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Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 1:03amSanction this postReply
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Amen

Encountering the thinking of Ayn Rand was, for many of us, a watershed period in our lives, one we will not forget.

Perhaps we cannot tie it to a specific moment, as we'd remember what were doing when a president dies, or when men walked on the moon, or when the Berlin wall fell--reading, say, Atlas Shrugged is not an event of a moment. It is an act of growing awareness, an epiphany in slow motion.

For me, it was the realization that humans, whatever their flaws, are magnificent beings and a crowning achievement of nature. Ayn Rand's greatest gift to me was the freedom to take pleasure in my own humanity without apology to a god, to my neighbor, or to the planet.  

For you, it may take a somewhat different form. But if you're reading this, you probably know how I feel.

Nathan Hawking

(Edited by Nathan Hawking on 5/26, 1:46am)




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Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 8:48amSanction this postReply
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This is a beautiful article, Chris, in response to which I can only stand at attention with tears in my eyes and salute you.

Tom




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Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 12:19pmSanction this postReply
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Excellent article Chris, well said.

Shane




Post 3

Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 5:25pmSanction this postReply
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Excellent and very moving, Chris. I can very much relate to this article, not just because of our mutual connection to Ayn Rand and Objectivism, but because I've had my own life altering health problems. I think I am a better person today both because of and in spite of those problems. Because physical activity was very difficult for me for an extended period, it also gave me the opportunity to spend more time reading, an activity I've always loved but had limited time to pursue. After reading all the novels I'd collected I began searching out new authors as well as actively studying Objectivism and increasing my knowledge and understanding of it. And in spite of now being deaf in one ear and living with a persistent balance disorder, my overall health is probably better today than before due to my rational drive to improve my health and life.

And, Nathan, you are right on the money when you said, "It is an act of growing awareness, an epiphany in slow motion." Truer words have never been said. Kudos. 





Post 4

Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 5:27pmSanction this postReply
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Chris,

Just another terrific article--you never disappoint. Speaking about celebrating Ayn Rand, this fall, Oct. 21-2 to be exact, The West Virginia Philosophical Society will be offering its own tribute to her at our meeting at Wheeling Jesuit University. Thus far I have lined up four speakers, three of whom are well known to SOLOists. Ed Younkins of Wheeling Jesuit, Bill Clark (who went to school with Peikoff) from WVU, yours truly who will be speaking on Rand's Fourfold Theory of Truth, and the piece de resistance, our own Tibor Mahan will be the keynoter delivering an address on Rand, Hobbes and Toqueville. If anyone is interested in details send my an e-mail.
Once again, a beautiful essay baby.
Fred



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Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 9:42pmSanction this postReply
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Nice one, Chris.

I can say, without hesitation, that Rand, her writing and her philosophy, is the only thing that has allowed me to maintain my sanity in the face of personal difficulties. I discovered her writings by circuitous means as a teenager when I was at my wits end suffering from my own chronic health problems. I gained strength and certitude, and, I would like to think, a quiet dignity through her works.

Ego, self-esteem, pride, etc are what drives us forward, to better things and to the guiltless enjoyment of our lives. I shudder to think what or where I would be without my discovery of these principles at an early age. Good philosophy is fundamental to good mental health and I'm thankful for mine every day.

Ross Elliot



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Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 11:40pmSanction this postReply
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What a touching personal tribute, Chris.

Your story brought up so many parallels with my experience Ayn Rand-wise that I started to feel, er, well, weird.

Anyway, I did pretty well philosophy-wise all alone in another culture (Brazil) for years. There I lived through and overcame some very serious personal problems and had some wonderful triumphs, partially because of the philosophy - no, there is a better phrase, intellectual security (whew! that's better...) that carrying her ideas around in your head provides (even before they are fully thought through).

Your article is chock full of so many good thoughts and feelings that it is hard to chose one to comment on. So I will merely emulate your closing and say myself a long overdue:

Thank you, Ayn Rand.

And, also, thank you Chris for such an inspiring article.

Michael




Post 7

Friday, May 27, 2005 - 3:30amSanction this postReply
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Chris: I, too, was deeply touched by this. It's the most personal statement I've read by you, as well as being a terrific tribute to Rand. Bravo, Chris.   



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Post 8

Friday, May 27, 2005 - 8:03amSanction this postReply
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Hey, folks, thanks to all of you for your very touching posts here and for all those "sanction votes" too.  I've written tons of stuff for SOLO HQ, and this is, quite literally, the ONLY article ever in all the years that I've been here that has earned its way to 4-Atlas Status.  I've had quite a few 3-Atlas Status pieces, but I've never broken through to the lofty realm of four.  Maybe this means I need to write more personal pieces for FREE RAD/SOLO HQ.  Just wait till I start mining all those diaries for memoir material.  Scandalous stuff!  ;)

Seriously, I am genuinely touched by the comments here, including those of you who shared memories of your own personal odysseys.  I know there are a lot more "jazzy" topics circulating here at SOLO.  But I look forward to reading more about people's own discoveries of Ayn Rand and the personal significance her work has had in each instance.

All the best,
Chris




Post 9

Friday, May 27, 2005 - 8:21amSanction this postReply
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(Chris has) Scandalous stuff!  ;)
Can't wait!

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 5/27, 8:25am)




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Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 12:56amSanction this postReply
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Chris, of any human being I have known in my life, you are the most courageous. Blessings, my friend.

Barbara



Post 11

Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 11:09amSanction this postReply
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Chris, your health may have closed a door in your life, but you must have set the record for open windows, because I have never encounter so much fresh air from anybody.



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Post 12

Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 10:09pmSanction this postReply
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Thank you, Barbara, and Jim, and everyone else ...

Just know that any "courage" I manifest is made all the more possible because I count my blessings, every last one of them... and I count my friends and colleagues among the highest of those blessings. 




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