04 February 2017

Once Every Generation

On my way home from USA to the Philippines, I did my best to elude sleep so as to correct my body clock thus eventually evading jetlag. I ate the free Hershey's and Kitkat chocolates offered every now and then by the attendants, and used the entertainment provided. In those long hours, I listened to the audiobook of Ashlee Vance's biography about Elon Musk. I've first known of Musk when he guest starred in one of the episodes of my favorite Big Bang Theory. Wolowitz was happy to eat off of the left over while washing the dishes all because it was with Musk that he did his charity deed. Right after, I Googled who Musk is. Then began my obsession about the enigma that is Musk.

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Top: ARKIPELAGO | Shorts: Topshop| Knitted cardigan: Charlotte Ruse | Gold shoes: Steve Madden | Bag: Goyard St Louis 

For Holy Week 2016, I was able to pester my parents into allowing me and my brother Gian (our youngest brother Gio was in USA then) to accompany both our paternal and maternal Grandmoms in the cruise. We flew to Shanghai, China a day earlier than the sailing of Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas then flew out of China a day after our embarkation from the ship. It's been a very enriching one-week trip filled with experiences, relaxation, and food indulgence. I absolutely love going on cruises. It always feels like I'm in a different world where food is never ending and the activities are non-stop. It's the ultimate dream bum life: to just wake up, eat in any of the numerous restaurants (so numerous that you won't even have to repeat a restaurant), select any activity from the day's list of activities, shop in the Galeria, swim in any of the pools whether indoor or outdoor, attend art auctions, wall climb, try the iFly, party in the roofdeck, ask for the free champagne, wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages that I didn't have the chance to try although I made sure not to repeat any beverage I've already tried, watch theater productions, select books to read from the Library, or just veg out in the cabin while lazily sipping your choice of beverage.

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Back to Musk. He iterated on a point that I've always been asking: how come greatness only happens once in every generation? During the time of our national hero, Jose Rizal, a lot of Filipinos stepped up and claimed the title of a hero. Years later, new batch of heroes emerged. This time, they were the forerunners of various industries. I’ve watched the 4-episode documentary on History Channel entitled The Men Who Built America, which was very timely because I was still in College then and my Professor in Political Science asked the class something that has to do with Ford and Vanderbilt. Having watched the series, I was able to answer. I digress. These men, who supposedly have built America to the Superpower that it is now, also lived in the same time. So then it makes one ponder, does a generation produce greatness because the time demanded for it or simply because a lot of the men of the time are inherently remarkable?

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With the vast history of mankind, I guess we could all agree that Greatness  or Innovation springs forth because it’s been necessary for the change to happen. The world demanded that its inhabitants cope up. Then again, what propels the world to move forward? Isn’t it mankind who dictates that change should happen? Isn’t mankind supposed to ensure that progress is consistently present?

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This has been among the foundations on which Musk’s brilliance stands. There’s a part in the Audio Book where the author mentioned another scientist who’s been asking why there hasn’t been a big change in the field of Technology in recent years. After Gates and Jobs, what has happened between mid-2000 to now? How come no one’s stepping up with ideas that can move us closer to the flying cars that the past generations have envisioned 2010s to be like? What has happened to the esteemed Silicon Valley whose residents have been well-lauded for their contributions? Enter Musk. I’m in awe of people like him. People who start questioning their sanity because they think differently from everyone else. No, really. How come everyone I’ve met so far is either trying to fit in or desperately trying to be seemingly different when they’re just another echo? (I’m in the 2nd group, unfortunately but oh well) How come I haven’t met anyone who can actually change a thing or two about the norm?

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Musk is different because he sees problems where the rest of us would think is fully functioning as is. He finds solutions in problems that we don’t even know exist. That’s the trick, I guess, in weeding out Innovators from simple-minded people like you and me: seeing beneath what exists. Perhaps in a couple of years, another hero would rise up. She will be taunted as crazy, and she would perhaps think she actually is for quite some time, yet hopefully, she’ll be the next Innovator to take the next big leap.

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