Principles of Life

Initiative and Result

The cover story of Time magazine of December 23, 1991, on the collapse of the Soviet Union, includes an interview of Gorbachev, the former President of the USSR, titled, ‘A Man without a Country.’

Readers’ impressions were published in letter form in the issue of January 13, 1992. One reader writes:

Negative Mentality

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924) who was later known to the world by his revolutionary name Lenin was born into a family who tended to be political extremists. To make matters worse, Lenin’s elder brother Alexander made an abortive attempt to kill the Czar and was executed as a result in 1887. Consequently, the whole family had to bear the brunt of persistent persecution by the government.

Starting from Scratch

“I have reached my present position by climbing a ladder and not by coming up to it in a lift.” This observation was made by a tailor who had started with nothing but his own two hands and the will to work, and who had become eminently successful in his line of business. “Making a good coat is not child’s play. The whole process is so complicated that without detailed information as to how to proceed, long experience and a high degree of skill, it is almost impossible to accomplish. It is only after a lifetime of hard work that I have succeeded in running a prosperous shop in the city.”

Action, Not Reaction

Several years ago, IBM, the famous American Computer Company, was already so far ahead in the field of computers that its officers, making fun of Japanese computer companies, had quipped: ‘When IBM sneezes, Japanese computer makers are blown away.’