Friday, June 24, 2011

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

In the late 1970s when the Whole Earth Catalog decided to call it quits and come out with the final edition, they came up with a interesting ending. On the back cover there is the scene of a country road, somewhere in America, and above it four words: stay hungry, stay foolish.

The Whole Earth Catalog was the paper equivalent internet of the 70s. It focused on the environmental movement of the time sharing information from; sustainable living, to Outward Bound, to gardening tools, to animal and human rights organizations, and to much more.

 I remember lying on my parent’s bed reading it, as one cool idea morphed into another cool idea, just as the internet works today. It opened up my mind to possibilities’ I may not have ever known about.

Last Tuesday, I was having dinner with a friend of mine who I had not seen for 38 years, Duane Benton who is now 80. Duane and his wife Nancy saw an article in the Kansas City Star about the Cycling W3R Expedition and reached out to me. I was telling Duane about some of my entrepreneurial experiences and personal philosophies regarding my own life and my view of the world, and how much of those experiences help to shape who I am and have lead me to the Cycling W3R Expedition.

Towards the end of our dinner, Duane told me about a commencement speech a friend of his had sent him, where Steve Jobs spoke to the graduates of Stanford in 2005. Duane said that Jobs spoke about his own life experiences and how they shaped his life and at the end of the speech, Steve described the back cover of the final Whole Earth Catalog, and finished his speech to those graduates, with, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”

Sometimes a few simple words can have great meaning. My friend Duane said the speech is one of “things you should read at least once a year to keep your perspective on life.”

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish can mean different things to people based on their own experiences, and that is fine. To me it means: Stay hungry for new knowledge and experiences, and Stay foolish by keeping a child’s curiosity and don’t let anyone tell you something cannot be done, try it anyway, touch it, feel it, smell it, taste it, experience it (Life) fully, so there will be no regrets later on.

I live life on my own terms and always have. The Cycling W3R Expedition is truly an expedition for the people. To be the first to map out and explore a
Bike Route
on a 230 year old National Historic Trail in the most densely populated part of America, with the grassroots effort of people, from people, who live in the region,  to people who live in the heart of America is awesome. It shows how connected we all are, and how simple things can be in the complicated world we live in. Just like the Whole Earth Catalog, to the internet and Facebook today, connecting people and ideas over vast distances with ease. We all live in the community of the Earth.

As I sit here and write this I am watching the sunrise from my apartment window. Classical music is playing on the radio, the cats are still asleep, birds are playing their own music outside, and every minute bring new reflections of light on the clouds with the rise of the sun.

 I had been thinking over the last few months about an overall theme to help me remember why I am embarking on such an ambitious adventure. Duane’s words, the four words, Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish from the Whole Earth Catalog are now adopted for expedition motto.

So to you all:

 to the people who actively support our expedition whether by kind words, donation, or sharing information and to those who passively watch it, wondering what they should, or should not do as their own doubts play tricks, I say this.

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Peace, Bill

PS Thanks so much to Lydia Rapoza of Joy Homestead for her third donation and to
Karen Heath of Prairie Village, KS
Ken Lauden of Mission Hills, KS
Carrie and Caroline Blubaugh-PV KS
Tricia Beaham-Mission Hills, KS

You folks are awesome!

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