by: Mike Horner
As his friends know well, Andy had many stories and one that was very important to him came from an incident early in his life.
According to this story Andy was energetically arguing with some fellow schoolchildren and the argument was at an impasse. His wise teacher suggested to Andy a technique which he then used for the rest of his life. The technique she recommended is to raise yourself mentally above the arguing group and look down on the group including yourself and imagine some way out of the impasse. Not everyone can do this but Andy was a master. His tools included puns, scatological jokes, God stories or suddenly changing the topic completely.
People who truly master this technique are sometimes known as Big People and we have all met at least one of them.
Big People have big ideas and imagine big projects but very few get to implement their ideas in actual projects.
Big People have strong motivations and are often self serving as they seek power, riches or fame. Very few are motivated for society as a whole and not for themselves.
Big projects can be short term or long term. Very few Big People take seriously the idea that their projects will be judged seven generations hence.
As an FOA I observed that Andy was such a Big Person who actually implemented his big ideas with goals to benefit others and looking a long way ahead.
I hope he is looking down on us as his teacher recommended all those years ago as we try to get out of the apparent impasse that so depressed him in his last few years.