Ayn Rand is one author that has influenced me a lot since I have been reading her work…in fact The Fountainhead is probably the first fiction work I have read must be December 2003. Around the time of sem 3 exam. Since then it has been a tradition to end up reading rand longer than engg textbooks in the PL.
Atlas Shrugged is a rivetting story which is similar to the conditions prevailing today as has been pointed out in a previous post. Here is a passage from this book which I always keep on my desktop …it tells you not to lose hope…to let go of the unjust punishments that we might be subjecting ourselves to. Studying for BE exams often seemed like self inflicted punishment and this passage often gave me hope of a better tomorrow and of finding myself in Atlantis.
“If you fail, as men have failed in their quest for a vision that should have been possible, yet has remained forever beyond their reach—if, like them, you come to think that one’s highest values are not to be attained and one’s greatest vision is not to be made real— don’t damn this earth, as they did, don’t damn existence. You have seen the Atlantis they were seeking, it is here, it exists—but one must enter it naked and alone, with no rags from the falsehoods of centuries, with the purest clarity of mind—not an innocent heart, but that which is much rarer: an intransigent mind—as one’s only possession and key. You will not enter it until you learn that you do not need to convince or to conquer the world. When you learn it, you will see that through all the years of your struggle, nothing had barred you from Atlantis and there were no chains to hold you, except the chains you were willing to wear. Through all those years, that which you most wished to win was waiting for you”—he looked at her as if he were speaking to the unspoken words in her mind—”waiting as unremittingly as you were fighting, as passionately, as desperately—but with a greater certainty than yours. Go out to continue your struggle. Go on carrying unchosen burdens, taking undeserved punishment and believing that justice can be served by the offer of your own spirit to the most unjust of tortures. But in your worst and darkest moments, remember that you have seen another kind of world. Remember that you can reach it whenever you choose to see. Remember that it will be waiting and that it’s real, it’s possible—it’s yours.”
– John Galt to Dagny Taggart,Atlas Shrugged.
Consider these above words carefully…and ask yourself,”Is what I am undergoing worth the effort and the pain?”. I did…and I found my answer. You find yours.