Warm-Up Exercises

2000-09-11

A friend of mine offered the following as his perspective on what I have written so far in my life:

A dancer beautifully executing delicate and strong pirouettes, knowing that even though these are beautiful, they are only warm-up exercises for a grand finale. What saves him is his musical sense of crescendo build-up. He knows (what very few Objectivists know) that the means are part of the end and that the end cannot exist without the means. He knows that a purpose cannot exist without a flaw, as a pearl cannot be born without the initial irritant. He is so confident of the inner radiance of his diamond in the rough, that he is not worried about the flaws, because he knows that the flaws, which he is gradually polishing, are necessary for the dramatic resolution of the drama of his own life. He lives in full, now -- he neither waits for Godot, nor John Galt.

I found this quite touching, and also in many respects true: I do feel that I have much unrealized potential and that a lot of what I've written so far has been in the nature of "warm-up exercises". Thankfully I have many more years of writing ahead of me (if all goes well), which will enable me to realize some of that potential.

Part of what makes me think that I can realize quite a bit of my potential is that I have long striven for wisdom. Ayn Rand talks about the concept of moral ambition, which I like. While I think that's important -- the desire to make oneself a better person -- I feel that I also have ambition in the realm of wisdom. I guess my hope is that I can gain wisdom fast enough that by a certain age I will have an uncommon depth of insight into life, at which point I will be able to make substantial contributions to the love of wisdom. It's something I'm striving for, anyway....


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