Friday, 10 October 2014

No man is a failure...


“Remember no man is a failure who has friends”

Written on a book given to George Bailey as a Christmas gift by Clarence, ASC (Angel Second Class).

[From the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” – 1946]

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Que Sera, Sera, The future's not ours, to see?


When I was just a little boy
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
Here's what she said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

When I was just a child in school
I asked my teacher, "What should I try?
Should I paint pictures? Should I sing songs?"
This was her wise reply. 

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
She tells them tenderly.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.


Que Sera Sera is an enchanting song that I first heard at the end of Japanese anime comedy “My Neighbors the Yamadas”. The Yamadas is a wonderful movie in its own right which reminds us that families all over the world have a lot in common. The original version of this song was produced in 1956 for Alfred Hitchcock's suspense thriller "The Man Who Knew Too Much" starring Doris Day. It won the 1956 Best Song Oscar. Despite its beauty, the song is about the acceptance that future events are beyond our control and we can’t do much about that.

But I believe that even with all its complexities, the future is not an unknown or fixed state. Its structure is in flux all the time and we are constantly creating and modifying it with our little actions, deeds, thoughts, choices and beliefs. The possibilities are endless and the only restriction is our imagination. 

So what should be the opposite of “Que Sera Sera” or what will be, will be theme? Perhaps “Carpe Diem” (seize the day) philosophy. As Robin Williams playing maverick English teacher John Keating says in the film Dead Poets Society:

“carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."

He goes on saying "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."

(Song written by the Jay Livingston and Ray Evans)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What Happened?


" ... A similar attitude settled in the Ottoman Empire. Having conquered most of the world they knew, the Ottomans turned inward, into religious fundamentalism and centuries of stagnation. Mahathir Mohammad, the former prime minister of Malaysia, has said,

”The great Islamic civilization went into decline when Muslim scholars interpreted knowledge acquisition, as enjoined by the Qur’an, to mean only knowledge of religion, and that other knowledge was un-Islamic. As a result, Muslims gave up the study of science, mathematics, medicine, and other so-called worldly disciplines. Instead, they spent much time debating on Islamic teachings and interpretations, on Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic practices, which led to a breakup of the Ummah and the founding of numerous sects, cults, and schools.”

In Europe, however, a great awakening was beginning. Trade brought in fresh, revolutionary ideas, accelerated by Gutenberg’s press. The power of Church began to weaken after a millennium of domination. The universities slowly turned their attention away from interpreting obscure passages of the Bible to applying the physics of Newton and the chemistry of Dalton and others…

Soon, the rise of science and technology in Europe began to weaken the power of China and the Ottoman Empire. The Muslim civilization, which has prospered for centuries as a gateway for trade between the East and the West, faltered as European sailors forge trade route to the New World and the East – especially around Africa, bypassing the Middle East…

The answer to the question “What happened?” is clear. Science and technology happened. Science and technology are the engines of prosperity. Of course, one is free to ignore science and technology, but only at your peril. The world does not stand still because you are reading a religious text. If you do not master the latest in science and technology, then your competitors will.”

Future of Wealth (Physics of the Future by Dr. Michio Kaku)