But I don’t think of you – Lesson from the Fountainhead

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Ellsworth Toohey–a great scholar, humanitarian, and architectural expert–the primary critic(Secret Admirer) and opponent of Howard Roark, a Legendary Architect–meets the latter one night, after defeating him, in a secluded place and asks him earnestly:

“Mr Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us.”

“But I don’t think of you.” comes a snapping yet sincere reply-as simple as fate speaking- from Howard Roark!

The above adaptation of Ayn Rand’s classic The FountainHead elucidates the fact that very often we encounter people in our personal and professional lives, who tend to be our great critics-even though they admire us secretly-with their hatred stemming either from jealousy or their obstinacy, most often being the former. You can admire a person in two ways viz submission or subversion. Our critics/haters generally opt for the latter, to mask their true feelings, owing to their towering ego.

So how do we deal with them? By hating them back? By criticizing them? Beware! It would be their victory for having you dragged down to their altitude. As Amish Tripathi says in his classic Secret of Nagas, hatred is not the antonym to love. It is simply love gone bad. The real answer to their hatred lies in Apathy. The way Howard Roark responds to Toohey: you simply don’t care! Rise to the pedestal where you do not need to spare any thought for them. Don’t think of them!

You can buy the book The Fountainhead here.



Prasad Kulkarni is a Data and Analytics professional. At work, he analyses historical data and ponders over historical events otherwise.


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