One great work of literature often conspires with another to proclaim the same set of ideas. Ideas that have inspired great thinkers for generations, ideas that have remained in place since the inception of mankind. Being as they are, in existence for countless centuries without the slightest of changes, they are no longer mere ideas. They are the fundamental truths that drive the immaterial essence of individual life – that which fuel the part of the soul which directs the individual in his life.
When I first read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, I didn’t have the foggiest of clues about the sheer power of the book. A philosophical masterpiece written by one of the most awe inspiring figures in the history of literature. People had forewarned me that understanding the book would be daunting, and that the language would be unreadably convoluted. Ayn Rand, as rightly pointed out by one observer, writes beautifully, brilliantly and bitterly. For me, reading the book was nothing less than a churning experience – a acrid experience which shook me off my intellectual grandstanding.
The essence of the novel is man’s integrity. I have many plans for my future. I am astutely aware of the purpose of my life and the directions that it should take. Making plans, strategising and analysing makes a good beginning. But a good beginning is a job half done. The real test lies in the implementation, in the actual act of performing it all. Despite my best efforts, I am often enslaved to nototious habits that I have inherited from a dappler of sources. Simple tasks like turning up at the promised time for a date, or getting into class five minutes before it begins – have all appeared to have taken the backseat. I now realise how important these things are – that I am in fact cheating myself.
If I cannot do the things that I promise myself, then that is the end of all things. That not only shows the callous view I have of my own worth, but also points towards lack of integrity.
Integrity in life, at least to oneself is important. I am so glad and happy that I read the Fountainhead. As Shakespeare said about four hundred years ago ‘ the brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps over a cold decree’. A wonderful instance of two literary geniuses reinforcing a common idea. Proof of the fact that personal integrity is a fundamental virtue of any individual.
Lead kindly light.