I read, I like, I share (15) : Ayrton Senna

If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs me my life, I hope it is in one go.  

I would not like to be in a wheelchair.  

I would not like to be in a hospital suffering from whatever injury it was.  

If I am going to live, I want to live fully.  Very intensely, because I am an intense person.

It would ruin my life if I had to live partially.”

— Ayrton Senna, speaking in Estoril, Portugal, January 1994

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On May 1st 1994, we had visitors.  We went to London on a sightseeing tour.  The video tape was timed to record the Imola Grand Prix.

It was a dark weekend on the track.  Rubens Barrichello crashed during Friday’s practice. Senna stopped his car and rushed to the medical centre to see him.  Barrichello survived the near fatal accident.   In the second qualifying session, Roland Ratzenberger lost control and died in the crash.   The mood was sombre.

Senna was on pole in the Sunday race.  He tucked in an Austrian flag in his No. 2 car.   He was to wave it in Ratzenberger’s honour after the finish.

The flag was never waved.

The video tape stayed unwatched.

Two years ago we went to see “Senna”.  His arch rival Alain Prost co-operated on the award winning film.  The long and bitter rivalry that had marked their careers was subsequently reconciled after Prost’s retirement in 1993.  During a lap on the Imola track, Senna was heard doing a commentary for French TV “to my friend, Alain.  We miss you, Alain.”

We stood in ovation at the end of the movie.  Others nodded in our direction and joined in.

Remembering a lost legend.

I read, I like, I share (14) : Cecelia Ahern

” Where would we be without tomorrows?  What we’d have instead would be todays.

 And if that was the case, with you, I’d hope for the longest day for today.  

I’d fill today with you, doing everything I’ve ever loved.  I’d laugh, I’d talk, I’d listen and learn, I’d love, I’d love, I’d love.  

I’d make every day today and spend them all with you, and I’d never worry about tomorrow, when I wouldn’t be with you.  

And when that dreaded tomorrow comes for us, please know that I didn’t want to leave you, or be left behind, that every single moment spent with you were the best times in my life.”

— Cecelia Ahern “How to fall in love”

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Thought of the day :

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could do this with our loved ones?   Our mums and dads, our brothers and sisters, our husbands and wives, our sons and daughters, our best friends.

Make today count.   Make our lives complete.

I read, I like, I share (13) : Richard Feynman

“You say you are a nameless man.  

You are not to your wife and to your child.  

You will not long remain so to your immediate colleagues if you can answer their simple questions when they come into your office.  

You are not nameless to me.  

Do not remain nameless to yourself — it is too sad a way to be.  

Know your place in the world and evaluate yourself fairly, not in terms of the naive ideals of your own youth, nor in terms of what you erroneously imagine your teacher’s ideals are.”

— Richard Feynman

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Thought of the day:

Nor in terms of your parents’.  Don’t you agree?

It is easy to say, know your place and the world is your oyster.   But the world, like the weather, has not been kind lately.    There are high wind and storms, flooded homes, immersed fields, broken railway links, impassable roads, despair and helplessness.   There are wars, conflicts, injustice, censorship, ill wind for speech and press freedom.   Is it safer to remain nameless?

Is it?

Need a bit of soul searching?

The world will only be a better place if …… (please fill in the blank)

I read, I like, I share (12) : Marin Alsop

“The power of music cannot be over-estimated.

It’s what makes us human beings,

it’s what makes us nations,

it’s what makes us a great civilisation.

We cannot forget that ever,

and music and art cannot be pushed to the margins –

they have to be front and centre.”

— Marin Alsop : speaking at the Last Night of the Proms 2013

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Thought of the day :

I love watching Last Night of the Proms on TV : the red L plate on the podium; the balloons and confetti; the colourful concert dresses of the musicians;  the waving of flags; the sing-along of Jerusalem, and Auld Lang Syne by the audience to close the curtain of this annual music celebration.

This year Nigel Kennedy carried a mug of tea onto the stage.  He wore his Aston Villa shirt, burst balloons with his bow, mucking around with several impromtu musical clips in between playing Monti’s Csárdás to wind up the conductor, the leader and the orchestra. Everyone was amused, and entertained.  Except the critics, perhaps.

There was also a first in 118 years of The Last Night – a female conductor on the podium. Marin Alsop was “quite shocked that it can be 2013 and there can still be firsts for women”.  When she was nine she wanted to be a conductor but her violin teacher said “girls can’t do that”.  Just a week ago someone was quoted to say orchestras were distracted by a cute girl on the podium.   But the conductor just gently swiped over the comment and did not make a big deal out of it.

Moving on.  She dedicated the evening to Progress.  Hip hip, Hurray!  Hip hip, Hurray!   Hip hip, Hurray!

I read, I like, I share (11) : T.E. Lawrence

“All men dream, but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds,
wake in the day to find it was vanity :
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
for they may act on their dreams with open eyes,
to make them possible.”

— T. E. Lawrence – Seven Pillars of Wisdom : A Triumph

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Thought of the day :

On this day fifty years ago, a dreamer of the day announced to a crowd of 250,000 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. :

 I have a dream!”

“From every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

We remember his famous speech.  The crowd shouted “Dream on! Dream on!”.  Indeed Dr. King asked them to yell so it could be heard the world over.  Two years later the Voting Rights Act was passed.  Forty five years later they have their first black President.

Nobody says it has been easy.  To make things possible there are always mountains to climb.   But one step at a time, that dream comes a little closer.

In Hong Kong there is a dream.

In echoing the famous words of Dr. King “We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence”, Occupy Central with Love and Peace proposed a civil disobedience protest that would take place in July 2014 in pursuit of universal suffrage.   Be not afraid, the isle is full of noises.  Let’s take comfort in knowing, on this 50th anniversary, ‘the race riot that never was in Washington’ which provoked suspicion, anxiety and fears has had a historic and remarkable outcome.

Dream on!   Dream on!

I read, I like, I share (10) : Malala Yousafzai

“I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child.”

“Let us pick up our books and pens.  They are the most powerful weapons.”

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.  Education is the only solution.  Education first.”

— Malala Yousafzai : UN Birthday Address

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Thought of the day :

Once a lone voice in the wilderness, Malala is heard today giving her Birthday Address at the UN to over 500 youth delegates worldwide.  In order to bring changes to the world, we need to empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge.   She calls on world leaders to take urgent action to ensure every child has the right to go to school.

Surely not a normal celebration for sweet sixteen?

Her birthday wish?   Getting every girl and boy into school by 2015.

Is Malala over-optimistic?  The former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, believes it’s achievable.   “Malala says it’s possible – and young people all over the world think it’s possible”.  “The youths are a ‘new superpower’ in the world”.  

Huge cheers for Malala, for she is an inspiration to young people.  Pass on her message, help make the world a better place.

Happy Birthday, Malala!