Saturday, February 11, 2012
What at the age of 75 clings to the mind of a working life, happens to be a small excerpt of activities relating to one's major drive. The main thread through my years was innovation. And the overwhelming theme was - one cannot sit down and say, let us innovate. Innovation started in my experience with a tangible problem. So the first issue was - what was wrong or missing. Once this had been cleared, data on alternative courses of action had to be pursued to some depth, so the best prototype could be developed with confidence. That settled, 90% had been done; just leaving the second 90% for implementation (the most recent one I heard of a planner).
For me, it took an open mind to delve into the mechanics of a problem. With obligate perseverance, as the subsequent bumpy road provoked the usual disbelief, nullification, and laughter. It did not pay off well either. Undeniably, many of my colleagues have done substantially better in terms of their personal balance sheet. But, then again, at 75 it is your own and final verdict that matters. In my case, my present satisfaction is in daily seeing my proposals converted into reality.
When I was young I bought a down-priced copy of a book on Confucius. I must have presupposed that he had some everlasting answers. Probably expecting, that he was going to deeply influence our future. How it should be handled through daily virtues of individuals, such as humanity, uprightness, knowledge, integrity and propriety. Remarkably, as far as I remember, he was born from a 16-year old girl and a 65-year old man. Some 500 years in advance, he might be regarded as a predecessor of Christ. Both their philosophies do not contain intentions of bloodshed, many others have practiced. As such, I regard the crusades the ultimate contrast to Christianity itself. My forefather, Burg Count of Bielefeld, had been in one. On his return he renamed himself, obviously expressing the false view he had nurtured. That way, wanting his offspring to remind until this very day of the wrongdoings one can make in the name of religion.
The very reason for being around presented itself in my late teens. It originated quite unexpectedly in reading the sermon on the mountain. I immediately realized that this sermon outlasted everything I had ever read or heard before, and also, that I would never read a better rationale on the reason to live, which I can say now, became true.
Reinier Jan Scheele (12 february 1937),
Terneuzen, o/b Zeewind.
To conclude with I might try and translate a poem by Gerrit Achterberg:
The helmsman that evening was the heart
to carry moon and shadow across its faintish chart,
when sailing on a mirror sea,
reflected by life's memory.
To ghost with wind and rays and night
round bow and rig, beyond the latest light.