Hey folks...take a minute and join in on the raffle for some great laptops and other prizes. Your donations go to fund the HeliOS Project. We are trying to gain enough support to take us through the rest of the year. You can go here to get the specifics. These laptops are extremely sweet. We honestly hope that we can meet the needs of others for the rest of this year. There is a text link on the left side of the page to enter or you can just click here. Thanks. - h
This isn't newsworthy stuff. It doesn't directly deal with anything the readers of this blog have come to expect. Instead, I am posting this as a simple communication to those people...and maybe bring some understanding to certain events that have taken place in the past few weeks. I haven't exactly been accessible or approachable lately.
Nothing earth-shaking...I simply want to talk to you about something.
Four weeks ago, I wrote my last blog.
It was for all intentions at the time to be my last blog. A blog you will never read.
It wasn't melodramatic, drawn-out or rambling. It was a simple statement as to why I have to quit doing what I do. Again, nothing deeply philosophical or profound, it was much more mundane than that...but more powerful than either of them could ever be.
I am tired to the core of my soul.
The kind of tired that surpasses physical fatigue...the kind of tired that rocks you with an inertia weight you could never before imagine.
For the first time in four years I honestly didn't care about what it was I started...what it was that I had a moral obligation to do unto perpetuity. The kids didn't matter anymore, the families...nothing mattered.
I simply wanted to go sit on the bank of a river and fish for the rest of my life.
A number of things brought this about. Recently, we had a chance to go on a local radio show and tell a huge audience about what The HeliOS Project does. I had high hopes...hopes for donations...hope for some help doing what we do. We would be reaching tens of thousands. We did get a response.
* One pentium III with a broken printer donated
* 81 requests for HeliOS Project computers
It was simply an event that brought the weight of what we attempt to do down hard on me. Now let me clarify something...something that is most important for me to say.
People I have never met...people I have come to meet via this venue have supported in large this effort for two years. I could not nor would not ever ask anything more of the fine people that have become part of what we do. You have been my backbone, and for that, you have my immortal gratitude. Thank you.
The problem settled into me that there just isn't anyone outside of you who gives a crap. Being laid off had a lot to do with it. I am out of work for a month now. I don't make it a big deal but I've pumped a butt-load of my own money into this project. I've never complained...I fully accept this thing I do as my calling in life and I would have done anything I needed to do in order to do it.
To include rip the ligament in my left arm to the point of needing surgery.
I went to a long-time friend and poured this out...I just puked every silly little problematic thing I felt all over his life...but he listened, like a true friend does. I don't know what I expected...I don't know why I thought he was going to give me the answers.
All he said is that I would know what to do when the time came. He asked me if I had considered the impact on the people I would not serve...the ones that would not benefit in the future from what we did.
I didn't want to answer him and he didn't push me for one...he knew he had scored a point.
See, the point he tried to make to me was that we are all not called to greatness. Some of us are called to pave the way for the great. The teachers, the mentors, the chance meeting with strangers that alter a person's course in life forever.
I've long known that I am not going to be great...never set out to be...never wanted to be.
But I had never considered myself being one of the bricklayers...that had never occured to me.
And then Gavin emailed me...out of the blue, without knowing anything about the mini-drama going on in my life, he wrote to me something that changed everything.
This is not about me or any of the people that help run The HeliOS Project....probably not about you either. It's about that one in a million that reaches leadership or influential positions that guide an entire people to greatness and prosperity....or to ingenuity and a better life.
All those people were kids once...someone molded and prodded them to be who they ultimately were to be. I want to share with you what Gavin sent me:
If I were smart enough to actually contribute an original idea to this world, I would prefer immortality over wealth. Who is more famous? King Henry III of England or Galileo Galilei? Philip I of France or Isaac Newton? Socrates, Karl Marx, Oliver Cromwell, Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Johannes Kepler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - these are the names that are remembered beyond the borders of time and sovereign nations. Their ideas are printed in books and school papers alike. They are the giants who stood on the shoulders of other giants so that the rest of us could dare to be taller. Their genius has inspired every single generation after them, long after empires have fallen and great halls have been conquered by strings of enemies. They push us forward while whispering into our ears that we can be better, always and unconditionally better. A person may touch other lives before they die, but a very few people throughout history have touched THE WORLD, forever and always. You can't buy that! Not that all those geniuses died destitute and alone, but a few of them did and hardly anyone remembers that part. What we do remember is that the sun is the center of our solar system, gravity and motion have powerful rules, reason leads to truth, people can be equal to each other, rule by birthright is a silly notion, a simple smile can lift a failed flight machine, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, matter and energy are one in the same, a brushless electric engine really IS possible, the planetary orbits have amazing patterns, and music has a power over the soul matched only by love. To be a part of that priceless company would be so incredible that I could die, right now, without regret. No dollar signs, no wine or women, no televised spotlights across the globe. Just peace, for the world, forever. Maybe not now, maybe not a hundred years from now, but someday it will be. And the pride and elation will belong to those few who reached across time and made it so. That's my opinion, anyway...
Somebody shaped these people...somebody influenced their lives so that they became what they were, or are. Gavin knows....the majority of us will never touch the world...but one of us may touch her that does touch the world.
Even if it's such an insignificant thing as giving them a computer when they are eleven years old.
I'm still tired, still unsure of how it is I am going to keep doing what I am doing. I do know that I no longer have the health and vitality to work a 10-12 hour a day job and do The HeliOS Project the rest of the time. It was suggested by my good friend that I find a way to fund it so that I can draw a small salary from what I do. I think I am going to do that. I am never going to be wealthy, my needs are extremely simple...truth was at one time I was fairly close to it and was the most miserable son of a bitch you ever met. I didn't like that man...but I like this one for the most part, enough so that I don't wince when I look in the mirror.
You probably didn't deserve this pouring babble...I am sure you didn't expect it. What I am sure of now is that a simple smile can lift a failed flight machine...and a loving chastisement can boost a tired spirit.
And that one small, seemingly insignificant act can breed the next Richard Stallman, or give him the tools to that person become.
Now if you will excuse me, I have computers to build...and a plan to put together so I can build them.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 1:52 AM