Machiavelli Quote

To reconstitute political life in a state presupposes a good man, whereas to have recourse to violence in order to make oneself prince in a republic supposes a bad man. Hence very rarely will there be found a good man ready to use bad methods in order to make himself prince, though with a good end in view. Nor will any reasonable man blame him for taking any action, however extraordinary, which may be of service in the organizing of a kingdom or the constituting of a republic.

It is a sound maxim that reprehensible actions may be justified by their effects, and that when the effect is good, it always justifies the action. For it is the man who uses violence to spoil things, not the man who uses it to mend them, that is blameworthy. A prince should therefore disregard the reproach of being thought cruel where it enables him to keep his subjects united and loyal. For he who quells disorder by a very few signal examples will in the end be more merciful than he who from too great leniency permits things to take their course and so result in chaos and bloodshed; for these hurt the whole state, whereas the severities of the prince injures individuals only. It is essential therefore, for a prince who desires to maintain his position, to have learned how to be other than good, and to use or not use his goodness as necessity requires.

Everyone sees what you seem to be, but few know what you are.

Disappointed Fan

There was a Howard Zinn tribute earlier tonight at a cafe called Busboys and Poets and guest speakers included Amy Goodman and Ralph Nader. As you can imagine, I was very excited to attend this event. I brought all of my camera equipment because I wanted to record them speaking and luckily, I ended up getting a good seat with enough space to set up my tripod.

As I was recording their speeches, I kept thinking to myself how I was going to approach Nader. The entire event took about 3 hours so I had to wait until the end before I could talk to him.

He was sitting at a table with a couple of other people and I waited until he seemed free. I asked if I could ask him a couple of questions and get a picture with him. He said that he had to meet with someone else, but I could get a picture. Immediately after he agreed, other people started talking to him and I thought I was going to lose my chance, so I waited again. After waiting 5 minutes, I got the opportunity to pose with him, but before the person who had the camera could take the picture, Nader asked if it was possible to not use the flash because it hurt his eyes. So the person did not use the flash and the picture came out almost pitch black. Right after the picture was taken, more people started talking to him so I did not even have the chance to say that he was one of my idols.

This entire experience has left me extremely disappointed. Almost everything just went wrong! But I have to say that the most disappointing thing that happened was the hesitant impression that he gave me. I guess I just expected him to be more friendly.

What I take from this experience is that I need to learn how to be more aggressive. Everyone else was taking the initiative; I was being pushed around and walked all over. Another thing I take from this is that everyone, even great people, are at the end just people, like you and me.

Joseph

Living across the street from me was another one of my best friends, Joseph. I do not remember when we met, but I believe we went to the same elementary school for maybe a year or two. Again, like my other friends, he did not, for the most part, attend the same schools as I did; he spent most of his childhood in Taiwan because his father lived there. He did, however, go to high school in America, although in a different city. After that, he attended UCR and I UCSC.

One thing I would like to note is his strong ties with his ancestry. Of all of my friends, he is the closest with his ethnic roots; I assume this is due to his spending many years in Taiwan. The reason why I mention this is so that you may better understand the social and cultural environment in which I grew up. The majority of my city's population is ethnically Asian with a large number, if not most, being immigrants. My generation, the first generation Americans, have mostly assimilated to American culture and with that, have lost the majority of our connections with our ancestry.

Another thing I want to point out is his conversion to Christianity. I do not remember any mention of religion when we were children and so I was very surprised when I found out that he had become a devout Christian. I want to mention here that I am not religious, but I am nevertheless very tolerant of people who are. This acceptance is a direct result of the positive impressions that I have received from Joseph of Christianity. He is currently the most religious person I know.

Joseph is also the most industrious of all of my friends. This characteristic of his I greatly admire. He is occupied everyday from morning till night, constantly doing something. Sadly, I cannot say the same for myself.

The last and most important point I would like to make is that Joseph is one of the very few people with whom I can have logical and productive debates. Because of the importance of such debates to me and because very few people enjoy having them, it is very difficult for me to make new close friends. This loneliness that I experience when I am away from home only makes me cherish even more my time with childhood friends. The more experience I gain in life, the more I realize how irreplaceable these types of friendships are.