2003 and 2008 is to know Asia and to speak Mandarin fluently.’ Jim Rogers
  3. ‘If you don’t ask, it will never happen.’ Renee Haugerud, on her mantra for career success
  4. ‘You innovate faster than your fakes. That’s how you play in the technology game.’ Ryan Lee
  5. ‘If you’re put together properly, you have a fiduciary gene like Warren Buffett and me, and if you’ve told people that you can get them extraordinary results, then you really hate the idea of not delivering for them.’ Charlie Munger, on the need to meet others’ expectations
  6. ‘Everybody should do this, be the client, and then work for other people, too, and sell yourself an hour a day.’ Charles Munger
  7. ‘We do not attain the victory of life by selfishness. Victory is for those who give themselves to causes beyond themselves. It is very biblical and very true that everyone who exalts themselves will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted. That is a text for all of us.’ Melinda Gates
  8. ‘A reputation is like fine china, expensive to acquire, and easily broken.’ Peter Kiewit
  9. ‘First, honesty. Second, hard work. Next, if you don’t get the job you want right away, tell them you’ll take anything. If you’re good, they’ll keep you.’ Rose Blumkin, on success
  10. ‘I had a considerable passion to get rich. Not because I wanted Ferraris – I wanted the independence. I desperately wanted it. I thought it was undignified to have to send invoices to other people. I don’t know where I got the notion from, but I had it.’ Charles Munger
  11. ‘How can I find somebody? Out of twenty million people in California, half are women. Of these ten million, only two million are of an appropriate age. From that group, a million and a half would be married, leaving five hundred thousand. Three hundred thousand of them are too dumb, fifty thousand are too smart, and of the remaining hundred fifty thousand, the number I would want to marry would fit on a basketball court. I’ve got to find one of those. And then I’ve got to be on her basketball court.’ Charles Munger
  12. ‘You should never, when facing some unbelievable tragedy, let one tragedy increase into two or three through your failure of will.’ Charlie Munger, on his decision to marry again after his divorce
  13. ‘Remember one thing, Warren (Buffett): Money isn’t making that much difference in how you and I live. We’re both going down to the cafeteria for lunch and working every day and having a good time. So don’t worry too much about money, because it won’t make much difference in how you live.’ Benjamin Graham
  14. ‘I don’t take breaks in my search for value. There is no golf or other hobby to distract me. Seeing value is what I do.’ Michael Burry, on his passion for value investing
  15. ‘You have to understand. I did subprime first. I lived with the worst first. These guys lied to infinity. What I learned from that experience was that Wall Street didn’t give a shit what it sold.’ Steve Eisman
  16. ‘Derivatives are like guns. The problem isn’t the tools. It’s who is using the tools.’ Michael Lewis
  17. ‘In 2008 it was the entire financial system that was at risk. We were still short. But you don’t want the system to crash. It’s sort of like the flood’s about to happen and you’re Noah. You’re on the ark. Yeah, you’re okay. But you are not happy looking out at the flood. That’s not a happy moment for Noah.’ Steve Eisman
  18. ‘I have always believed that a single talented analyst, working very hard, can cover an amazing amount of investment landscape, and this belief remains unchallenged in my mind.’ Michael Burry, who owned Scion Capital from 2000 to 2008. Scion Capital managed a 489 percent return as compared to S&P 500’s 2 percent over this period.
  19. ‘We turned off CNBC. It became very frustrating that they weren’t in touch with reality anymore. If something negative happened, they’d spin it positive. If something positive happened, they’d blow it out of proportions. It alters your mind. You can’t be clouded with shit like that.’ Danny Moses, just before the US subprime crisis.
  20. ‘You know when you’re with someone who is intellectually powerful: You just know it. When you sit down with Richard Posner (the legal scholar), you know it’s Richard Posner. When you sit down with the ratings agencies, you know it’s the ratings agencies.’ Steve Eisman
  21. ‘Senior management’s job is to pay people. If they fuck a hundred guys out a hundred grand each, that’s ten million more for them. They have four categories: happy, satisfied, dissatisfied, disgusted. If they hit happy, they’re screwed up: They never want you happy. On the other hand, they don’t want you so disgusted you quit. The sweet spot is somewhere between dissatisfied and disgusted.’ Greg Lippmann, on being underpaid as a bond trader
  22. ‘Why should you pay twenty million to a 32 year old trader? He uses office space, the IT, the business card with a first class name on it. If I take the business card away from that guy he would probably sell hot dogs.’ Klaus-Peter Muller, Commerzbank chairman
  23. ‘I have never in my life slept so little, because I was so eager to learn. I slept two or three hours a night because I was sitting beside him (a fishing legend)… The reach of the trawler. The most efficient angle of the net. How do you act on the sea. If you have a bad day, what do you do? If you’re not fishing at this depth, what do you do? If it’s not working, do you move in depth or space? In the end it’s just so much feel. In this time I learned infinitely more than I learned in school. Because how do you learn to fish in school?’ Stefan Alfsson, an Icelandic fisherman.
  24. “I read this article saying that setting up a business you essentially have do five years of work in one year, and I think that’s about right.” says Richard Reed, an entrepreneur.
  25. ‘Without clients you will not make money. In fact you will not even exist.’
  26. “It was a very practical thing, because I’ve always felt that business is something that is very real — you learn it on the streets and through practical experience,”
  27. ‘If necessary, I will bring in outsiders, but you will each first get a chance to prove yourself, and I hope you will give me some time to prove myself to you. Everyone starts with a clean slate. Neither your successes nor fauilures in the past count with me.’ Louis Gerstner
  28. ‘It is not helpful to feel sorry for ourselves. I’m sure our employees don’t need any rah-rah speeches. We need leadership and a sense of direction and momentum, not just from me but from all of us. I don’t want to see a lot of prophets of doom around here. I want can-do people looking for short-term victories and long-term excitement.’ Louis Gerstner
  29. ‘One of the first things I learned was that whatever hard or painful things you have to do, do them quickly and make sure everyone knows what you are doing and why…dithering and delay almost always compounds a negative solution. I believe in getting the problem behind me quickly and moving on.’ Louis Gerstner
  30. ‘In comparison, changing the attitude and behavior of hundreds of thousands of people is very, very hard to accomplish. Business schools don’t teach you how to do it. You can’t lead the revolution from the splendid isolation of corporate HQ. You can’t simply give a couple of speeches or write a new credo for the company and declare that the new culture has taken hold. You can’t mandate it, can’t engineer it.’ Louis Gerstner
  31. ‘There are no IFs in my vernacular. We are going to do it. We’re going to do it together. This is going to be a group of change agents – people who are imbued with the feeling of empowerment and opportunity, for ourselves and all our colleagues. Those of you who are uncomfortable with it, you should think about doing something else. Those of you who are excited about it, I welcome you to the team, because I sure can’t do it alone.’ Louis Gerstner
  32. ‘I decided, like many of you, that this was the best company in the world at which to spend my career. IBM is a fascinating, important, frustrating, exhausting and fulfilling experience – and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.’ Louis Gerstner, ex-CEO of IBM
  33. ‘Stick to your knitting; dance with the partner who brought you. History shows that great and successful companies go through constant and sometimes difficult self-renewal of the base business. They don’t jump into new pools where they have no sense of the depth or temperature of the water.’ Louis Gerstner
  34. ‘A hallmark of true expertise and insight is making a complex subject understandable. A hallmark of mediocrity and bad strategy is unnecessary complexity – a flurry of fluff masking an absence of substance.’ Richard Rumelt
  35. ‘Bad strategy is long on goals and short on policy or action. It assumes that goals are all you need. It puts forward strategic objectives that are incoherent and, sometimes, totally impracticable. It uses high-sounding words and phrases to hide these failings.’ Richard Rumelt
  36. ‘Never try to start a company with something you don’t like, because it will never go anywhere. Only do something that you truly enjoy.’ Timothy Mitchell
  37. ‘I have seen thousands of ideas die on the vine, because the individuals that have them never get over that fear of failing.’ Timothy Mitchell
  38. ‘Never put yourself in a position where you’re risking your family and risking putting food on the table. I’ve seen a number of people go there and lose it all. Family and everything.’ Timothy Mitchell
  39. ‘Every business I’ve founded, I thought would be successful within three years. Absolutely none of them were successful within three years. It’s always taken twice as long, three times as long, as I imagined it would.’ Jon Myers
  40. ‘What really makes successful entrepreneurs is not the nature of their idea, or the university they went to, but their actual character – their willingness to adapt their idea and take advantage of possibilities they had not first imagined. This is precisely the trait – fluidity of mind – that Graham had identified in himself and in other inventors. The other essential character trait was supreme tenacity.’ Robert Greene
  41. ‘If Roman Abramovich helped me out in training we would be bottom of the league and if I had to work in his world of big business, we would be bankrupt!’ Jose Mourinho (on his relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich)
  42. ‘We need to find stuff that we can take into the meeting with the client, so we can say, look, this is what we found, can you explain that? How do we justify our fee if we dig up absolutely nothing? At the other end of the spectrum there is the opposite dynamic. The more we find, the more extra work we need to do. That pushes up our cost to the client, or eats into our revenues. You could argue that on an individual basis accountants are incentivised not to find something.’ Joris Luyendijk, an external auditor in the UK. Hard truths
  43. ‘The people who invented the 21st century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve (Jobs), because they saw differently. The hierachical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage the different thinking. The 60s produced an anarchic mindset that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.’ Bono, from the band U2
  44. “There is something indefinable in an entrepreneur, and I saw that in Steve (Jobs). He was interested not just in engineering, but also the business aspects. I taught him that if you act like you can do something, then it will work. I told him, ‘Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are.’” Nolan Bushnell
  45. “Another key aspect of Steve Job’s worldview was his binary way of categorizing things. People were either ‘enlightened’ or ‘an asshole’. Their work was either ‘the best’ or ‘totally shitty’.” Walter Isaacson
  46. ‘Well, Steve (Jobs), I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.’ Bill Gates (on how Apple used Xerox’s Graphical User Inferface and introduced it in their Macintosh)
  47. ‘You have to stick within what I call your circle of competence (those matters which you understand well and intuitively). You have to know what you understand and what you don’t understand. It’s not terribly important how big the circle is. But it is terribly important that you know where the perimeter is.’ Charlie Munger
  48. ‘There’s nothing more effective in selling anything than getting the customer to believe, really believe, that you like him and care about him.’ Joe Girard (one of the most successful car salesman in the world)
  49. ‘Do you know any private bankers, insurance agents or financial AUDITORS who do their job out of passion or who believe in a higher mission? I don’t. Financial incentives and performance bonuses work well in industries with generally uninspiring jobs – industries where employees aren’t proud of the products or the companies and do the work simply because they get a pay cheque.’ Rolf Dobelli (The Art of Thinking Clearly)
  50. ‘There is an information asymmetry – the person you are looking for does exist but you don’t know where to find them. On the other hand, because you are aiming for such an ideal partner, the person who does have the qualities you are looking for might not love you back in reality.’ Gong Haiyan, founder of China’s most popular dating website

businesses

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey wanted to learn from someone 25 years his junior. He didn’t create the principles but put together them for others. This book was created after 30 years of research. The book focuses on timeless principles and about character-building. The book contains many anecdotes and stories as well. Leadership is all about character. Bill Gates was a very proactive person. This book is more on achieving great personal effectiveness. Have a life purpose that is beyond yourself. When you read it, you can feel the book speaking back to you.

He did save a man who appeared to be drowning. He had 9 children. Steven (His dad) passed away in July 2012. His plan was to unleash human potential in a big way. He was a man of great integrity. Later, he met many of the heads of state. He didn’t believe in being a hypocrite. Short naps were his thing and his way of recharging. The only lasting way of success is to live by your timeless principles. He wanted us to serve others to attain true happiness. The principles are still very useful today.

Life is a lot more complex as compared to when it was published in 1989. They will continue to be relevant years ahead. Fear and insecurity are common problems. Blame and victimism are others. The feeling of hopelessness sucks. Lack of life balance is a real problem. Keep thinking about yourself only. People are hungry to be understood. They do not listen well. Conflict and differences arise. Learn to develop personal mission statements. Apply what you have learned. Try to inculcate it in your daily lives.

Sometimes, professional success might affect your personal life. You can’t keep to a diet properly. Problems can be deep and can be difficult to solve. Our son was doing poorly at school and was also bullied at school. We tried giving rewards when he did something well. Learn to change yourself before changing others. A lot of the past literature on self-improvement focused on the superficial stuff. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is about his character ethic. People can only achieve happiness if they integrate principles into their basic character. Now, it is the personality ethic. Character took a backseat for a while. The key is to learn to focus on yourself instead. See everyone in their own unique space and respect their inner selves. Sometimes, you just have to accept yourself for who you are. Character traits are first, personality traits are second. If you try to use tactics on others to motivate them but if you have a flawed character, it is difficult to be successful. Your true motives will be revealed sooner or later. There are also situations where people have character strength but lack communication skills. The 7 habits are all primary principles. A paradigm is a theory of something else. The accuracy of your character is more important than your attitude or diligence. Our mental map must be correct. ‘Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.’ Conditioning affects our perceptions. It is difficult to be truly objective as we are always seeing things from where we are. There are paradigm shifts whenever someone creates a new theory. Sometimes, people are a little weird because of how they were brought up or the circumstances that happened before the event. To change your life in a drastic way, you need to work on the basic paradigms. Work on the roots of the problem. Learn to see things from the other person’s angle. Paradigms affect how we see the world. Principles are like lighthouse. Fairness is one of the main principles. Integrity and honesty are principles, so is human dignity. Service, excellence, potential are all other principles. Growth is another. So is patience, nurturance, and encouragement. Principles are not values and they are guidelines for human behavior. It takes time. There are no shortcuts sometimes. It is possible to put on a false front for a stranger. Borrowed strength can’t last forever. The Way We See the Problem is the Problem. Don’t seek quick fixes. A new level of thinking is required. Change yourself before trying to change others. Think inside out.

Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil – the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what man really is, not what he pretends to be. – William George Jordan

Our level of development is fairly obvious with tennis or piano playing, where it is impossible to pretend. But it is not so obvious in the areas of character and emotional development. – Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits – An Overview. ‘Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.’ Habits are super powerful. It is always most difficult in the beginning. Habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire. Move from dependence to independence and interdependence. Interdependence is the higher state for humans. The first 3 chapters are on private victories. Habit 7 is about continual growth. They are all habits of effectiveness. Effectiveness is measured by production and production capability. There are 3 types of assets: physical, financial and human. You need to respect both P and PC. It is very important. The PC principle for companies is to always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers. Golden eggs = short-term solution. Read the book with the aim of sharing it with others. If you share with others, you will improve too.

Habits are like a cable. We weave a strand of it every day and soon it cannot be broken. – Horace Mann

Habit 1: Be Proactive. We are self-aware and conscious of our thought process. We are not our feelings. There are 3 types of determinism. The first is genetic determinism, the second is psychic determination (parents), the last is environmental determinism. A stimulus leads to a response. The author shares a story about Viktor Frankl. No one can take away your basic identity and how an event will affect you. He helped others find meaning in their suffering and dignity. ‘Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.’ Man’s capacity is unlimited. The habit of proactivity now arises. Do not blame circumstances and conditions. The proactive model consists of ‘self-awareness, imagination, conscience and independent will.’ Reactive people are affected by social and physical environment. They build their lives around emotions. Proactive people are driven by values. No one has the power to hurt you unless you give them consent. There are 3 central values in life: 1) experiential; 2) creative; 3) attitudinal. Act or be acted upon. It makes a heck lot of difference between someone who is proactive and not proactive. Develop your proactive muscles. Ask yourself what can you do about it? How can you respond? Proactivity is also being realistic. Listen to our language. Being proactive is to transfer the responsibility to yourself. If you are reactive, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Love is a verb, not a feeling. Love is something you do and give. Create a ‘Circle of Concern’ to see whether things are in your control or outside your control. Channel your energies only on those things which you can control. Circle of Influence is within the Circle of Concern. Negative energy reduces the circle of influence. Direct control means working on your habits. Indirect control means changing our methods of influence. Learn to live with your problems even though you don’t like them. Expand the circle of influence. Proactive people aren’t pushy, rather, they are smart and value driven. The circle of concern is filled with ‘the have’s’…If I had this…. The circle on influence can be filled with ‘be’…I can be…. Learn to be different and say I can be more diligent, more creative. Happiness is the proactive choice. Think about consequences and mistakes. Acknowledge and learn from your mistakes. Do not deceive yourself. Keep commitments and promises is a manifestation of our proactivity. Make small commitments, keep them and follow through. Do the 30 day test. We are responsible to the bulk of life’s circumstances.

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. – Henry David Thoreau

Proactivity means that as human beings, we are responsible for our lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen. – Stephen Covey

Many people wait for something to happen or someone to take care of them. But people who end up with the good jobs are the proactive ones who are solutions to problems, not problems themselves, who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary, consistent with correct principles, to get the job done. – Stephen Covey

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Imagine yourself at your funeral. What would you like your speakers to say about you? Use the end of your life as the frame of reference. So you should only do the things that matter. Have a clear understanding of your destination. Know what is deeply important to you. All things are created twice. One is the mental creation, the other is the physical creation. First creations are by conscious design. The second design is either by us or by other people’s agendas or circumstances. Habit 2 is the first creation, Habit 1 is the fact that you are the creator. Check to see if you’re in the wrong jungle first. You must use your effort in the right jungle. Managers should venture into leadership, not just management. Learn to rescript yourself. The real victory is the one over yourself. Re-write your own script based on principles and values. Develop a personal mission statement that contains character, contributions, achievements, values and principles. It will be like the United States Constitution. Logotherapy helps man detect his unique meaning, his mission in life. With this mission comes proactivity. Your centre is surrounded by wisdom, power, guidance and security. Spouse centeredness is not good. Family centeredness as well. Money centeredness is another problem. Work centeredness, possession centeredness, pleasure centeredness. Pleasure offers no deep, lasting satisfaction or sense of fulfillment. Don’t get caught on the hedonic treadmill. Friend centeredness is succumbing to peer pressure. If you hate someone, don’t let him/her get into your thoughts. Church Centeredness can be a real issue. Self-centeredness is being selfish. How to identify your center? Do not fluctuate from one center to another. Principles don’t change. They are bigger than people or circumstances. We can’t choose the consequences to our principles. However, they are generally positive consequences. A principled person will act without emotion, take a step back, come up with alternatives, and take all factors into consideration. Habit 1 ‘You are the programmer’; Habit 2 ‘Write the program’. It takes you time to write a mission statement. Learn to use your whole brain. Develop both sides of your brain. Nowadays, we find it difficult to tap into our right brain. Learn to tap on it. You can create your own paradigms through imagination. The dominant of their activities is love. Use visualization and affirmation. Write the affirmation and visualize it. Identifying roles and goals. Writing helps integrate the conscious and subconscious minds. Goals must be an extension of your mission statement. Focus on results rather than activity. It should be specific and translate into activity. Families should have shared visions and values. Put the mission statement up on the wall. Review those goals twice a year. Everyone should participate in the mission statement for organizations. The problem is when the individual’s values are not aligned to the organization’s.

It means to be responsible for my own first creation, to rescript myself so that the paradigms from which my behavior and attitude flow are congruent with my deepest values and in harmony with correct principles. – Stephen Covey

Habit 3: Put First Things First. ‘Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’ Goethe. Answer these 2 questions: 1) What one thing could you do that, if you did it on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life? 2) What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results? Habit 3 is the physical creation whereas Habit 2 is based on imagination and conscience. Habit 3 is about effective self-management. Independent will is extremely important. It is the ability to make decisions and choices. Have the discipline to carry it out. What makes successful people so is that they put the important things first and have the discipline to do them. Organize and execute around priorities. Compare the activities with your goals. Make a plan to achieve those goals. Instead of managing time, manage yourself. Maintain the P/PC balance. They are often 4 kinds of tasks: Urgent and Important, Not urgent and important, Urgent and not important, not urgent and not important. Urgent and Important tasks might lead to stress, burnout etc. Make sure the task is important to yourself and not how others view them. Quadrant 2: Not Urgent but Important is the one that you should focus on. This includes writing a mission statement etc. Keep the quadrant 1 small. Focus on quadrant 2 instead. Quadrant 2 is about building relationships. Ask yourself what lies in quadrant 2 and your effectiveness will improve. You need to say ‘no’ to some of the stuff in quadrant 3 and 4. Decide what your true priorities should be. You must have a mission statement and principle guided life. Don’t just check off to do lists and think that you are effective. Your organizer will need these 6 criteria: Coherence with vision and mission; Balance (so that family, personal development, health are not neglected); Quadrant 2 (organize your life on a weekly basis); Have a people dimension; flexibility; portability. Learn to identify roles (like family member, individual etc). Select some goals. Write down what must be done in the week. Learn to schedule time for those tasks. Habit 3 says ‘Live the program’. Consider yourself in terms of effectiveness. The Quadrant 2 management system is principle-centred and conscience directed. Sometimes, you need to practice effective delegation. Delegation involves other people. If you spend one hour of input, you can potentially get a lot more output through delegation. Don’t simply tell people to do this, do that. The better form of delegation is stewardship delegation. It focuses on results instead of methods. The following need to be established: desired results; guidelines; resources; accountability; consequences. Trust is the highest form of human motivation but it takes time to build. Empowering others is good but it needs time.

If your priorities grow out of a principle center and a personal mission, if they are deeply planted in your heart and in your mind, you will see Quadrant II as a natural, exciting place to invest your time. – Stephen Covey

Paradigms of Interdependence. You can’t take shortcuts in the private victory. Sometimes, problems need time to be solved. Your actions should flow from your natural character. Interdependence opens up more opportunities for us. Caring for relationships is one of the keys to success. Emotional bank account is one that describes the trust level in a relationship. When the trust account is very high, communication is much easier. If it is low, you will start doubting yourself. We can use P/PC as a guide. You need to invest in relationships. Make sure the deposits exceed the withdrawals. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to listen. Building and repairing relationships take time. There are 6 major forms of deposits: 1) Understanding the Individual (Understand things from his point of view); 2) Keeping commitments; 3) Clarifying Expectations; 4) Showing Personal Integrity; 5) Apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal; 6) The Laws of Love and the Laws of Life.  ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’ Attend to the little things in a relationship. Even a simple act like putting a coat around someone would be highly valued. People are very tender inside. Unclear expectations will lead to misunderstanding, disappointment, and withdrawals of trust. Do not violate the basic expectations. Make it clear and explicit at the beginning. Integrity is conforming reality to our words. ‘Be loyal to those who are not present.’ It is very important for people to trust you. Sincere apologies make deposits. Renounce conditional love.

Some people say that you have to like yourself before you can like others. I think that idea has merit, but if you don’t know yourself, if you don’t control yourself, if you don’t have mastery over yourself, it’s very hard to like yourself. – Stephen Covey

Habit 4: Think ‘Win-Win’. If you create a win-lose situation for managers, people are going to leave. You don’t expect people to co-operate if they are in competition with one another. Win-Win is the philosophy of human interaction. There are 6 types of paradigms: 1) Win/Win; 2) Win/Lose; 3) Lose/Win; 4) Lose/Lose; 5) Win; 6) Win/Win or No Deal. It is a frame of mind and heart. Life is a co-operation. Win/Lose people use power to get what they want. For instance, don’t compare one child to another. Your child may be programmed to a win/lose mentality and may compete with siblings. Life is not a zero-sum game. Life is very independent in nature. Lose/Win is when someone has given up and lowered expectations. They are easy to please and hide their feelings. This is weak and chaotic. If both parties are damn stubborn, it could be lose-lose. Sometimes you want your enemy to fall, but unknowingly you fall yourself. Or you can just Win. Win/Lose could become Lose/Lose in the long run. Make sure it is win/win. Do not be confused. If you feel it’s a lose/lose, say no deal. Only go for win/win. Do not settle for less than win/win or your relationship might be affected. It is best established at the beginning of an enterprise. There are 5 dimensions of win/win. It starts with character and then moves into relationships and then to agreements. Character is the foundation of everything. The first one is integrity; the second one is maturity (courage and consideration); Abundance Mentality (plenty out there for everyone). You have to nice and tough to get win/win. The second dimension is relationships and that the emotional bank account be full. We will learn to be open and respect each other. If the emotional bank account is full, then sometimes it’s okay not to go for win-win too. The third dimension is agreements. State the desired results, guidelines, resources, accountability, consequences. Win/Win Management Training. Use learned controlled instruction. Focus on results and not methods. Let people evaluate themselves. Let people choose their own results sometimes. Managers can control 4 consequences: Financial, Psychic, Opportunity, Responsibility. The reward system must also be win/win and aligned to that. Let individuals select self-selected performance objectives. Separate the person from the problem, focus on interests and not on positions, invent options for mutual gain, insist on objective criteria. See things from the other point of view, identify the key issues etc.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood. We often don’t diagnose before we prescribe in communication. We think good advice is enough. Habit 5 is the key to effective interpersonal communication. Reading, writing, speaking and listening are the basics. Some people lack the listening skills. It has to seem natural too, not forced. Influence through your actual conduct. Seek to understand the other person first. Technique is not good enough, you need to engage in empathic listening. Most people listen with filters in their head or they are already intending to speak. Everyone wants to be understood. The highest form of listening is empathic listening. It is skill-based. Listen with intent to understand first and imagine yourself in their frame of reference. 60% of communication is from the body language. You’re basically inside the other person’s heart and head. Empathic listening is a tremendous deposit in the emotional bank account. Give people that psychological air. It can help you win deals if you’re in the sales line too. Always diagnose before you prescribe. A salesperson must understand the customers’ needs etc. All professionals need empathic listening in their jobs. Do not pass judgment fist. Evaluate, Probe, Advise or Interpret. Constant probing might not help. Mimicking content is one of the first ways to go about it. Rephrasing the content is slightly better. Reflect feeling. Rephrase the content and reflect feelings. Listening and understanding can lead to a big difference. If the conversation is logical, you can ask questions and give advice. But if the conversation is emotional, you need to practice empathic listening. Often, people know the solution to their own problems. They just want someone else to listen. People will open up to good listeners. Learn to understand perception. Ethos is your personal credibility. Pathos is your empathic side. Logos is your logical side. Ethos, Pathos and Logos, in that order.

Habit 6: Synergize. All the other habits prepare us for this habit. It is essential for principle-centered leadership. Find new possibilities and opportunities. Apply the principles of creative cooperation. Recognize that everyone is different. Open your mind and heart to new possibilities. You do not know what will happen but you have this sense of excitement. People like being in a spirit of trust and safety. Producing something meaningful was important. Everyone needs to be mature as well. Everyone should become very open and understanding. It is exciting. If a group of people are very closely bonded, synergy develops and things happen. Synergistic communication is when trust and co-operation levels are both high. 1+1 may be more than 8. The people in the group will enjoy the creative process. A high emotional bank account leads to high trust and open communication. Do not try and manipulate as synergy doesn’t thrive in that environment. Sometimes, differences are good as it forces the other person to see another point of view. Internalize your principles. Gain access to both sides of your brain. Valuing the differences is the key in a relationship. See people as they are. Everyone has different perceptions. Value the point of view of others. Force Field Analysis is where driving forces meet restraining forces. A legal process should be the last resort. All of nature is synergistic. It is the correct principle which unifies things. Look for the good in others and learn to affirm them.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw (Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal). Sharpen the saw to go faster. It is the PC. There are 4 dimensions: Physical; Mental; Social/Emotional and Spiritual. Most theories embrace these 4 dimensions. Invest in yourselves. Care for our physical bodies and exercise. It should fall in Quadrant 2. Exercise only takes up a bit of time. You can exercise at home and learn to build endurance, flexibility and strength. Endurance comes from aerobic exercise. Know your maximum heart rate, 220 – age. Flexibility comes through stretching. Build strength from muscle resistance. The benefits of exercise comes at the very end. Build patience. People tend to overdo exercise if they haven’t been doing it for a while. Stick very closely to your schedule and don’t deviate from it. Develop your habit 1 muscles of proactivity. Immersion into literature can provide spiritual renewal. Be like how you were like when you were a child. Listen to your surroundings. Examine your motives. Prayer is a form of releasing energy. Learn to meditate. A personal mission statement is very important. After school, most people don’t think enough. TV can subtly change our way of thinking. Limit the number of hours you watch tv. Educational is vital for mental renewal. It is important to read broadly. For example, one can read good literature. ‘The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.’ Writing is another way to sharpen the mental saw. Spend one hour building habits 1, 2 and 3. The social and emotional elements are in habits 4, 5 and 6. Be emotional secure. You can only be intrinsically secure if your daily habits reflect our deepest values. There is value in serving others and contributing in a meaningful way. Negative synergy will be created if an organization is only concerned about money. A job needs all 4 aspects to thrive. Learn, Do, Commit and keep repeating the cycle.

A long, healthy and happy life is the result of making contributions, of having meaningful projects that are personally exciting and contribute to and bless the lives of others. – Dr. Hans Selye

This is the true joy in life – that being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. That being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It’s a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. – George Bernard Shaw

You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forgetting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy doesn’t reserve a plot for weeds. – Dag Kammarsjjold

As long as you feel you are serving others in your profession, you do the job well. When you are concerned only with helping yourself, you do it less well – a law as inexorable as gravity. – Arthur Gordon

The first rule with my family is not to prove but to empathize. If there was too much pain, we would quit for the day. Talk through your problems. The key to love is to keep talking. Work on the essential paradigms of conversations. It is important to have a strong intergenerational family. Change must be done at the root of the problem. Strive to achieve unity with your associates. Centre your life around the correct principles. Start with inside out, the private victories first.

My contemplation of life and human nature in that secluded place had taught me that he who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress. – Anwar Sadat

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Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Breakfast of Champions or Goodbye Blue Monday

This book is dedicated to Phoebe Hurty when I met her during the Great Depression. She wrote advertisements for a living. I was hired by her to write ads for teenage clothing. She believed in the American dream. Unfortunately, she is not around anymore. I saw humans as robots and test tubes. I always feel lousy over the books I have written. The aim of this book was to pour out all the ideas I had over the past 50 years. To me, all music was sacred.

The planet was dying fast. One of the old men was Kilgore Trout, a science fiction writer. The other was Dwayne Hoover, an automobile dealer, who was going insane. They were citizens of America. The country’s motto was ‘E pluribus unum’, which means ‘Out of Many, One’. Their currency was meaningless and people didn’t understand what a pyramid symbol meant. These two men founded the country. Some of the nonsense that they taught the kids were evil. The pirates in the past introduced slavery, racism and were powerful. They were greedy in nature. The other countries were full of people but ran out of resources. Population control was insane and yet people didn’t mind starving. America was opposed with sharing stuff and Communism. Dwayne needed bad chemicals inside his brain too. Trout told Dwayne all the bad ideas and he pretended to be dead. The bad idea was that everybody was a robot, except Dwayne. Only Dwayne had free will, everyone else would follow blindly. Kilgore was smart and disguised his bad ideas into science fiction. He changed Dwayne’s life.

Dwayne was a widower who had a Labrador retriever named Sparky. He behaved strangely after a car accident. Dwayne had a servant named Lottie. She was black. Trout had a pet named Bill. He lived alone too. Trout had a negative view of life because he didn’t believe in the good of Earth. Despite his nonsense, Trout had a good following. Dwayne was charming, Trout was not. Trout earned almost nothing from writing and got rejected many times. A wide-beaver in Trout’s book referred to the opening in a woman’s genitals. Wide-beavers were secrets that were well defended. Trout was sceptical of humans. ‘I see England, I see France; I see a little girl’s Underpants!’ Dwayne. People lust over ladies’ underpants. Lingo Three was a dying planet inhabited by American automobiles. Space travellers visited this planet. The space travellers were from Zeltoldimar. Kago was their spokesperson. Finally, they came to Earth. Earthlings were cuckoo and accepted ideas without thinking. Humans failed to think for themselves and were doomed to fail.

I thank those lusts for being so ridiculous, for they taught us that it was possible for a human being to believe anything, and to behave passionately in keeping with that belief – any belief. – Kilgore Trout

Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agree with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity…The ideas Earthlings held didn’t matter for hundreds of thousands of years, since they can’t do much about them anyway. Ideas might as well be badges as anything. – Kilgore Trout

Kago tried to teach Earthlings but died after someone mistook him for a kitchen match. The automobiles killed everything on Earth. Trout received a fan mail from Eliot Rosewater. Kilgore’s dad worked in Bermuda as a guard for Bermuda erns. However, the eagles became extinct after a while. A fungus in the form of athlete’s foot produced by men killed them. Later, Trout was invited to speak at an arts festival. The chairman was a guy named Fred Barry. He heard of Trout from Eliot Rosewater and gave him money to fly over for the festival. Eliot was a rich man who owned paintings. Trout put on his tuxedo. Eliot wanted Trout to be the next President of the country. Trout initially didn’t want to go but a mask on the envelope gave him the idea that humans wanted to see him as an unhappy failure. He wanted to project artists as hardworking people who didn’t make much money. He wanted to try.

Dwayne was crazy but didn’t tell anyone about it. Later, he started running amok. Francine Pefko was his secretary and mistress. In the past, he was alright and he liked to sing in his Holiday Inn and annoy the customers. Since he owned it, he could do whatever he wanted. Harry BeSabre was his manager at work and realized he was getting weird. Dwayne bought the Pontiac agency. Dwayne started to throw insults at Harry, his employee. Harry had been through war. Harry wondered why he was being picked. Dwayne blew up after Harry mentioned about adoption. Dwayne was also an adopted child since young. He cursed Harry and wanted him to kill himself before he could adopt someone else. He criticized Harry’s dress sense. Harry liked to dress in women’s clothes on the weekends. He was afraid that Dwayne might figure it out. Suddenly, when the bad chemicals worked, Dwayne placed the loaded gun in his mouth. Finally, he shot a picture of a flamingo in a tile in his toilet. Nobody knew what their neighbours did due to high sound-proof walls.

When a man has been in combat with another man, he gets so he can sense the slightest change in his buddy’s personality. – Harry LeSabre

Trout arrived at the symposium. He bought a new suggestive magazines for his reading pleasure. The story talks about weird humanoids and their behaviour with humans.

There were an endless stream of advertisements on the radio. An black old lady, who used to do Dwayne’s laundry, was dying in hospital. She died alone as she didn’t have a family or kids left. Dwayne owned Holiday Inn with two other men, Dr Alfred and Bill Miller. Now, he owned also the Burger Chef franchise. His wife, Celia, committed suicide from eating a mixture which was meant for clearing drains. His son, George, was a homosexual. Dwayne couldn’t recognize the city anymore.

There was a message written on the wall of a massage parlour. It said ‘What is the purpose of life?’ Trout wanted to reply this: ‘To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool.’ He played the part by pretending to send fake messages to the Creator about the status of life on the ground. He still engaged in discussion with the Creator of the world.

Many people in the world abused chemicals. They did so because they thought their behaviour and quality of life would improve. That was a total lie. In this world, people didn’t care for free will. The theatre manager spoke to Trout. Someone seemed to be following him and the manager. Later, he found himself arrested by police and tied up in court. Someone kidnapped Trout but he couldn’t remember who. The newspapers misinterpreted and thought that a certain Pluto Gang was after Trout. The people believed the story. A group of young Puerto Rican boys saw this and designed the logo called Pluto Gang for themselves to use.

The prostitutes worked for a pimp now. He was splendid and cruel. He was a god to them. He took their free will away from them, which was perfectly all right. They didn’t want it anyway. It was as though they had surrendered themselves to Jesus, for instance, so they could live unselfishly and trustingly. – The Narrator

Dwayne got a room from another owner of the hotel of Holiday Inn chain. The room seemed good for now. He knew he did good when he filled a container for a human being. The hotel room was awaiting him when he entered it. He slept like a log that evening.

Trout was released from prison. The black slaves, so happened, were also released due to what Lincoln did. Earth was getting severely polluted by excessive manufacturing processes. Trout used to care for the environment, but he didn’t give a shit now. He thought God wasn’t conservative with all the volcanoes, tornadoes that affected Earth. The truck driver who was driving Trout said he was committing suicide because the Earth will be destroyed anyway, and he couldn’t do anything about it. Trout made up this story where people celebrated getting species extinct because they couldn’t handle the diversity of different species on Earth. Nature was too creative for them. Trout spotted a fat man who was eating and ‘stoking up for another day’ to survive.

I realized that God wasn’t any conservationist, so for anybody else to be one was sacrilegious and a waste of time. You ever see one of His volcanoes or tornadoes or tidal waves? Anybody tell you about the Ice Ages he arranges for every half-million years? – Kilgore Trout

Ukwende was a Nigerian and he was next to Dwayne. Dwayne recalled the city that he built long ago. Dwayne started walking on the road and he found himself in dimple after dimple. However, Ukwende could walk through it normally. Dwayne came upon a man who was burnishing a car furiously. The young man hated the world and dreamt of Fairyland. The young man was just released from prison. Wayne wanted to desperately work for Dwayne, saying it was God’s will. However, Dwayne rejected him. Harry came clean and wore transvestite costumes after he suspected Dwayne of finding out the truth.

Trout believed that things happened for a reason and Earth should just be the way it currently is. The driver wanted Trout to make more friends as that would make him happier. Trout didn’t say anything to that. The driver wanted to get laid with women, but his big problem was the lack of motivation. Trout only believed that material wealth can bring only short-term happiness and that people get what they pay for. Kilgore was married 3 times and had a son named Leo. The last time he heard from his boy was when he was 14. Later the police informed Trout that he joined the Viet Cong.

Dwayne couldn’t accept the way Harry dressed and he simply shut his eyes. Francine liked to persuade others not to treat life so seriously. Dwayne had two stepbrothers, Lyke and Kyle. There was a stench in the scared miracle cave. The cave actually had nothing to do with slaves. However, people made up an imaginary story over how it was related to slaves.

West Virginia was uninhabited because it was collapsing due to human machines’ and their destructive force. Trout saw a white girl with a bottle of Pepsi. West Virginia people were like lifeless machines who loved to work. Trout was a science fiction writer who didn’t know much about science at all. An old miner talked to Trout and said that he didn’t care whether he was destroying the environment. ‘Don’t matter if you care, if you don’t own what you care about.’ Old Miner. Trout knew that art didn’t mean much for the working man. The driver read Trout’s book that was now used as toilet paper in Libertyville because the city had too many books. Everyone in the town had Hoobler as their last name. It rhymed with Dwayne Hoover.

Dwayne had an issue and liked to repeat whatever last word in every statement he heard. The black man Wayne liked to stalk Dwayne as he wanted to get hired. Patty Keene was a waitress at the Burger Chef. She was working hard to pay off her dad’s cancer bills. Patty saw Dwayne and thought that he possessed a magic wand with his wealth and power that he had. George Bannister was a high school footballer who died and there was an enormous tombstone built for him. There were monuments all over the country. Even the common people had one each, at least. Everyone in Midland talked about money and structures and travel and machinery only. Everyone imagined others to be living up to their life’s expectations, even when they were insane. Their imaginations caused them to believe no one changed from day to day. Dwayne would later be checked into a hospital with a padded cell. He thought about going for a penis extension. Francine followed Dwayne to the Quality Motor Court, upon his request. Gloria took over her desk for the time being. They were going to have sex. Dwayne did love Francine. Trout wrote a book about the female clitoris. Francine loved him but Dwayne was still pained after his wife died. Francine’s husband died in the Vietnam War. Francine pitied men because they worked too hard and saw women as a device to pamper and take care of them. The problem with their relationship was that Dwayne didn’t know whether she loved him for his money. Dwayne was like a rattlesnake now, being very nasty to her. Dwayne was a racist dude. Francine realized that he was a changed man but Dwayne said he enjoyed being himself now. Harry’s wife was Grace. Harry used the term ‘reindeer’ to address black people so that he could talk about them without them knowing. The reindeers reproduced very quickly. Harry was sick of the town and wanted to use the money he made from shares and move to Maui. Dwayne saw a sign in the police HQ that read ‘Destructive Testing’. He thought that God put him on Earth so see how much suffering he could take without breaking. Dwayne wanted to talk to someone from Mars, to hear a viewpoint which he didn’t hear before. He decided to head to the Festival to enlighten himself.

In his own lifetime, for instance, the people in a country called Germany were so full of bad chemicals for a while that they actually built factories whose only purpose was to kill people by the millions. The people were delivered by railroad trains. – The Narrator

The women all had big minds because they were big animals, but they did not use them much for this reason: unusual ideas could make enemies, and the women, if they were going to achieve any sort of comfort and safety, needed all the friends that they could get. – The Narrator

I saw that sign and I couldn’t help wondering if that was what God put me on Earth for – to find out how much a man could take without breaking. – Dwayne

Trout was in the countryside and he explored the area. He saw the sign to the miracle cave. He was really getting closer to Dwayne. Trout wrote a book about the Creator who picked a creature on Earth which had his own mind when everyone else didn’t have that. The book was about a virgin life with a man and the sea and a bear (robot who would spy on the man). At the man’s tombstone it read ‘Not even the Creator of the Universe knew what the man was going to say next, perhaps the man was a better universe in its infancy’.

Bunny would be soon seriously injured by Dwayne. He was Dwayne’s homosexual son. Bunny learnt transcendental meditation. One day, Dwayne sent him to military school as a punishment because Bunny admitted that he wanted to be a female. Bunny did well in that military school. Luckily, Bunny’s mother exposed him to the piano and Bunny did great on it. Skid Rows were streets for people who didn’t know what they wanted in life. Every street was nicknamed that. The premise was that you would stay there and not bother anyone else until you died.

The past scared Trout a great deal. Bunny, Dwayne’s son, was playing the piano in the Holiday Inn. Later, Dwayne would beat up Francine. Wayne was still stalking Dwayne, but he felt lonely. He was someone who liked to adapt to the environment. I wanted to witness a fight between Dwayne and Trout. I thought I suffered from schizophrenia. Dwayne hoped to learn some truths from people at the conference. So that he could go on living and keep out of the mental hospital. He was gullible towards new ideas. Beatrice was a Gothic novelist and Rabo was a minimal painter. They both met Dwayne in the hotel lounge. Trout walked to the Holiday Inn. His plan was to show everyone how the would-be creator failed.

I was challenging the Creator of Universe on the concept of time and how the Universe was formed. I created a guy named Harold Newcomb Wilbur, who would be a decorated war veteran. Robots took part in the WWII and also everyone was involved in the war. This was purposely created so that Dwayne could give a free-willed response to it. I want to jail Wayne and tell Bill a horrible future for his father, Dwayne. Rabo painted rubbish paintings and made poor people stupid. I realized a lot of Americans were sad because they were trying to live like characters in books and end shooting each other. I decided to write about life and not fiction. I want people to believe that people need to adapt to chaos and that there is no order in the world. Bonnie, the waiter, hated Rabo. Saint Anthony turned out to be a lonely Egyptian who did nothing great in his life. Eldon was a black dishwasher at the inn. He saw Wayne and arranged food for him. Rabo was insulting Bonnie but she smiled because she wanted more tips. Rabo wanted more stories from her so that Beatrice could write more stories. Mary Alice was on the cover of the program of the Festival of the Arts. She was a swimmer. Mary’s father made Mary swim 4 hours a day since she was 3. Rabo ridiculed her ‘What kind of a man would turn his daughter into an outboard motor?’ It was then that I got a shock. People were not happy because they had to work hard while Rabo earned loads from his paintings. They also feared that their lives would be ridiculous in nature. It was then that I realized that nothing in life was to be sacred or destined about. Later, when Bonnie criticized Rabo’s paintings, this was what he said.

The picture your city owns shows everything about life which truly matters, with nothing left out. It is a picture of the awareness of every animal. It is the immaterial core of every animal – the ‘I am’ to which all messages are sent. It is all that is alive in us – in a mouse, a deer, in a cocktail waitress. It is unwavering and pure, no matter what preposterous adventure may befall us. A sacred picture of Saint Anthony alone is one vertical, unwavering band of light. If a cockroach were near him, or a cocktail waitress, the picture would show two such bands of light. Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything above us is dead machinery. – Rabo

Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their own limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne. – The Narrator

You know what truth is? It’s some crazy thing my neighbour believes. If I want to make friends with him, I ask him what he believes. He tells me, and I say, ‘Yeah, yeah – ain’t that the truth?’ – Rabo Karabekian

I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing sacred about myself or about any human being, that we were all machines, doomed to collide and collide and collide. For want of anything better to do, we became fans of collisions. – The Narrator

Trout abandoned his car and waded across the river to the Holiday Inn. He thought he would die as there were dangerous chemicals in the water due to polluting industries. However, the sacred part of him was intact. The plastic coated his feet was the stuff that fucked up the Sacred Cave. Life is like cellophane. Trout entered the lobby as a grotesque individual. To his surprise, the desk clerk, Mr Milo, recognized him. Midlands would be the first country to recognize his greatness. Milo shouted ‘Kilgore Trout! This is your life!’ It was Eilot Rosewater who introducted Trout to Milo. Milo read all of Trout’s books. Trout didn’t know much about the arts and didn’t feel comfortable sharing anything. It would soon be time for Dwayne to meet Trout.

Bonnie simply accepted Rabo’s explanation without asking anything else. If artists explained more, people would like art more. Dwayne wasn’t engaged in any activities. Trout carried his book around ‘Now it Can Be Told’. Trout would soon tell Dwayne the story and make him insane. Dwayne would then bite off his finger. Wayne was still outside stalking Dwayne. Many of their clothing lit up under fluorescent light. People started looking at Trout because he was obvious. Dwayne was fascinated by Trout’s shirt because it glowed. A nigger was killed in Shepherdstown and since then, they never visited the place again. Trout seemed to realized I was beside him and then I created him. Trout browsed through his letters. The Robo-Magic, a vacuum cleaner, had the words ‘Goodbye Monday blues’ on itself. However, job searching was hard during the Great Depression. People believed that a robot could cure Monday blues. The appliances were supposed to take over Niggers. Everyone shunned Nigger work. The Robo-magic dream was crushed by the armoured factory during the war. The nerve centre was called ‘Blast Interval Normalization Computer’.

I wore a bracelet for a missing soldier in the Vietnam war and could only remove it when the soldier returned. Dwayne read incredibly fast. Fred’s father was one of the founding members of the population who was interested in being a librarian. Black people were very impressed by the library management. Dwayne demanded to know the secret from Trout now. He rested his chin on Trout’s shoulder. Luckily, he left and took the book with him. The book was planned to have been published soon.

You are pooped and demoralized, why wouldn’t you be? Of course it is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn’t meant to be reasonable. – The Narrator

Dwayne was to stir up emotions so that the machines could understand him. Everyone else was to be treated like robots. The Creator apologised for creating robots and then to adore sexual intercourse. Mary Alice’s father thought that Wayne was ready to enter society. Trout’s feet were hurting now under the heat. According to the book, everyone else lacked free will and were machines. Humans were all machines whose behaviour is erratic and then everyone should learn to adapt to the environment. Now, Dwayne seemed to know that he did not fear life after listening to Trout’s story. He wanted a life of elegance and to live with life with finesse. Bunny started to meditate while his dad called him a cock-sucking machine. Dwayne slammed his son’s face on the piano. Then, later, while the others restrained him, he hit Beatrice on her jaw and punched Bonnie in the belly. He felt that everyone was unfeeling machines. He admitted that his wife was a machine who couldn’t think too. Finally, Dwayne got caught by the police and he said ‘Thank God you’re here!’ 11 people were hurt by him. He was on a mad rampage for no reason. He demanded to talk to all niggers, but thought that the Creator wanted them to hide from him. It was a like a game. Wayne came out when Dwayne made a sound. They started talking for a while. Robots were programmed to be whatever they were, to do whatever they did. Dwayne tried to hit Wayne, but he dodged well. Now, Dwayne felt that the Creator wanted him to play African dodger now. Because he was so good at dodging, Dwayne gave up. Wayne thought the airport was a fairyland, somewhere he could escape.

The Creator of the Universe had them invent hundreds of religions, so you would have plenty to choose among. He had them kill each other by the millions, for this purpose only: that you be amazed. They have committed every possible atrocity and every possible kindness unfeelingly, automatically, inevitably, to get a reaction from Y-O-U. – Trout

I used to think the electric chair was a shame. I used to think war was a shame – and automobile accidents and cancer. They are no longer shames. Why should I care what happens to machines (humans)? – Dwayne

A special ambulance came to help people hurt by Dwayne. Martha was my psychiatrist. The true novels would have the lead heroes looking for mothers. A mother would be more useful. Eliot was planning to land his plane. He accidentally killed his mum when he was younger. America had a lot of foreign doctors which they purchased from overseas. Eddie Key drove the ambulance. Many African families had appointed someone in each generation to memorize their family tree. Eddie knew about Dwayne and Ukwende and understood people deeply. Dwayne, while in the ambulance, thought that was on another planet and that everything was a game. He would yell something everyday and he yelled ‘Goodbye, Blue Monday!’. Trout grabbed Dwayne when he was assaulting Pefko. However, Dwayne bit off the topmost joint of Trout’s finger. Trout sat beside Eddie in the ambulance. Only Wayne escaped unscathed so far. There was only 1 person who deserved to be hurt, it was Don Breedlove (he raped Patty Keene). However, Dwayne and Don became friends instead. Later, as expected, Dwayne hit his ear and he became deaf. Miasma, a doctor’s assistant, was ordered to remove the plasticized shoes and socks off Dwayne. Trout suddenly saw a sign he liked: ‘It is harder to be unhappy when you are eating Craig’s Ice Cream’. Dwayne would be sued until he was made poor.

Trout received medical attention. Elgin Washington spoke to Trout. He was a bad man who was a pimp who operated in Holiday Inn’s premises. Elgin wanted to belittle Trout, but he decided to be nice. Elgin asked for a favour. Now, he wanted Trout to listen to him imitate a Nightingale, which he did. The arts festival was postponed but Trout thought that it was on. I wanted to intercept Trout as he was walking. Kazak, a character from my old book, wanted to kill me. Kazak was a ferocious dog. Suddenly, the dog appeared. My body reacted in a weird way, with adrenaline rushing through my veins. Later, I managed to free myself from the dog by escaping and later chased after Trout. I finally met him and we started chatting. Trout demanded for a gun. I finally admitted that I loved Trout and then as the creator, I wanted to make him whole again. Like those famous characters before me, I thanked Trout and released him for being so loyal. He was a free man now. As I was leaving Trout, he shouted ‘Make me young! Make me young! Make me young!’

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