In the autobiography Losing My Virginity by Virgin Group’s founder Richard Brandson, he recalled his first Virgin Record store
I can draw a stratight line between that tiny shop and the Virgin Megastores in Paris and New York. It’s just a matter of scale – but first you have to believe you can make it happen.
Yeah, first you have to believe you can make it happen. Then it’s just a matter of scale.
From The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande:
We don’t like checklists. They can be painstaking. They’re not much fun. But I don’t think the issue here is mere laziness. There’s something deeper, more visceral going on when people walk away not only from saving lives but from making money. It somehow feels beneath us to use a checklist, an embarrassment. It runs counter to deeply held beliefs about how the truly great among us–those we aspire to be–handle situations of high stakes and complexity. The truly great are daring. They improvise. They do not have protocols and checklists.
Maybe our idea of heroism needs updating.
Primo Levi wrote in If This Is A Man on being good:
However little sense there may be in trying to specify why I, rather than thousands of others, managed to survive the test, I believe that it was really due to Lorenzo that I am alive today; and not so much for his material aid, as for his having constantly reminded me by his presence, by his natural and plain manner of being good, that there still existed a just world outside our own, something and someone still pure and whole, not corrupt, not savage, extraneous to hatred and terror; something difficult to define, a remote possibility of good, but for which it was worth surviving.
The personages in these pages are not men. Their humanity is buried, or they themselves have buried it, under an offence received or inflicted on someone else. The evil and insane SS men, the Kapos, the politicals, the criminals, the prominents, great and small, down to the indifferent slave Häftlinge, all the grades of the mad hierarchy created by the Germans paradoxically fraternized in a uniform internal desolation.
But Lorenzo was a man; his humanity was pure and uncontaminated, he was outside this world of negation. Thanks to Lorenzo, I managed not to forget that I myself was a man.