Writing this book was an odyssey. I confess that writing a book was not on my bucket list, and suddenly here we are! Now, it is hard for me to pinpoint the accurate adjective to describe how good this journey was, so I will spare myself the task.
One certainty is that throughout this voyage, I was constantly guided by two premises established by these two polymath geniuses of mankind:
“The natural desire of good men is knowledge.” — Leonardo Da Vinci (Italian-born, 1452-1519)
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” — Albert Einstein (German-born, 1879-1955)
Sadly, there are persons so exceedingly poor, that they solely have enormous amounts of both money, and pride; but they entirely lack the curiosity to pursue and the ability to cherish knowledge. This is a horrendous malady of the soul, the spirit, and the mind.
By contrast, I believe that the pursuit and cherishing of knowledge are cardinal virtues, which condense the state-of-the-art definition of generational wealth. I raise my kids Iago and Caique to be knowledge-oriented persons. I raise them to teach their own children to follow suit.
To be precise, I teach a lifelong obsession with knowledge, which will lead to an acknowledgement of how little we know and how much we do not. It both requires and provides humility, which assures the establishment of a virtuous cycle. Thus, this feedback loop aids us in being more compassionate toward others.
That being said, I fully recognize that wherever we are on our learning expedition, i.e., regardless of the amount of knowledge we have, it will always be limited. Hence, knowledge is the launching-pad that propels us into the incalculable immensity of the universe of new conceptualizations, of creativity, and of imagination.
From that point on, human ingenuity is unstoppable. And each and every one of us must be constantly sensitive to and interested in seizing this human ingenuity to tackle issues present in the lives of us ordinary people—to bring more satisfaction to our existence.
While we pursue this ideal scenario, knowledge is paramount because it not only protects us from the malicious panderers, but also heals us into becoming our own champions. Namely, knowledge in all its forms is the greatest antidote ever created.
It endows us with both self-reliance and what I call inter-independence, i.e., rather than being based on mutual dependence; our relationships become based on both mutual independence and reciprocity. We cooperate with one another not because we need to/are obligated to, but because we freely choose to. I am convinced that:
The perfect harmony between knowledge and wisdom, is the closest phenomenon to a panacea ever known.
But what differentiates knowledge and wisdom? I tip my hat to the next distinction, one that perfectly captures Albert Einstein’s quotation that I mentioned in prior, and is attributed to Jimi Hendrix (American-born, 1942-1970):
“Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.”
This citation is a sort of derivative of the amazing interpretation from Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (American-born, 1809 – 1894), who said:
“It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”
In this context, it would be an unfathomable privilege and honor for me, if your wisdom could listen to what my minuscule knowledge speaks throughout this book.
Having said all this, I am now going to invite you for an even deeper dive into my inner sanctum.
There is nothing better to begin that than by talking about Him. Since God “writes straight with crooked lines,” sometimes we must pay extra attention to grasp the perfection of the message He conveys. When Saint Tomas wrongly confessed “Unless I see… I will not believe,” God wisely and kindly professed:
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
At this point in my life, the teaching indicated by this line is vivid clear to me. From my standpoint, Jesus Christ meant that we all must believe before being endowed with the gift to see. The crux of this directive of the Lord can be applied across-the-board, so therefore it is not circumspect to the idea of seeing God Himself. Putting it differently, for us to see our dreams coming true, we must rely, in the first place, on our own beliefs and actions.
The essence of that divine memorandum, too, permeates the quotation of Gary Busey (American-born in 1944):
“Pray for the best, prepare for the worst, and expect the unexpected.”
Again, I instruct my two sons to make this the motto of their lives; however, I modify Mr. Busey’s quote to add “Work and.” Consequently, the mantra becomes:
Work and “pray for the best, prepare for the worst, and expect the unexpected.”
I regard myself to be an explorer. By this I mean: in order to circumvent the irremediable process of ageing, what works well for me is what I call the rejuvenating process of unlearning and relearning; along with frequently engaging in new activities. The more recent the last time I have done something for the first time is, the better I feel. That is a good metric for me.
“Frequently engaging in new activities” does not mean doing things halfway, playing them by ear, or taking anything for granted. No, not at all. Rather, it is an inherent part of my ideology the greatest precept established by Fernando Pessoa (Portuguese-born, 1888-1935), which I also do my best to fully comply with:
“To be great, be whole. Exclude nothing; exaggerate nothing that is not you. Be whole in everything. Put all you are into the smallest thing you do. So, in each lake, the moon shines with splendor, because it blooms up above.”
Finally, I also include the following line, which I incorporate into my life and my family’s life. At this instant, our master is Antonio Machado (Spanish-born, 1875-1939), who announced:
“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind, one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road—only wakes upon the sea.”
To sum up, I stress that I decided to enshrine forever the preceding thoughts here, simply because all the above truly encapsulate the very crux of the crux of my creeds. This is the core of my doctrine!