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My Way


Yesterday we went to our first parents’  evening at school.  The event was extremely well run and facilitated.  We selected the school because its values resonate with ours.  But the depth of the resonance, and its affinity to Open Source, became even more apparent throughout the evening.  At one point the teachers led us through this fun exercise (yes, you can try this too).  Everyone received an orange sheet of paper and a pencil.  We were given clear instructions what to do:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Fold the paper exactly in half
  3. Tear away the top right corner
  4. Fold again in two
  5. Tear away the bottom left corner
  6. Fold again in two
  7. Tear away the top left corner
  8. If you can, fold again in two
  9. Tear away the bottom left corner
  10. Open your eyes

When we all looked at each other’s result, we burst into laughs realizing how different each piece of artwork is  (yes, I deliberately chose this word to qualify the result of creative human endeavor), even if we all started from the same material and followed the same instructions.

To complete the exercise, write the sentence “I am an individual, I did it my way”.

I was inspired, and asked the people for a group photo, to which they graciously agreed.

I am sure this value will resonate with many fellow Open Source contributing users: each of us has their way of doing things.  The Freedom of the software enables us to adapt it to our individual needs, epitomized by sites like github or BitBuckets where users can freely modify and share their source.  We don’t just claim to think different (and then feed every customer with the same Einheitsbrei), – we respect others who do the same things in a different way.  Most Kubuntu users respect Fedora and most Fedora users respect OpenSuse and so on – we are all part of one big stream of consciousness that is humanity, each and every one of us his own personal way.

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