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Inspiration can come in many forms and life is just a big book of inspiring quotes.
It would be a strong statement that I’m a regular runner, but I do run time to time for healthy reasons. I have my usual routs too. One of my favorites is to run through the Liberty Bridge and then finish at the Elisabeth Bridge where you are welcomed with a big F&F billboard with a swimsuit supermodel. I don’t want to look like her, I never will, but you can’t miss the advertisement, it will trigger something in you for sure. Sometimes it pisses me of that this is the unattainable beauty standard sold for us everywhere in media, sometimes it can be inspiring, because she looks gorgeous, and I’m a girl too, so sue me, sometimes I wish to look different too. But tonight the sight changed, new billboard, a new Audi advertisement with the slogan “NEW STANDARD”. I stopped and stared with a big smile, now that was motivational, because you are the one who can also decide what’s the new standard. You are the one who can see new perspectives, to decide your own standards and values you want to live up to and sometimes you got reminders in a funny way. So finished my evening run with a feeling that no matter how I look or probably I’m the slowest runner among all budapestians, I do my best under the circumstances and try to live up to “new standards”.
“I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”
~ James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves
I was home all day so at the evening I decided to take a walk at least and get some fresh air. But in Budapest a walk is never just a walk if you pay attention.
As soon as I passed the little park near my apartment two strangers stopped me and asked what am I thinking about the new law accepted by the parliament that all stores and super markets (only with a few exceptions) has to be closed on Sunday. The law is justified by the reason that it protects the interest of the most fundamental building block of our society, family. I would remark it was Monday and I don’t think that it’s completely a bad idea, but that’s for a longer conversation. I thought this is some kind of questioner but no, they were just in a “philosophical” state and wanted somebody to talk to. So before I could say anything one of them shared his life story in five minutes. We talked shortly and when they saw I would be on my way, they kindly apologized for keeping me up and asked if I’m a poet. What?!? Haha, nope. “Cause you sure look like somebody who wrote some poetry already.” And I was thinking that if writing a script counts as poetry, then I am. Or maybe I should really consider a carrier change. Or they know something. Shhh!
Budapest has such an unique atmosphere and it can always surprise you. On my way up to Gellért hill I passed the bridge where people just sit and enjoy the view, the beggar sitting in the same spot as always, reading, a street art I never even noticed before and I was thinking how many times we just walk by things without really noticing them. The funny tourist checking the walls of the building (he looked like an architect), the annoying couples on benches everywhere. Okay, they are not annoying, maybe I’m just a little jealous of them and it would be uncomfortable looking anyway. We pass by the breathtaking view, without taking a closer look and sometimes we miss out a lot.
It was somehow a weird, beautiful walk.
I think it was two years ago when I saw his photos in an exhibition at the National Museum in Budapest and it was amazing. Today somehow I remembered that day, so I thought I will write shortly about him.
Robert Capa (aka Endre Friedmann) was born in Budapest (1913), he became famous across the globe with his photographs capturing the horrors of the Spanish Civil War especially with one photo he took on the Cordoba Front of a militiaman who had just been shot and was in the act of falling to his death. There are lots of stories about his life, maybe half of them are inaccurate. He had many famous lovers, he was actually a short man but women fall in love with him in a second. He became friends with amazing people like Hemingway, he lived through a lot and despite all that I think he was a down to earth person. He had something called charisma, enjoyed himself in his own particular way and simply he just lived adventurously. We all should seek to live like him a little bit.
Capa certainly is deservedly one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, primarily he is a documentarian and considered as a war correspondent. During his short life he photographed five main battlefield: the Spanish Civil War, the Japanese invasion of China, the European front during World War II, the first Arab-Israeli war and the First Indochina War.
Maybe I’m a little bit biased, but I can be, I’m proud of him and his work and this is one of my favorite quotes from him: “It’s not enough to have talent, you also have to be Hungarian.”
What makes an idea or a start-up great? It has to satisfy a need (even an unknown one). It’s good if it’s applicable in a broader spectrum, if it’s expansible but also has to simplify not to make it more complicated. Of course it has to be profitable too, but I think a key to success is that in some way it’s humanitarian or wants things to improve and makes thing better, it provides a service that gives something to both partners and it’s not just one sided exploitation, or else we are just making another atomic bomb that brings destruction.
This is not fresh news but I just found this company CrowdFlower and I think what they do is great. CrowedFlower is a San Francisco based company, but like many others before them they first began as a start-up, they struggled through a lot, used coffee shops as a workplace but they made it to the big leagues. Data science is one of the most growing fields nowadays, it is indispensable in science, in finances but also in sociology or in a presidential election. The idea of CrowedFlower is to “make it possible for anyone around the world to earn a little by doing a little”. If a user want to label big amount of data he can specify his needs and the task will be assigned to millions of online workers which will increase the speed of the workload, it’s a little bit like parallel computing. In the end everybody wins you get payed for your work and the user get the work done.
But what I like the most in this idea is that you can make something bigger with participation and doing little steps. I heard that idea first among the principles of the Burning Man festival. “Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.“
And maybe that’s where we should start.
For further readings:
I don’t know what I’m going to do and what will happen in the future, but I realized a few things today: as long as I have my mind I will figure something out and as long as I have my heart I will get through a lot. And there are good people around us some of them are in our lives from the beginnings others just stepped into it recently (maybe only for a couple of hours), with some of them we share a home while others live far from us and there are some we not yet even met.