‘Don't assume the worst thing's going to happen, because on the off chance it does, you'll have lived through it twice.’ So…why not do the inverse?”
“I very frequently get the question: ‘What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time … In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that's going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It's impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,' [or] ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you'd deliver a little more slowly.' Impossible. […] When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”
— Jeff Bezos on the importance of what’s not going to change
The thing, above all, that a teacher should endeavor to produce in his pupils, if democracy is to survive, is the kind of tolerance that springs from an endeavor to understand those who are different from ourselves. It is perhaps a natural human impulse to view with horror and disgust all manners and customs different from those to which we are used. Ants and savages put strangers to death. And those who have never traveled either physically or mentally find it difficult to tolerate the queer ways and outlandish beliefs of other nations and other times, other sects and other political parties. This kind of ignorant intolerance is the antithesis of a civilized outlook, and is one of the gravest dangers to which our overcrowded world is exposed. (1950, 121)
"I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”
What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?
I think it’s important that I know this. I’ve thought about this a lot recently. Obviously I want to be a great dad and want my kids to love me. I want to have a relationship with my wife that lasts and isn’t subject to divorce and bitterness and hatred—I’m from a divorced family and I really want to break that cycle.
Those are all great things, but I don’t know. If I died today, people would say I was a happy person that liked illustrating. Is that enough? I don’t think so. At the very least, I want many people to be influenced to love others and to dig deep and change other people’s lives.
At my funeral, I would like to have trance or dubstep music playing and I’d like for a lot of people to come out of the woodwork and say things like, “He helped me through this… he sacrificed his time for me.” It’s gotta be greater than design or illustration or being a happy person on the web—or even being helpful on the web. I want it to be more than that. I want to make a serious change in people’s lives.