What’s in a Name?

Why do we have people who are so eager to appear smart rather than concentrate on being actually smart. Samuel Langhorne Clemens remains one of my all time favorite people not the least because he was always shrouded in mystery, well sort of, not even because he was versatile and sauntered across the Arts to the Sciences. Of all the crazy Samuel stories I have read, it is always the ones where he looked like a homeless man or the ones where he was unrecognizable that strike deep cords within. Well, just in case you were wondering who the heck Samuel was, you probably know him better as Mark Twain.

How can you be as smart as Mark Twain and make no effort to disturb the world with all that brilliance. How do you get to write brilliant novels like Adventures of Tom Sawyer and not even think of adding your name? Who thinks of hiding their identity when on the cusp of something great? It’s so difficult to align with this paradigm especially in an age where we are all so crazy about our names.

Meet the best among the lot and they tell you how they are not interested in money but rather in making a good name for themselves. The irony is that, for most people like that who make it a point to show that they chose good name over silver, they immediately contradict themselves by quoting the phrase from the Holy Book – a good name is worth more than riches.

I’ve been thinking about Mark Twain lately, of course he was sometimes erratic, but that is not my focus. My focus is rather on the prevailing culture of his dispensation where most people cared less about their name, people like Curie and Nobel went against common sense and rationale while pursuing success, you would think that their pursuit of success was for their own gain, but no way, they died, worse still is that they knew they were at the risk of death. These guys didn’t care about themselves, they were more focused on contributing their quota to humanity before leaving.

It was never about them, unlike this modern generation where “making a name” is about us. What really changed? All through history, the examples staring at us all did things differently, the people who do things the way we go about them now never ended well; people like Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, all had a woeful end. These people cared too much about themselves and how much power they could wield. It’s shocking that the people we gloat about in history never wanted the fame nor relevance, they just wanted to contribute their quota and leave.

William II Gates didn’t think of becoming the richest man in the world when he started Microsoft, the young man just wanted people to have access to this wonderful thing that he had discovered, Mandela didn’t even want to be President when he left his law firm to fight the Apartheid rule, I could go on and on. These are the people history present to us, why are we not treading in their footsteps?

We run the risk of leading a generation with no intent for the larger society, a selfish and aloof generation. This world will become less beautiful then. The more people focus on actually getting the substance and not concerned about how the rest of the world viewed them, we would actually become better humans. In this social media age, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep your acts to yourself, you feel abnormal if you don’t share your sumptuous food with the internet, you feel like the world is flying beyond your reach if you stay away from social media so you become lost in the conscious of social media that you fall adrift of the certainty of your reality staring you in the face.

It is only when we begin to focus on the collective rather than the individual, that people like Samuel Clemens outlive their time on earth. Or Mark Twain, as you know him.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Who Knows Your Name

For three months, Moses had no name. He was hidden! That same Moses you hear/read about, the same that parted the red sea. For the first 3 months of his life, he was non-existent.
Steve Jobs didn’t know too much about computer engineering, at a point he knew almost nothing. All he had was the ability to think, he could imagine, he wasn’t satisfied with the status quo. Steve Wozniacki did most of the work but why do we hear Jobs’ name more than we hear Woz’s? Wozniacki had been a computer genius, he would sit at home and construct different kinds of motherboard. And that was where it ended. Job’s saw the opportunity Woz’s ability provided, he made the moves, the met people, he made deals using another man’s ability as a lee way. He could see the big picture, he could see change.
Bill Gates doesn’t do much. When he started, he didn’t know much. He had to run to Paul Allen because he almost couldn’t do anything. He had the desire but Paul had the skill. Paul taught Bill, Paul wrote most of the codes, Paul did almost everything. But I bet most of you don’t know who Paul Allen is whereas everyone knows Bill Gates. So why aren’t we hearing of Paul? Paul had been comfortable as a meagre IT worker in one of those Palo Alto firms. He was in his comfort zone. Bill saw what could be achieved with the kind of technological gifts Paul possessed so he walked up to his teacher and convinced him to leave his IT firm and start up a garage firm with him. The rest is now history.
Albert Einstein didn’t do much. He rarely did much. Yes, he was a genius but what did he do? Henri Poincare had already said things about relativity long before Einstein came with his relativity postulates, on the contrary Einstein got so many things wrong. He didn’t get his theory of black holes correctly, Einstein didn’t know mathematics. His friend, Besso always helped him with the tough equations and all. But everyone refers to Einstein as a genius, as the father of modern physics when on the contrary, Poincare, Heisenberg, Erwin Schrodinger, Marie Curie did more. So why did Einstein stand out? He was a thinker, he didn’t like the word “comfortable”, he was always seeking for more. No one gives Poincare the mention he deserves but most of Einstein’s postulates on relativity came from the work Poincare had already done. So what happened to Poincare? He took the easy path of insisting “luminiferous ether existed”, Einstein on the other hand was intuitive enough to study the Michelson and Morley experiments and said otherwise, now the rest is history.
Thomas Edison is referred to as the great inventor. Almost everyone knows about Thomas Edison but few know about Tesla. One of Edison’s greatest inventions; the light bulb didn’t come from him. Tesla designed the filaments, sold the idea to Edison and we all know what happened next. Why does no one talk about Tesla? First we know Edison associated himself with the right kind of people, he was close friends with Mark Twain, Tesla on the other hand was more of a recluse. He didn’t mingle with people, he was just comfortable there meanwhile Edison on the other hand had tried out so many projects and experiments. So many, he kept failing but he didn’t allow that get to him. Now see how that turned out.
Everyone in economics knows John Nash as the father of the Game Theory. But no one knows his roommate at Princeton University. When John joined the University he was aghast at his surroundings, he didn’t know his way, he could rarely solve simple problems. People taunted him but he had a crazy roommate. One who was unserious but magnificently intelligent. He would talk to John regularly about probabilities and all that. One day as he blabbed he said something that John took note of and started penning down figures, which was the beginning of John’s Game Theory. His roommate was satisfied with just sitting and talking, John Nash took the initiative!
Everyone knows Mark Zuckerberg, how many know Dustin Moskovitz or Eduardo Saverin. What Zuckerberg had was a skill, he didn’t even come up with the facebook idea, he didn’t even come up with anything. All he did was be intuitive, when people came to him and sold the idea, he took it on, Eduardo finance their early days, Dustin helped with some of the interface but why do we hear of only Zuckerberg and not the others? He was proactive! He set out to be his own man, he used the available resources around him and channelled it into the right source. Eduardo was all about the financial gain, Dustin was all about popularity, only Mark thought about transformation about changing the world and he duly employed people who thought alike like Sean Parker and the likes, now see where how far Facebook has gone.
Nelson Mandela wasn’t even at the fore front of the ANC Youth wing. He was coerced to join them, he had to leave his comfort zone as a successful and promising lawyer to join the risky ANC. He was the only one that was sentenced to prison, in fact, some served longer jail terms than him so why do we keep hearing Mandela’s name and no one talks about the other guys? Why has he become such a renowned public figure? Simple, he decided not to look after himself but after the interests of the majority, he didn’t care about personal goals. And see where that landed him.
My name is Miracle Roch and because I have decided to be proactive, optimistic, associate with the right kind of people, work my socks off, I know I will go far. I know my name will be heard. I don’t know about you.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

Twitter – @Mr_GudMan