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Thanksgiving – Tension

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

When Steve Jobs was on the threshold of ratcheting up the fledgling Apple Computer company in the 1970s, it was the wife of his reluctant partner Steve Wozniak who almost through a spanner in the works. She liked the security of her husband’s then job at Hewlett Packard and didn’t want him wandering off the payroll to some unknown start-up. On paper they were polar opposites; Jobs was entrepreneurial and a crash or crash through personality. Wozniak was a more introverted designer who liked doing what he was doing and not having to trouble himself with ordering people around. Wozniak could do the layout on a circuit board but Jobs could wangle the manufacturing side of things to get them printed. Put together there was a tension, but not one that was insurmountable. After Wozniak’s ultimate yes, the two of them gelled together to fashion the creation of an entirely new industry.

Apple II

Some people fear tension as a negative to be dispensed with but there are many examples from nature where its proper harnessing can be used for massive creative or practical gains. Engineers know that suspension bridges, which rely on tension, can span far greater distances than arched ones. Think of the beauty of the Golden Gate or Oakland Bay bridges and the massive expanses of water they traverse.

Suspension Bridge

In politics John Howard and Peter Costello, and before them Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, both managed spectacular runs of leadership and management despite being persnickety with each other.

In pop music the Beatles and Metallica have been riven by internal bickering and anger but still managed to cut some of their finest works in spite of it all.

During the recording of their seminal The Wall album, the members of Pink Floyd all lived in caravans aligned in a ring. Instead of circling the wagons, the caravans were all facing outwards and most of the band was beyond speaking to one another except through lawyers. The music Roger Waters wrote in that time of turmoil is still played on high rotation to this day.

With a proper understanding of tension, we should be able to make allowances for it as the by-product of independent minds living and working in close proximity. As the old saying goes of the young bird speaking to the wise eagle “if it wasn’t for the headwinds I could fly higher.” “If it wasn’t for the headwinds you wouldn’t be flying at all.”

To all those individuals who have the ability to work within tension, to appreciate its beneficial effects and to harness it ultimately for creativity, we say thank you.

Previous thanksgiving article: The Ocean

The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.

So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.

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