No, Seriously, It’s Snowing (and a few thoughts on Atlas Shrugged)

I had to stop reading Atlas Shrugged for a minute to snap this picture outside of the window by my reading chair. Talk about déjà vu! Yet, in a way I still find it lovely, as long as we don’t have a Snow Day tomorrow which will put us to June 10 as the last day of school.

So, I’m reading Ayn Rand. Again. Because I love her. The first time I read Atlas Shrugged I was seventeen, and I snagged my mother’s copy from her book club. (No romance novels for that group, let me tell you!) I went right through it, and then on to The Fountainhead and finally Anthem.  

Parts of me are unable to accept some of the tenets in her Objectivism philosophy. The “money” as God thing doesn’t cut it for me. Neither does extreme selfishness which excludes compassion for the truly weak.
But, when I get discouraged by the bureaucracy which surrounds me; the laws which seem to have no effect but to hinder excellence; the way my search to exceed what I know and do ends in no reward other than my own self-approval, I pick up Atlas Shrugged.

It comforts me. 
It reminds me that excellence is worthy, and more importantly, necessary. It reminds me that when I become the best teacher I can be, the students have the best learning. It reminds me that no matter what I do, be it teaching or reading or flipping a hamburger, I need to do it to the very best of my ability. Otherwise I am cheating myself, and thereby those who receive what I am offering.
Most days, I applaud Atlas for shrugging.
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29 thoughts on “No, Seriously, It’s Snowing (and a few thoughts on Atlas Shrugged)”

  1. SEEKING GOD?

    Is it possible to seek God? Calvinists teach that none seek God. They believe God selects all who will be saved, making it an impossibility to seek HIM. Man-made doctrines are always contrary to Scripture. God's word is always, the last word.

    Acts 15:15-17 With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 After theses things I will return, And I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, And I will restore it, 17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,

    Prophets of God agree that all mankind may seek the Lord; a sharp contrast to Calvinistic teaching.

    Psalm 10:4 The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”

    The wicked can seek God, however, they choose not to. Pride destroys the desire to seek God.

    Acts 17:26-27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

    Mankind is to seek God. He is there for whoever is willing to find Him.

    Psalm 53:1-2 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”…..2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks God,

    If God selects men to be saved against their will, He would not have to look down to see who seeks Him.

    Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.

    God says diligently seek Him. Calvinists proclaim that no man can seek God. Who do you believe?

    2 Chronicles 19:3 But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God.”

    Men need to prepare their hearts to seek God.

    Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

    The writer of the Psalms says God will not forsake those who seek God. Those who preach, the John Calvin view of predestination, strongly disagree.

    Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom……

    Jesus says seek God's kingdom. John Calvin says men cannot seek God.

    Hebrews 11:6 ….for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

    God rewards those who seek Him.

    GOD DOES NOT ARBITRARILY FORCE MEN INTO HIS KINGDOM. MEN NEED TO SEEK GOD!

    (All Scripture quotes from:NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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  2. We got snow, too. Went from 82 degrees on Saturday to 32 with rain, thunder, lightning and snow on Sunday. Gotta love spring in the Midwest. 😉

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  3. More snow?! Ah, well spring snow is especially lovely, out of place and season.

    I dislike extreme selfishness as well, but I “get” what you're saying about the value of excellence, and about obtaining self-approval (and confidence) from oneself, rather than seeking the approval of others. Glad you're enjoying Atlas Shrugged!

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  4. I read “Atlas Shrugged” in college, and really didn't understand it at all. Now, having spent years gaining an education, rising in a profession, building a business and – oh, my, yes! – even blogging, I think I need another read. She's a tonic, and her perspective is realistic and not at all as lacking in compassion as some think.

    Speaking of the search for excellence, you might want to check out this book. You may remember Charles Murray as author of “The Bell Curve”, which rattled a few of its own cages in its day. I'll probably do a review of it once I've read it. It's of great interest not only for Charles' reputation, but also because we were in high school together – we both were debaters. There's a story to tell about it all.

    He has the best Twitter profile: “Husband, father, social scientist, writer, libertarian. Or maybe right-wing ideologue, pseudoscientist, evil. Opinions differ.” Every time I read that, I laugh.

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  5. Beautiful short and sweet review of this mammoth book, Bellezza! Glad to know that this is one of your favourites. Loved that picture from your window 🙂

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  6. Sorry to be irreverent, but every time Ayn Rand comes up I feel compelled to watch this, perhaps the best (and, at 5 seconds, the briefest) take on Ayn Rand I've yet found:

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  7. Wonderful clip, Scott! It reminds me of every Dean I've ever known (including Dean Wormer), not to mention summarizing an often tedious philosophy quite brilliantly. Thanks for the smile.

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  8. It's so true, Linda, that Ayn is not really lacking compassion. She only scorns the idiots in government, basically, along with the bone idle. Such a comfort to me when I'm fed up with the bureaucracy that has become my job.

    I'll look for the book you left a link to.

    As for the Twitter profile, I can see why you'd laugh. How lovely to have a fresh honest point of view with a tinge of the sarcastic. My favorite kind of writing, I think.

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  9. I almost think this should be required reading in high school. So much to discuss, so many opinions to weigh. Perhaps more relevant than Hemingway is today, not that I don't admire Hemingway, but I can't see how many high schoolers would.

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  10. So interesting. I have Atlas Shrugged on my bookshelf, after receiving it for a present, but I've never read it. Summer is the time for big books, so I'm hoping to read it then! Hope you're well.

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  11. June 9th for the last day of school? If you were in SoCal, that would be pretty early. School is usually out around the mid-June. Did you end up having a snow day?

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