When I watch one of of my favourite motivational videos A Story For Tomorrow, the narrator starts
“You are on a quest, to search for the same thing that everyone is searching for.”
But what are you searching for? What are you looking for in life? What are you waiting for?
“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.”
Am I going to be motivated in life, by the eyes of other people or motivated by working towards my own goals and plans?
Will anyone explain to me why I continue doing what I do, why I do the things I do, or will I explain them myself?
I try to follow three rules of thumb:
- Be friendly
- Be yourself
- Do good things
And I try to take control of my life.
Inspiring things take all kinds of forms, people, paintings, theatre, poems, and, of course, songs.
I really liked this Photosynthesis by Frank Turner
and I feel I should explain which of the lyrics mean a lot to me.
Oh maturity’s a wrapped up package deal so it seems
And ditching teenage fantasy means ditching all your dreams
All your friends and peers and family solemnly tell you you will
Have to grow up be an adult yeah be bored and unfulfilled
They’re only saying this because they’re bored, unfilled and haven’t experienced life any other way. Fair enough. It’s not their fault. It’s up to you to take control. I’m much in awe of those who, at points in their lives where traditionally they go and get a super dull job and join the PTA at the local primary school (not that there’s anything wrong with PTAs!). I have so much respect for people who go out of their way to do exciting things they’re passionate about, whatever their situation.
Be that cycling to Australia, driving from China to Cape town, 28yro’s quitting their day jobs and taking a belated gap year, my paternal grandfather finally getting a degree in his late 80s, my maternal grandparents sailing into Poland behind the iron curtain on a 16 foot open dinghy.
If you’re bored and unfulfilled there’s only one person who can do something about that: you.
Oh when no ones yet explained to me exactly what’s so great
About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate
Look I’m meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity
Well if that’s your road then take it but it’s not the road for me
Shut up, sit down mediocrity, Let’s do this!.
I first encountered Richard, like many others, via the Schoolforge-uk (SF-UK) mailing list, with his posts on free software and LTSP related subjects.
As probably one of the only Manchester Free Software talks that was not been videoed (release of the videos is a separate issue!), it was a talk that I vividly remember regretting it was not being recorded mid-talk. I regret this to this day.
Some may know that Richard was a important (I think Chief) Examiner for one of the exam boards in GCSE ICT (I think) and at the time, I was having a really hard time with my AS ICT Applied double courses.
I really enjoyed his talk which, whilst focusing on his deployment of LTSP in secondary schools, gave some very insightful ideas into what an school which fully embraced free software could turn out like.
He mentioned that the idea of running the network on LTSP came from two technologically adept 15 year olds.
He explained how they approached him with this distro that did basic LTSP, and so he took them out of lessons and got them to demonstrate how it worked to him on two old machines. Once the potential became clear, as I understand he deployed LTSP on a largish network with minimal resources, saving oodles of money and using recycled computers.
To me, a place where IT staff not only listened to the students, but interacted and were willing to look into ideas shared by the students is amazing, but for them build this system *around* free software is a utopia.
I think Richard persuaded me that there were better places out there, and it was worth working hard to work towards those.
I hope this is what I’m doing now.
A true legend, remembered well.
Richard sadly died on Friday 17th July.
There is a tribute website set up for him at http://tributestorichardrothwell.net, where you can leave your condolences.