Che Guevara Has Got Me Thinking- How Do I Measure Quality Standard of Living?

11 Apr

After a friend had suggested that I read “The Motorcycle Diaries” (autobiography of Che Guevara), I had gone on my way to pick up the book.  Sure enough, it was an inspirational quick read.

Before I motor-mouth about my friend Che G….. Be warned, I know very little of this revolutionary character.  In fact, prior to reading the book,  I only associated him with Castro, Cuban Cigars, funny looking hats, cool iconic t-shirts and random killings.  Blame it on middle school history books and pop culture, what I knew was not only little, but it was also misconstrued.  I stand by the fact that like most other human beings, Che is no saint… But, his ideas were inspiring.   I wish I knew more about him before reading the book.   Although I still know close to nothing about Guevara, reading about his journey and mission was really insightful.  To get an idea of how motivating the book is,  after reading it, I wanted to get on a motorcycle and travel… And I don’t even know how to ride a motorcycle.

In summary, the book is a compilation of descriptions and entries of Che’s travel around South America.  The pages are decorated with humor and concern.  His humor put a twist on the many trials he experienced traveling with his friend on a  motorcycle.  His concern was developed from the unfortunate living standards many had to endure outside his Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Reading through, its fascinating to dissect the personal experiences of a later influential character.   The book supports my theory, the leaders who create some of the biggest impact in this world, generally experience a journey where they literally sacrifice most of their personal desires in exchange for the less fortunate experiences of others surrounding them…  They choose to undergo a personal detox–  eventually leading them to better grasp their own personal purpose.  In short, they let the experiences of this world change them, so they are able to change the world in return.

Back to Guevara, he leaves Argentina a 23-year-old boy and returns eight months later a man at the beginning of a mission; a mission that would redefine history in South America & the world… For better or for worst.

I appreciated Guevara’s general message in “creating that new type of human-being” — a sort of refined mentality challenging the age-old predecessors…  He redefined individualism as utilization of the whole individual to the absolute benefit of the community…. and not in vain…

Here were a few quotes I appreciated from the book:

“The 1rst commandment for every good explorer is that an expedition has two points; the point of departure and the point of arrival, don’t think about the means- because the journey is a virtual place that finishes when it finishes, and there are different ways of “finishing”.  That is to say, the means are endless.”

(Easter Island)-  “It is there, in the final moments, for people whose farthest horizon has always been tomorrow, that one comprehends the profound tragedy circumscribing the life of the proletariat the world over.  In those dying eyes there is a submissive appeal for forgiveness and also often a desperate plea for consolation which is lost to the void, just as their body will soon be lost in the magnitude of the mystery surrounding us.”

“Gratitude is much more permanent than gold.”

After shutting the book, I was challenged with yet again a few more questions.  What is the description of a full life?  Is it one where people compete with one another and walked numbed face to work?  Or is it one where people’s success are reflections on the well-being of others?

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