As if size matters...

A true story retold, ABBREVIATED and custom made to fit the attention span and interest of a modern-day, busy, or otherwise stressed out humanoid living in 2011 A.D. The purpose of this article is to (re)ignite the following realizations:

  1. That we are more at choice, even this very moment, than we think or believe we are.
  2. That our dreams and visions are not a menace but a blessing.

Now let me get to the story before the sizable influence of Master Blackberry or Master iPhone steals your attention. (I understand, it is not your fault. It is the fault of those damned cell phones of course.)

It is sometime in the mid to late 1300s and somewhere in the Not-So-Far East. A bloody, tired and disheartened wannabe conqueror of the world is leaning against a rock. Weary from battle and for all he knew totally defeated, his tired gaze was fixated upon an ant. He reflected on the silliness of the creature, which was ambitiously trying to carry a burden many times its own size to its nest. The ant failed, as was predicted by Teymur. At that moment he identified with the small and tiny creature dearly. After all, there he was - short, lame in one leg (a battle wound) and with not much of an army. What on earth was he thinking; intending to conquer the entire known world?!!! He saw the ant go down the rock and tackle the task again. It failed again and again and again... Time passed and Teymur was about to lose interest in the tiny bug when the ant finally moved the heavy burden to its nest successfully. Teymur cried out in outrage: "Am I to be even less than an Ant?!?"

Change can happens in a second and at this very moment, if you choose to. Of course, there is no harm in having a tiny bug providing you with some massive leverage.

Well, the rest of his story? What else? Off he went into the annals of history as not only one of the most brilliant and controversial conquerors of our world, but also as one of the greatest patrons of the arts history has ever known. In his spare time Teymur even invented a more complicated chess game based on a medieval version of chess. One may well assume that he must have spent much time playing it as well. After all, playing chess is a hobby much suitable to a conqueror who would like to broaden and polish up his vision of conquest. One way or another, that short and lame fellow knew (or figured out) the enormous power of an inspiring vision acted upon on a continuous basis. The tiny ant was in part a catalyst that freed Teymur's mind of self pity and grief. It induced enough pain in him to make him comprehend that he is not trying hard enough. That giving up is all too easy, while that tiny creature of an ant was restlessly going for what mattered most to it. So it was, in part, that Teymur became a living example of a person who could conquer almost anything just because he chose to follow his vision with a daring and adventuress spirit that believed in itself. He believed in himself, in part, because he knew that at times defeat only means try again or change your tactics. He knew that nothing can withstand the assault of action taken on a continuous basis toward a desired goal. After all if the tiny ant could do it, so could he.

Now, you might ask: How did this mighty conqueror end up? Well, at the tender age of 69, in the winter of 1405, Teymur decided to conquer China (He did not like how the Chinese were running their shop in regards to treating his Empire in the East). On his way, he

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(and his army of course) encountered one of the most brutal winters ever rerecorded in history. It has been said that his soldiers had to break through 5 feet of ice in order to fetch some water... As history has it, the giant in Teymur, inspired by a bug, succumbed to an even smaller bug.
One might be awestruck at Teymur's defeat on account of such a microscopic organism. On the bright side, however, one can argue, that at least he continuously acted according to his ambitions. Teymur never gave up.

 

However, if you look at this even from another point of view, one can easily say that what Teymur became as a human being is quite astonishing. After all, not only did he never give up on reaching his goals, he also lived life on his own terms and not on any others. He chased vision after vision and besides his conquest learned to appreciate and love art as well as science. You may Google some of the Architecture that he founded. (Yes, they are still standing). I am using Teymur as an example, because I just do not know of any other world conqueror who came from some dry steps in the far east (namely from a region where food was scarce and art and education nonexistent), had no education, conquered so much and even became a patron of art and science.

What you become as a person, because you chased your dreams can never be taken away from you. Chasing your dreams is the making of YOU. It is your contribution to humanity and it is ART.

I would like to interject with my personal opinion here. I must admit that I could not care at all for a person like Teymur to pay me a visit. After all, Teymur was, occasionally, very demanding of his soldiers. He would have them beheaded if they did not return from a conquest with at least 2 severed heads!!! However, what is interesting about him is the fact that he believed that our destiny is shaped by ourselves: "I am not a man of blood; and God is my witness that in all my wars I have never been the aggressor, and that my enemies have always been the authors of their own calamity."

Furthermore, evil or otherwise, he did no less than any other ambitious conqueror would do. As a matter of fact, it is easy to demonstrate what a novice he was in his profession and how unaware he was of the size of potential ambitions when it came to world conquest. Modern day conquerors go for your head in so many ways that it could make you just dizzy to know about it. Now, you may ask: Who are those modern day conquerors? Well, you can easily identify them. They sell you a vision and make you think that is your very own. As a matter of fact they sell you so many visions that you can hardly know your own vision and dreams any longer and should you suspect that there is something amiss, well then, there is surely some kind of medication for it. (yes, Americans consume more than 50 percent of all the drugs on this planet)

So it is, that many a modern day conqueror will not take your head literally. There is no need to behead a person when you can convince people to spend their hard earned or as yet unearned money (by means of credit card) on items they have no need of. The modern day conquerors line their pocket by using or druging your head, so why on earth should they behead you. Some of those conquerors even get bailed out by the government once they miscalculate in their attempt of conquest, and we as well as our children will end up paying for it (I am talking about the banks here, who could not care less that they lack in integrity or resposablitly)!!! This is for another article I know. But, this is one of the most sizable conquests I have ever seen. The question is: Who is the author of this calamity? Would Teymur feel sorry for a nation that has the freedom to vote, spend their money where they want to... and still come to grief?

So, next time around, when you find yourself purchasing a useless product, service or above all someone else’s vision of what is good for you, ask yourself: Am I "the author of my own calamity?" or…

The enormity of our complicated modern day versions of conquest obviously escaped Teymur's size and scope of vision. However, if he did know of it, I can say with certainty he would not feel sorry for our modern day victims. Oops, I meant modern day "authors of their own calamity". We are rarely forced to give up our dreams and

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visions. We just are not willing to take the responsibility that is necessary to reach them.

 

Let me clarify what I mean by responsibility by using Teymur as a model again. Teymur may have lacked the large scope of vision that a modern day conqueror has but he was no less than the best of our modern day conquerors according to history. One can even argue that he had far more integrity than many a modern day conqueror. After all, he was a human being who walked his talk (according to history). Namely, he took responsibility in the truest sense. He had the ability to respond by conscious choice, rather than by default, on a continuous basis.

The size of Teymur’s ambitions never deterred him from taking action with laser-beam focus on the target of his choice. Teymur was not even deterred by embarking on China in the brutal month of February at the age of 69. The clarity he had of his purpose was so huge that he could even describe himself in just one tiny

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word: "Ghazi" (meaning: Warrior with a noble purpose). If you do not comprehend the enormity of this simple clarity then ask yourself: How would I define myself? Am I more a worrier or a warrior? Do I find myself more often than not busy striving, or striving to strive?!!! Am I a function of the size of my daring vision or the size of the intentional vacuum of my lack of vision? Do I choose to choose or live on a default mode because the nature or size of my vision seems too grand and too unreachable?

 

I promised to deliver 2 subjects in this article and one of them regarded the fact, that our dreams and visions are not a menace but a blessing. Therefore, I would like to wrap up this article with a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci: "Our problem is not that our aim is too high and we don't reach it, but rather that it is too low and we do reach it." Now, why do you think Da Vinci believed what he said? What happens to you when you reach a goal that can be categorized under “…too low and we do reach it”? I would say: Nothing happens. Why? Because, (again) choosing to follow our true dreams and visions is making of who we are. Every time we reach for what we truly desire we expand our identity and become more as a person. When we do not reach for what our soul

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dictates, nothing happens. Perhaps because the true gift is not always in reaching our goal or vision but in the path we take in order to reach it. However, you won’t have any reason to take any path at all, if you do not have a strong desire to make a vision a reality.

 

I am not suggesting that we have to go and set ourselves huge and difficult to reach goals. It is for you to know and identify what your needs and desires are. However, it does not hurt to envision Teymur’s outcry: “Am I to be even less than an Ant?!?”