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+ 372 My own personal preference is that the consumer, the individual person should be protected because individual people and the difference between individual people and the diversity we have between people on the planet is so important. Tim Berners-Lee

+ 340 Who you are as a performer is one thing, but when you're making records, you're dealing with musicians' tastes, their goals, their wants, their needs, everyone's individual pride. Scott Weiland

+ 299 The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. Andrew Jackson

+ 373 For several years past the revenues of the government have been unequal to its expenditures, and consequently loan after loan, sometimes direct and sometimes indirect in form, has been resorted to. By this means a new national debt has been created, and is still growing on us with a rapidity fearful to contemplate—a rapidity only reasonably to be expected in a time of war. This state of things has been produced by a prevailing unwillingness either to increase the tariff or resort to direct taxation. But the one or the other must come. Coming expenditures must be met, and the present debt must be paid; and money cannot always be borrowed for these objects. The system of loans is but temporary in its nature, and must soon explode. It is a system not only ruinous while it lasts, but one that must soon fail and leave us destitute. As an individual who undertakes to live by borrowing soon finds his original means devoured by interest, and, next, no one left to borrow from, so must it be with a government. We repeat, then, that a tariff sufficient for revenue, or a direct tax, must soon be resorted to; and, indeed, we believe this alternative is now denied by no one. Abraham Lincoln

+ 409 The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves - in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first - that in relation to wrongs - embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need for government. Abraham Lincoln

+ 358 Certainly the Government of the United States is a limited government, and so is every State government a limited government. With us this idea of limitation spreads through every form of administration — general, State, and municipal — and rests on the great distinguishing principle of the recognition of the rights of man. The ancient republics absorbed the individual in the state — prescribed his religion and controlled his activity. The American system rests on the assertion of the equal right of every man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to freedom of conscience, to the culture and exercise of all his faculties. As a consequence the State government is limited — as to the General Government in the interest of union, as to the individual citizen in the interest of freedom. Andrew Johnson

+ 330 I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose. I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people. Grover Cleveland

+ 450 It has been the boast of our government that it seeks to do justice in all things without regard to the strength or weakness of those with whom it deals. I mistake the American people if they favor the odious doctrine that there is no such thing as international morality; that there is one law for a strong nation and another for a weak one, and that even by indirection a strong power may with impunity despoil a weak one of its territory. By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair. The Provisional Government has not assumed a republican or other constitutional form, but has remained a mere executive council or oligarchy, set up without the assent of the people. It has not sought to find a permanent basis of popular support and has given no evidence of an intention to do so. Indeed, the representatives of that government assert that the people of Hawaii are unfit for popular government and frankly avow that they can be best ruled by arbitrary or despotic power. The law of nations is founded upon reason and justice, and the rules of conduct governing individual relations between citizens or subjects of a civilized state are equally applicable as between enlightened nations. The considerations that international law is without a court for its enforcement and that obedience to its commands practically depends upon good faith instead of upon the mandate of a superior tribunal only give additional sanction to the law itself and brand any deliberate infraction of it not merely as a wrong but as a disgrace. A man of true honor protects the unwritten word which binds his conscience more scrupulously, if possible, than he does the bond a breach of which subjects him to legal liabilities, and the United States, in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened nations, would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality. On that ground the United States cannot properly be put in the position of countenancing a wrong after its commission any more than in that of consenting to it in advance. On that ground it cannot allow itself to refuse to redress an injury inflicted through an abuse of power by officers clothed with its authority and wearing its uniform; and on the same ground, if a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the name and power of the United States, the United States cannot fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation. Grover Cleveland

+ 359 The virtues of courage and patriotism have given recent proof of their continued presence and increasing power in the hearts and over the lives of our people. The influences of religion have been multiplied and strengthened. The sweet offices of charity have greatly increased. The virtue of temperance is held in higher estimation. We have not attained an ideal condition. Not all of our people are happy and prosperous; not all of them are virtuous and law-abiding. But on the whole the opportunities offered to the individual to secure the comforts of life are better than are found elsewhere and largely better than they were here one hundred years ago. Benjamin Harrison

+ 374 This world movement of civilization, this movement which is now felt throbbing in every corner of the globe, should bind the nations of the world together while yet leaving unimpaired that love of country in the individual citizen which in the present stage of the world's progress is essential to the world's well-being. Theodore Roosevelt

+ 258 Our democracy depends on individual improvement just as much as upon collective effort to achieve our common social improvement. Theodore Roosevelt

+ 395 I believe that material wealth is an exceedingly valuable servant, and a particularly abhorrent master, in our National life. I think one end of government should be to achieve prosperity; but it should follow this end chiefly to serve an even higher and more important end - that of promoting the character and welfare of the average man. In the long run, and inevitably, the actual control of the government will be determined by the chief end which the government subserves. If the end and aim of government action is merely to accumulate general material prosperity, treating such prosperity as an end in itself and not as a means, then it is inevitable that material wealth and the masters of that wealth will dominate and control the course of national action. If, on the other hand, the achievement of material wealth is treated, not as an end of government, but as a thing of great value, it is true — so valuable as to be indispensable — but of value only in connection with the achievement of other ends, then we are free to seek throughour government, and through the supervision of our individual activities, the realization of a true democracy. Then we are free to seek not only the heaping up of material wealth, but a wise and generous distribution of such wealth so as to diminish grinding poverty, and, so far as may be, to equalize social and economic no less than political opportunity. Theodore Roosevelt

+ 317 Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race. William Howard Taft

+ 308 Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race. William Howard Taft

+ 308 The American people are doing their job today. They should be given a chance to show whether they wish to preserve the principles of individual and local responsibility and mutual self-help before they embark on what I believe to be a disastrous system. I feel sure they will succeed if given the opportunity. Herbert Hoover

+ 340 If, by the grace of God, we have passed the worst of this storm, the future months will be easy. If we shall be called upon to endure more of this period, we must gird ourselves for even greater effort, for today we are writing the introduction to the future history of civilization in America. The question is whether that history shall be written in terms of individual responsibility, and the capacity of the Nation for voluntary cooperative action, or whether it shall be written in terms of futile attempt to cure poverty by the enactment of law, instead of the maintained and protected initiative of our people. Herbert Hoover

+ 300 True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. Franklin D. Roosevelt

+ 302 We continue to recognize the greater ability of some to earn more than others. But we do assert that the ambition of the individual to obtain for him a proper security is an ambition to be preferred to the appetite for great wealth and great power. Franklin D. Roosevelt

+ 217 Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free. Dwight D. Eisenhower

+ 220 The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule. Albert Einstein

+ 280 In science, moreover, the work of the individual is so bound up with that of his scientific predecessors and contemporaries that it appears almost as an impersonal product of his generation. Albert Einstein

+ 411 Nobody can deny that to-day this foundation of a worthy existence is in considerable danger. Forces are at work which are attempting to destroy the European inheritance of freedom, tolerance, and human dignity. The danger is characterised as Hitlerism, Militarism, and Communism which, while indicating different conditions, all lead to the subjugation and enslavement of the individual by the State, and bring tolerance and personal liberty to an end ... If we want to resist the powers which threaten to suppress intellectual and individual freedom, we must keep clearly before us what is at stake. Without such freedom there would have been no Shakespeare, no Goethe, no Faraday, no Pasteur, no Lister. There would be no comfortable houses for the people, no railways, no wireless, no protection against epidemics, no cheap books, no culture, no enjoyment of art for all. Only men who are free can create the works which make life worth living. Albert Einstein

+ 346 All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. It is no mere chance that our older universities developed from clerical schools. Both churches and universities — insofar as they live up to their true function — serve the ennoblement of the individual. They seek to fulfill this great task by spreading moral and cultural understanding, renouncing the use of brute force. Albert Einstein

+ 374 It is not enough to teach a man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he—with his specialized knowledge—more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow-men and to the community. These precious things are conveyed to the younger generation through personal contact with those who teach, not—or at least not in the main—through textbooks. It is this that primarily constitutes and preserves culture. This is what I have in mind when I recommend the "humanities" as important, not just dry specialized knowledge in the fields of history and philosophy. Albert Einstein

+ 319 It is my belief that there is only one way to eliminate these evils, namely, the establishment of a planned economy coupled with an education geared toward social goals. Alongside the development of individual abilities, the education of the individual aspires to revive an ideal that is geared toward the service of our fellow man, and that needs to take the place of the glorification of power and outer success. Albert Einstein

+ 362 But to return to the Jewish question. Other groups and nations cultivate their individual traditions. There is no reason why we should sacrifice ours. Standardization robs life of its spice. To deprive every ethnic group of its special traditions is to convert the world into a huge Ford plant. I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture. Albert Einstein

+ 349 This is hard to make clear to those who do not experience it, since it does not involve an anthropomorphic idea of God; the individual feels the vanity of human desires and aims, and the nobility and marvelous order which are revealed in nature and in the world of thought. Albert Einstein

+ 308 It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it. The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Albert Einstein

+ 372 My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverence from my fellow-beings, through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. Albert Einstein

+ 305 I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. Albert Einstein

+ 363 My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as did my aversion to any obligation and dependence I do not regard as absolutely necessary. I always have a high regard for the individual and have an insuperable distaste for violence and clubmanship. Albert Einstein

+ 341 I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I well know the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual appeared to me always as the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated. Albert Einstein

+ 277 Religion is concerned with man's attitude toward nature at large, with the establishing of ideals for the individual and communal life, and with mutual human relationship. Albert Einstein

+ 349 The individual, if left alone from birth would remain primitive and beast-like in his thoughts and feelings to a degree that we can hardly conceive. The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a member of a great human society, which directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave. Albert Einstein

+ 378 Only the individual can think, and thereby create new values for society — nay, even set up new moral standards to which the life of the community conforms. Without creative, independently thinking and judging personalities the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community. The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the individuals composing it as on their close political cohesion. Albert Einstein

+ 301 I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Albert Einstein

+ 280 Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Albert Einstein

+ 326 And the traditional religions worry me. Their long history proves that they have not understood the meaning of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill. If we want to save this world from unimaginable destruction we should concentrate not on the faraway God, but on the heart of the individual. We live now in an international anarchy in which a Third World War with nuclear weapons lies before our door. We must make the individual man aware of his conscience so that he understands what it means that only a few will survive the next war. Albert Einstein

+ 299 The joke is even the surrendering is not in your control. Why? Because so long as there is an individual who says "I surrender" there is a surrenderer, an individual ego... What I'm saying is that even the surrendering is not in [your] hands. Ramesh Balsekar

+ 320 I want to make it clear that my intention of presenting this information is to demonstrate that thoughts, intentions, prayer and other units of consciousness can directly influence our physical material world. Consciousness can be a big factor in creating change on the planet. Sending thoughts of love, healing intent, prayer, good intention, and more can have a powerful influence on what you are directing those feelings towards. Fukushima for example, if a mass amount of people send their thoughts and good intention to our waters, we can help mitigate the situation. These concepts can be used on a mass scale as one human race with one intent in their hearts, for multiple problems, as well as individual situations in our own lives. When our consciousness starts to merge into one as a collective, and we all start to see through the same eyes, we will begin to transform the world around us. I believe we are currently in this process.

+ 218 It is not history which uses men as a means of achieving - as if it were an individual person - its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends. Karl Marx

+ 188 Not to missionize an individual to idol worship — Deut. 13:12

+ 217 Each individual must ensure that his scales and weights are accurate — Lev. 19:36

+ 301 Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive. Rabbi Chanina son of Tradyon would say: Two who sit and no words of Torah pass between them, this is a session of scorners, as is stated, "And in a session of scorners he did not sit" (Psalms 1:1). But two who sit and exchange words of Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them, as is stated, "Then the G-d-fearing conversed with one another, and G-d listened and heard; and it was inscribed before Him in a book of remembrance for those who fear G-d and give thought to His name" (Malachi 3:16). From this, I know only concerning two individuals; how do I know that even a single individual who sits and occupies himself with the Torah, G-d designates reward for him? From the verse, "He sits alone in meditative stillness; indeed, he receives [reward] for it" (Lamentations 3:28). Pirkei Avot 3:2

+ 303 I love things that level hierarchy, that bring the individual up to the same level as an organization, or a small group up to the same level as a large group with much greater resources. And the Web and the Internet do that. It's a very profound thing. Steve Jobs — Wired, 1996

+ 254 Our DMA is as a consumer company — for that individual customer who's voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That's who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it's not up to par. it's our fault, plain and simply. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Steve Jobs

+ 284 Without the hard little bits of marble which are called 'facts' or 'data' one cannot compose a mosaic; what matters, however, are not so much the individual bits, but the successive patterns into which you arrange them, then break them up and rearrange them. Arthur Koestler

+ 327 When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole? For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one. Metaphysical proofs are, however, not the only ones which we are able to bring forth in support of this idea. Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals, though not quite in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body, and there can be no doubt that it will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means and methods for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena shall have been brought to great perfection. Still more: this one human being lives on and on. The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Therein lies the profound difference between the individual and the whole. Nikola Tesla

+ 321 From childhood I was compelled to concentrate attention upon myself. This caused me much suffering, but to my present view, it was a blessing in disguise for it has taught me to appreciate the inestimable value of introspection in the preservation of life, as well as a means of achievement. The pressure of occupation and the incessant stream of impressions pouring into our consciousness through all the gateways of knowledge make modern existence hazardous in many ways. Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves. The premature death of millions is primarily traceable to this cause. Even among those who exercise care, it is a common mistake to avoid imaginary, and ignore the real dangers. And what is true of an individual also applies, more or less, to a people as a whole. Nikola Tesla

+ 271 I feel convinced that my preservation was not altogether accidental, but was indeed the work of divine power. An inventor's endeavor is essentially life saving. Whether he harnesses forces, improves devices, or provides new comforts and conveniences, he is adding to the safety of our existence. He is also better qualified than the average individual to protect himself in peril, for he is observant and resourceful. Nikola Tesla

+ 301 While I am not a believer in the orthodox sense, I commend religion, first, because every individual should have some ideal — religious, artistic, scientific, or humanitarian — to give significance to his life. Second, because all the great religions contain wise prescriptions relating to the conduct of life, which hold good now as they did when they were promulgated. Nikola Tesla

+ 254 The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Nikola Tesla

+ 269 If we want to reduce poverty and misery, if we want to give to every deserving individual what is needed for a safe existence of an intelligent being, we want to provide more machinery, more power. Power is our mainstay, the primary source of our many-sided energies. Nikola Tesla

+ 121 And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you collect the fallen individual grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. I am the Lord, your God. Vayikra 19:10

+ 123 This was the sum of the children of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:20

+ 116 Of the tribe of Simeon, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; his tally, according to the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:22

+ 110 Of the tribe of Gad, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:24

+ 109 Of the tribe of Judah, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:26

+ 113 Of the tribe of Issachar, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:28

+ 118 Of the tribe of Zebulun, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:30

+ 117 Of the children of Yosef: of the tribe of Ephraim, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:32

+ 113 Of the tribe of Manasseh, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:34

+ 106 Of the tribe of Benjamin, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:36

+ 100 Of the tribe of Dan, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:38

+ 115 Of the tribe of Asher, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:40

+ 121 Of the tribe of Naphtali, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers' houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Bamidbar 1:42

+ 61 But if an individual sins inadvertently, he shall offer up a she goat in its first year as a sin offering. Bamidbar 15:27

+ 76 The Levites shall speak up, saying to every individual of Israel, in a loud voice: Devarim 27:14

+ 155 For a torture to be effective, the pain has to be spread out; it has to come at regular intervals, with no end in sight. The water falls , drop after drop after drop, like the second hand of a watch, carving up time. The shock of each individual drop is insignificant, but the sensation is impossible to ignore. At first, one might manage to think about other things, but after five hours, after ten hours, it becomes unendurable. The repeated stimulation excites the nerves to a point where they literally explode, and every sensation in the body is absorbed into that one spot on the forehead---indeed, you come to feel that you are nothing but a forehead, into which a fine needle is being forced millimeter by millimeter. You can’t sleep or even speak, hypnotized by a suffering that is greater than any mere pain. In general, the victim goes mad before a day has passed. Yoko Ogawa, Revenge

+ 123 Each individual experiences life in two worlds. There is the outer world and there is the inner world. One is the realm of the effect while the other is the realm of the cause. When we surrender to the sensory impressions of the outer world, then life is in the realm of effect, and we continually find ourselves in situations and predicaments that feel beyond our control. However, if we live from the inside out, we then live as masters. The interior, inner world, is the essence and the cause of the outer. Rav DovBer Pinson

+ 321 Just for fun I recently asked Erin, “Now that the kids are in summer school, don’t you think it’s about time you went out and got yourself a job?  I hate seeing you wallow in unemployment for so long.” She smiled and said, “Wow.  I have been unemployed a really long time.  That’s weird…  I like it!”

Neither of us have had jobs since the ’90s (my only job was in 1992), so we’ve been self-employed for quite a while.  In our household it’s a running joke for one of us to say to the other, “Maybe you should get a job, derelict!” It’s like the scene in The Three Stooges where Moe tells Curly to get a job, and Curly backs away, saying, “No, please… not that!  Anything but that!” It’s funny that when people reach a certain age, such as after graduating college, they assume it’s time to go out and get a job.  But like many things the masses do, just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  In fact, if you’re reasonably intelligent, getting a job is one of the worst things you can do to support yourself.  There are far better ways to make a living than selling yourself into indentured servitude.

Here are some reasons you should do everything in your power to avoid getting a job:

1. Income for dummies.

Getting a job and trading your time for money may seem like a good idea.  There’s only one problem with it.  It’s stupid!  It’s the stupidest way you can possibly generate income!  This is truly income for dummies.

Why is getting a job so dumb?  Because you only get paid when you’re working.  Don’t you see a problem with that, or have you been so thoroughly brainwashed into thinking it’s reasonable and intelligent to only earn income when you’re working?  Have you never considered that it might be better to be paid even when you’re not working?  Who taught you that you could only earn income while working?  Some other brainwashed employee perhaps?

Don’t you think your life would be much easier if you got paid while you were eating, sleeping, and playing with the kids too?  Why not get paid 24/7?  Get paid whether you work or not.  Don’t your plants grow even when you aren’t tending to them?  Why not your bank account? Who cares how many hours you work?  Only a handful of people on this entire planet care how much time you spend at the office.  Most of us won’t even notice whether you work 6 hours a week or 60.  But if you have something of value to provide that matters to us, a number of us will be happy to pull out our wallets and pay you for it.  We don’t care about your time — we only care enough to pay for the value we receive.  Do you really care how long it took me to write this article?  Would you pay me twice as much if it took me 6 hours vs. only 3?

Non-dummies often start out on the traditional income for dummies path.  So don’t feel bad if you’re just now realizing you’ve been suckered.  Non-dummies eventually realize that trading time for money is indeed extremely dumb and that there must be a better way.  And of course there is a better way.  The key is to de-couple your value from your time. Smart people build systems that generate income 24/7, especially passive income.  This can include starting a business, building a web site, becoming an investor, or generating royalty income from creative work.  The system delivers the ongoing value to people and generates income from it, and once it’s in motion, it runs continuously whether you tend to it or not.  From that moment on, the bulk of your time can be invested in increasing your income (by refining your system or spawning new ones) instead of merely maintaining your income.

This web site is an example of such a system.  At the time of this writing, it generates about $9000 a month in income for me (update: $40,000 a month as of 10/31/06), and it isn’t my only income stream either.  I write each article just once (fixed time investment), and people can extract value from them year after year.  The web server delivers the value, and other systems (most of which I didn’t even build and don’t even understand) collect income and deposit it automatically into my bank account.  It’s not perfectly passive, but I love writing and would do it for free anyway.  But of course it cost me a lot of money to launch this business, right?  Um, yeah, $9 is an awful lot these days (to register the domain name).  Everything after that was profit. Sure it takes some upfront time and effort to design and implement your own income-generating systems.  But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — feel free to use existing systems like ad networks and affiliate programs.  Once you get going, you won’t have to work so many hours to support yourself.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be out having dinner with your spouse, knowing that while you’re eating, you’re earning money?  If you want to keep working long hours because you enjoy it, go right ahead.  If you want to sit around doing nothing, feel free.  As long as your system continues delivering value to others, you’ll keep getting paid whether you’re working or not.

Your local bookstore is filled with books containing workable systems others have already designed, tested, and debugged.  Nobody is born knowing how to start a business or generate investment income, but you can easily learn it.  How long it takes you to figure it out is irrelevant because the time is going to pass anyway.  You might as well emerge at some future point as the owner of income-generating systems as opposed to a lifelong wage slave.  This isn’t all or nothing.  If your system only generates a few hundred dollars a month, that’s a significant step in the right direction.

2. Limited experience.

You might think it’s important to get a job to gain experience.  But that’s like saying you should play golf to get experience playing golf.  You gain experience from living, regardless of whether you have a job or not.  A job only gives you experience at that job, but you gain “experience” doing just about anything, so that’s no real benefit at all.  Sit around doing nothing for a couple years, and you can call yourself an experienced meditator, philosopher, or politician.

The problem with getting experience from a job is that you usually just repeat the same limited experience over and over.  You learn a lot in the beginning and then stagnate.  This forces you to miss other experiences that would be much more valuable.  And if your limited skill set ever becomes obsolete, then your experience won’t be worth squat.  In fact, ask yourself what the experience you’re gaining right now will be worth in 20-30 years.  Will your job even exist then?

Consider this.  Which experience would you rather gain?  The knowledge of how to do a specific job really well — one that you can only monetize by trading your time for money — or the knowledge of how to enjoy financial abundance for the rest of your life without ever needing a job again?  Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the latter experience.  That seems a lot more useful in the real world, wouldn’t you say?

3. Lifelong domestication.

Getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program.  You learn how to be a good pet.

Look around you.  Really look.  What do you see?  Are these the surroundings of a free human being?  Or are you living in a cage for unconscious animals?  Have you fallen in love with the color beige? How’s your obedience training coming along?  Does your master reward your good behavior?  Do you get disciplined if you fail to obey your master’s commands?

Is there any spark of free will left inside you?  Or has your conditioning made you a pet for life? Humans are not meant to be raised in cages.  You poor thing…

4. Too many mouths to feed.

Employee income is the most heavily taxed there is.  In the USA you can expect that about half your salary will go to taxes.  The tax system is designed to disguise how much you’re really giving up because some of those taxes are paid by your employer, and some are deducted from your paycheck.  But you can bet that from your employer’s perspective, all of those taxes are considered part of your pay, as well as any other compensation you receive such as benefits.  Even the rent for the office space you consume is considered, so you must generate that much more value to cover it.  You might feel supported by your corporate environment, but keep in mind that you’re the one paying for it. Another chunk of your income goes to owners and investors.  That’s a lot of mouths to feed. It isn’t hard to understand why employees pay the most in taxes relative to their income.  After all, who has more control over the tax system?  Business owners and investors or employees? You only get paid a fraction of the real value you generate.  Your real salary may be more than triple what you’re paid, but most of that money you’ll never see.  It goes straight into other people’s pockets. What a generous person you are!

5. Way too risky.

Many employees believe getting a job is the safest and most secure way to support themselves. Morons.

Social conditioning is amazing.  It’s so good it can even make people believe the exact opposite of the truth. Does putting yourself in a position where someone else can turn off all your income just by saying two words (“You’re fired”) sound like a safe and secure situation to you?  Does having only one income stream honestly sound more secure than having 10?

The idea that a job is the most secure way to generate income is just silly.  You can’t have security if you don’t have control, and employees have the least control of anyone.  If you’re an employee, then your real job title should be professional gambler.

6. Having an evil bovine master.

When you run into an idiot in the entrepreneurial world, you can turn around and head the other way.  When you run into an idiot in the corporate world, you have to turn around and say, “Sorry, boss.”

Did you know that the word boss comes from the Dutch word baas, which historically means master?  Another meaning of the word boss is “a cow or bovine.”  And in many video games, the boss is the evil dude that you have to kill at the end of a level.

So if your boss is really your evil bovine master, then what does that make you?  Nothing but a turd in the herd. Who’s your daddy?

7. Begging for money.

When you want to increase your income, do you have to sit up and beg your master for more money?  Does it feel good to be thrown some extra Scooby Snacks now and then?

Or are you free to decide how much you get paid without needing anyone’s permission but your own?

If you have a business and one customer says “no” to you, you simply say “next.”

8. An inbred social life.

Many people treat their jobs as their primary social outlet.  They hang out with the same people working in the same field.  Such incestuous relations are social dead ends.  An exciting day includes deep conversations about the company’s switch from Sparkletts to Arrowhead, the delay of Microsoft’s latest operating system, and the unexpected delivery of more Bic pens.  Consider what it would be like to go outside and talk to strangers.  Ooooh… scary!  Better stay inside where it’s safe.

If one of your co-slaves gets sold to another master, do you lose a friend?  If you work in a male-dominated field, does that mean you never get to talk to women above the rank of receptionist?  Why not decide for yourself whom to socialize with instead of letting your master decide for you?  Believe it or not, there are locations on this planet where free people congregate.  Just be wary of those jobless folk — they’re a crazy bunch!

9. Loss of freedom.

It takes a lot of effort to tame a human being into an employee.  The first thing you have to do is break the human’s independent will.  A good way to do this is to give them a weighty policy manual filled with nonsensical rules and regulations.  This leads the new employee to become more obedient, fearing that s/he could be disciplined at any minute for something incomprehensible.  Thus, the employee will likely conclude it’s safest to simply obey the master’s commands without question.  Stir in some office politics for good measure, and we’ve got a freshly minted mind slave. As part of their obedience training, employees must be taught how to dress, talk, move, and so on.  We can’t very well have employees thinking for themselves, now can we?  That would ruin everything. God forbid you should put a plant on your desk when it’s against the company policy.  Oh no, it’s the end of the world!  Cindy has a plant on her desk!  Summon the enforcers!  Send Cindy back for another round of sterility training!

Free human beings think such rules and regulations are silly of course.  The only policy they need is:  “Be smart.  Be nice.  Do what you love.  Have fun.”

10. Becoming a coward.

Have you noticed that employed people have an almost endless capacity to whine about problems at their companies?  But they don’t really want solutions — they just want to vent and make excuses why it’s all someone else’s fault.  It’s as if getting a job somehow drains all the free will out of people and turns them into spineless cowards.  If you can’t call your boss a jerk now and then without fear of getting fired, you’re no longer free.  You’ve become your master’s property.

When you work around cowards all day long, don’t you think it’s going to rub off on you?  Of course it will.  It’s only a matter of time before you sacrifice the noblest parts of your humanity on the altar of fear:  first courage… then honesty… then honor and integrity… and finally your independent will.  You sold your humanity for nothing but an illusion.  And now your greatest fear is discovering the truth of what you’ve become.

I don’t care how badly you’ve been beaten down.  It is never too late to regain your courage.  Never!

Still want a job?

If you’re currently a well-conditioned, well-behaved employee, your most likely reaction to the above will be defensiveness.  It’s all part of the conditioning.  But consider that if the above didn’t have a grain of truth to it, you wouldn’t have an emotional reaction at all.  This is only a reminder of what you already know.  You can deny your cage all you want, but the cage is still there.  Perhaps this all happened so gradually that you never noticed it until now… like a lobster enjoying a nice warm bath. If any of this makes you mad, that’s a step in the right direction.  Anger is a higher level of consciousness than apathy, so it’s a lot better than being numb all the time.  Any emotion — even confusion — is better than apathy.  If you work through your feelings instead of repressing them, you’ll soon emerge on the doorstep of courage.  And when that happens, you’ll have the will to actually do something about your situation and start living like the powerful human being you were meant to be instead of the domesticated pet you’ve been trained to be.

Happily jobless

What’s the alternative to getting a job?  The alternative is to remain happily jobless for life and to generate income through other means.  Realize that you earn income by providing value — not time — so find a way to provide your best value to others, and charge a fair price for it.  One of the simplest and most accessible ways is to start your own business.  Whatever work you’d otherwise do via employment, find a way to provide that same value directly to those who will benefit most from it.  It takes a bit more time to get going, but your freedom is easily worth the initial investment of time and energy.  Then you can buy your own Scooby Snacks for a change. And of course everything you learn along the way, you can share with others to generate even more value.  So even your mistakes can be monetized.

One of the greatest fears you’ll confront is that you may not have any real value to offer others.  Maybe being an employee and getting paid by the hour is the best you can do.  Maybe you just aren’t worth that much.  That line of thinking is all just part of your conditioning.  It’s absolute nonsense.  As you begin to dump such brainwashing, you’ll soon recognize that you have the ability to provide enormous value to others and that people will gladly pay you for it.  There’s only one thing that prevents you from seeing this truth — fear.

All you really need is the courage to be yourself.  Your real value is rooted in who you are, not what you do.  The only thing you need actually do is express your real self to the world.  You’ve been told all sort of lies as to why you can’t do that.  But you’ll never know true happiness and fulfillment until you summon the courage to do it anyway.

The next time someone says to you, “Get a job,” I suggest you reply as Curly did:  “No, please… not that!  Anything but that!”  Then poke him right in the eyes.

You already know deep down that getting a job isn’t what you want.  So don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.  Learn to trust your inner wisdom, even if the whole world says you’re wrong and foolish for doing so.  Years from now you’ll look back and realize it was one of the best decisions you ever made.

Final thoughts

While I wouldn’t recommend starting an online business for everyone, for many people it’s one of the best ways to generate income without a job. It has certainly worked disgustingly well for me. If you’re interested in learning more about this option, please check out Build Your Own Successful Online Business for details.

About the author:

Steve Pavlina calls himself “the most intensely growth-oriented individual you will ever meet.” While sitting in a jail cell at age 19, Steve decided to dedicate his life to the pursuit of personal growth. Passionate about sharing what he learned with anyone who desires self-improvement, he has written more than 700 articles and has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and Self Magazine. As a result of giving away all his best ideas for free, Steve’s Website quickly became the most popular personal development site in the world, receiving more than 2 million visitors per month.

+ 99 Torah for its Own Sake

What is the essence of learning Torah for its own sake?

In spiritual teachings, this is self-understood. Such teachings are openly concerned with coming close to God and elevation in sanctity. We are uplifted by these teachings.

But what about Torah texts on practical matters?

We must understand that these are all branches and garments of the light of divine honesty and justice. Within their details, we may find the divine soul of the perfection of the world: in life, in physicality and in spirit, in community and in the individual. Once we realize this, light gleams and descends into every detail. Once the feeling of our inner heart and mind is dedicated to the divine and inclusive illumination hidden in the multitude of these practical teachings, we come to an inner revelation within every detail, which shines in accordance with the capability of our individual spirit.

At times, our thought broadens and takes such clear form that we may even express and explicate the spark of divine light that we have understood in some of those details. And in this elevated state, we uplift all the details.

At other times, the matter is revealed only as a subtle glimmer in the chambers of our heart. Even then, however, this lifts our soul to an elevated state, through which all of life is rarified.

In regard to this latter manifestation, our sages stated: “Whoever learns Torah for its own sake merits many things.” And regarding the former inclusive illumination, they added: “And not only that, but the whole world is considered worthwhile for his sake.”

Orot Hatorah 2:2

+ 95 One Command

The essence of knowledge is that the totality of the Torah should cleave to our hearts so strongly and with such clear understanding that this totality will powerfully pour forth, resulting in a powerful, individual concern for every mitzvah and detail of the Torah. This will be like the powerful life-force that pours forth from the heart, spreading to every limb.

This is not the case when there is no true, all-encompassing knowledge. Then everything in the Torah is separate. This creates confusion in our basic understanding of the Torah. It prevents our service of love and generosity. Then “the word of Hashem shall be for you a command and a command, a line and a line.”

We must recognize the words of the Torah as one law and one command.

Orot Hatorah 3:3

+ 87 Contained Within the Torah

The entire Torah consists of the names of the Holy One, blessed be He. Every good attribute, every mark of civility, is contained within the Torah. Every wisdom is rooted in the Torah. Indeed, the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, shines within everything good—whether in an individual or a group.

There is a difference between a person who knows that everything consists of light sparkling from the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, or a person who does not know. Nevertheless, this difference is merely a matter of degree.

The essence of the matter depends upon the inner core of our will: to whatever degree it corresponds to goodness. Only in this way can we find the light of the Righteous One of the world, He Who is cloaked in the foundation of all, in wisdom and kindness, so as to make the spiritual and physical visions of existence correspond: that is to say, the ideal of what existence could be and the actual coming about of that ideal. The actualization is the outcome of the ideal, and consummates it.

Orot Hatorah 4:2

+ 101 A Love of the Entirety

Every individual matter in the Torah flows from the entire Torah: from the written Torah, the oral Torah, any good learning, any mitzvah, and any good trait.

There are differences between these levels. But the love and joy in performing the mitzvos and in learning Torah for its own sake must be a love of the entirety: a love of all the light, life, holiness and supernal spirituality—literally, of all of it. It is stored and hidden within whatever detail we are involved with. And it grows prominent due to the content of that detail, in all the manifestations of its light, glory and holy radiance.

Orot Hatorah 4:3

+ 99 You Are Capable of Perception

It may be that you cannot visualize the subtle aspect of those exalted topics dealt with in the secrets of Torah and in all mystical concepts. Still, your general feeling and spiritual refinement are capable of perception. This comes as a result of your wisdom-giving soul’s essential recognition and the sense of faith rooted within your spirit.

You may only need to use your intellect to purify concepts, so that they will not mislead you, contradicting clear awareness and the pure recognitions of refined faith.

Then spiritual impressions will remain with you as thoughts that uplift your spirit and raise it to a supernal divine sphere, a sphere that is the source of soulful happiness and brightness for both the individual and the community.

Orot Hatorah 10:6

+ 93 The Unbordered Light

In every Torah matter, in every aspect of a particular decree, streams the supernal, unbordered light. The total divine lesson can be extracted from every individual law.

To the observer who accustoms his soul to the stream of light, within every legal matter is revealed the content of its innate being, which is filled from the world of bright illumination, until in regards to every law and chapter he can give breadth to a new song, a full song, a full exposition.

This song pours forth continuously even upon every detail of the law, upon every path of discussion within it, until a poetic commentary that gives pleasure and creates Eden can spread across all the Torah, entirely, upon all the Torah—even the this-worldly and legal Torah—besides extending across all the Aggadic material, which shines with an illumination of a fine spiritual light.

Orot Hatorah 4:4

+ 105 Enriching the Community of Israel

One way of learning Torah for its own sake is [to do so in order] to enrich the Community of Israel with great spiritual powers.

The more that the light of Torah increases, so that with one heart the people of Israel appreciate and respect it, the more that the fundamental power of our nation gains strength and firmness.

And the individual soul of the person who brings about this universal blessing itself grows and gains glory, gains completion and beauty, with a multitude of fresh branches. And it sends forth a multitude of powerful roots, through which it takes root amidst the roots of the Tree of true life. To the degree of its purity and might, this soul recognizes and feels the depth of the pleasantness of the good taste of a fulfilled life.

“Your palate is like good wine. It goes directly to my beloved. It causes the lips of the sleeping to murmur” (Shir Hashirim 7:10).

Orot Hatorah 2:4