Going Faster, But Where?

Since the year 2000, The Economist and Shell join forces on an annual basis to create an international writing competition that encourages future thinking. I was going through the work of some of its past winners, when I chanced upon a short but poignant essay on the subject of sustainability of 21st century travel. In a short span of 3 pages, “A Ramble to Africa” makes some insightful observations on Travel, and on Life… and is definitely worth a read…

Since the year 2000, The Economist and Shell join forces on an annual basis to create an international writing competition that encourages future thinking. According to its website, to date, about 7,500 people from over 148 countries have taken part in the competitions, with a select few winning prizes worth more than US$ 60,000 each year!

I was going through the work of some of its past winners, when I chanced upon a short but poignant essay on the subject of sustainability of 21st century travel. This brief essay called "A Ramble to Africa" (PDF) seemed to have captured the essence of the subject very well. In a short span of 3 pages, it makes some insightful observations on Travel, and on Life… and is definitely worth a read.

A few excerpts :

…Slow travel…has mainly been about learning again and again and again that most people are poor, a very few people are exceedingly rich and doing nicely, corruption is normal, clean water is precious and good people everywhere are doing what they can.

(Fast Travel)…Instead of bringing people closer and facilitating mutual understanding and awareness of global issues, it is dividing the world more sharply in two, the rich and the poor. Naturally most tourists on their two-week holiday do not want to be confronted by poverty and disease or reminded that the soup they just ordered costs twice the waiter’s daily wage.

For many people cruising has become a permanent lifestyle…Some of us have loosened our grip on the illusion of security and given up homes and jobs to travel the oceans for a while and just see what happens. It is not a way of getting anywhere. It is a way of being wherever you are.

Travelling fast, but where are you going? Travelling slowly, always at home.

As I said before…this one’s definitely worth a read !

Tolerate Genius

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Isn’t it time we made it just a little bit easier for geniuses to do their job? Isn’t it time we Tolerate Genius?

I passed by a postcards-counter in a restaurant recently, and one particular card caught my eye:

“Tolerate Genius”, David Ogilvy.

Think about it. How many of us actually do?

Albert Einstein once said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” If we examine our own experiences, we are more likely to find that a reality. And that’s what a genius faces each day. Opposition. Violent opposition. In spirit, in thought, and in acceptance. Yet, if we look back in history, we would not have moved beyond the Stone Age if it weren’t for unconventional thought. We would spend the rest of our lives in the belief that the Earth is flat and we are at the centre of the Universe. No discoveries to be made. No inventions. No nothing.

Isn’t it time we made it just a little bit easier for geniuses to do their job? Isn’t it time we Tolerate Genius?