Atlas Shrugged

Atlas ShruggedAtlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I think, therefore I’ll think.”
For me idealism is a way of life.
Many will not agree with me, many would scoff at this and many would take it as impractical and utopian.
But, for me, we set our own standards to which we want to live our lives and anything less than trying to be the best in our endeavours is a waste, a loss and a dishonour to oneself.
There is no such thing as a great job or a lousy job but men who either take theirs to the penultimate heights of perfection or those who do not care enough.

“If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”

The greatness is not in doing something; the greatness is in doing it to the best and always knowing that there is a scope for growth. The not knowing is not the enemy, but not knowing and not wanting to learn certainly is.

I am tremendously awed by Ayn Rand’s philosophy.
In Atlas Shrugged she speaks of the world I would have loved to live in.
Where truth, honesty and vision eclipse everything else. Where men are not bound by the sense of duty towards their work but inexhaustible passion, possession and ecstasy in what they do.

Her theory of objectivism doesn’t scare me.
Having pride in ones’ work and seeking the best for oneself isn’t a crime. Yes, we have certain responsibilities towards the society we live in. But, what if the irrationality of what is demanded supersedes the logicality of what makes us want to carry on. It’s the balance that sustains the world.

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

In our limited scope of thinking we expect the world to deliver us their geniuses and force upon them a sense of duty which can be bought with materialism.
What would we do if all we have is wealth and no abilities of doing anything with it? What would a machine do if it is displayed in all its greatness but the knowledge to use it is missing?
The choice is either to acknowledge those who had the guts and the power to bring what we take for granted or be forever condemned in the misery of our greed.

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him?”
I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”
To shrug.”

There is no joy in the work that becomes a burden or a means of fulfilment of greed of the uncaring and the undeserving. The greatness is not carrying the burden but in knowing when you have had enough even if it means sacrificing the thing you love the most. It’s not just the holding on to what you love but letting go also that takes guts and is painful.

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”
It’s not enough to want something in Life. What is necessary is to know and give it the kind of sacrifices it would demand of you.
The world would continuously push you to submit and beat upon you to concede. Never give up on what you think you deserve.

This book isn’t for someone who is bored with words that are marked of integrity and character.
This book isn’t for someone who finds comfort in cosy boundaries of imperfections and doesn’t want to learn.
This book isn’t for someone who is scared of being tough and exigent of oneself.

Because, this book will demand of you to think. Think, and be the hardest on yourself that you can be.

Yes, there will be times where the text would be too long.
Yes, there would be hurdles to cross that would force open you mind to think.
Yes, there would be times where the passion of its characters would seem fictional and reproachful because you would glaringly see the many cracks in you that need be enhanced.
Yes, there would be idealism, honour and passion that would seem unreal, not because it’s impossible but because of what it takes and what it demands to be reached.

You may not agree with all that it says but you certainly will be inspired and have a glimpse of an elysian feeling to create and innovate.
Ayn Rand’s words are a genius and the passion that rubs on to you is priceless!
What you take from it depends entirely on you. You may consider it a 1100 plus pages of mess that asks you to abandon the world that needs you or you make consider as a piece of genius that asks you to raise yourself to the highest limits possible.

The rewards of reading it are many and there is nothing to lose.
I gained a world. Would you?

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Categories: Book Review, Classics, dystopia, Science Fiction | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Atlas Shrugged

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