- He got out of the car and came around and opened my door and waited me to follow. Was I in trouble? My grandfather was a highly intelligent, quiet man. He had never said a harsh word to me, and maybe this was to be the first time? Or maybe he would ask that I get back in the car and apologize to my grandmother. I had no experience in this realm with my grandparents and no way to gauge what the consequences might be. We stopped beside the trailer. My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, “Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it's harder to be kind than clever.”
- Space has been a dream of humanity’s for centuries and it will continue to be one for centuries.
- What strategic paradigms have shaped that approach?
The final corroboration of logic and reasoning comes when they become practical realities.
The acid test is in performance, not promises. The millions of dispossessed in Asia care not and know not of theory. they want a better life. They want a more equal, just society.
Good sense and good economics require that we must always find practical, not doctrinaire, solutions to our problems of growth and development.
My life is not guided by philosophy or theories. I get things done and leave other to extract the principles from my successful solutions. I do not work on a theory. Instead, I ask: what will make this work? If, after a series of solutions, I find that a certain approach worked, then I try to find out what was the principle behind the solution. So, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, I am not guided by them...I am interested in what works...Presented with the difficulty or major problems or an assortment of conflicting facts, I review what alternatives I have if my proposed solution does not work. I choose a solution which offers a higher probability of success, but if it fails, I have some other way. Never a dead end.
We were not ideologues, We did not believe in theories as such. A theory is an attractive proposition intellectually. What we faced was a real problem of human beings looking for work, to be paid, to buy their food, their clothes, their homes, and to bring their children up...I had read the theories and maybe half believed in them. But we were sufficiently practical and pragmatic enough not to be cluttered up and inhibited by theories. If a thing works, let us work it, and that eventually evolved into the kind of economy that we have today. Our test was: does it work? Does it bring benefits to the people?...The prevailing theory then was that multinationals were exploiters of cheap labor and cheap raw materials and would such a country dry...Nobody else wanted to exploit the labor. So why not, if they want to exploit our labor? They are welcome to do it...We were learning how to do a job from them, which we would never have learnt...We were part of the process that disproved the theory of the development economics school, that this was exploitation. We were in no position to be fussy about high-minded principles.
Lee Kuan Yew