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lucid thoughts

November 7, 2002 Thursday

Home Alone - day 7

Things are getting better. I'm regaining most of my strength and I can now do partial reading and partial computer work without my head spinning.

Freedom

I take delight in being able to read again even though I can't do it more than 30 minutes without getting a headache.

I've resumed reading my book, "People of the Century - 100 men and women who shaped the last 100 years". Two lives I've read struck a cord: Tim Berners Lee and Bill W. They just put a new slant on the word Freedom. This universally understood word can still mean different things to different people but mostly it means being free to pursue personal beliefs, pursue money and fame. But what about the freedom to go the other way? Freedom to walk away from fame and money in defense of your deeply felt convictions? Or simply, what about the freedom to walk away from things other people would die for?

Tim Berners Lee

He remains my personal hero having single-handedly developed the World Wide Web, and could easily have gone beyond the riches of Bill Gates if he had chosen to receive royalties from every web user surfing the 'net out there. In 1996, only 5 years after his invention, there were already 40 million web users and it was doubling every 53 days! The amount of money he could potentially amass is staggering. But on every juncture, he chose the non-profit way.

Bill W.

Most people don't know him but every member of the AA who proclaims, "I am (name) and I am an alcoholic" knows the man and what he stood for. The basic tenet of his legacy is that only an alcoholic can help an alcoholic in anonymity. He clung to his anonymity, refusing to take money for his leadership and counseling. He was awarded many honors including a degree from Yale but turned them all down. He turned down an offer by Time to cover for an issue -even if the cover would only show his back.

Janis Joplin sang,"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose". Well, maybe not for Tim and Bill.

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