Where were they when they were 25?


There is nothing really special about the number “twenty-five”. It’s just a number that comes after 24 and before 26. Twenty-five is not even a prime number. Take two fives and ask them to voluntarily multiply each other. Lo and behold! you got twenty-five.

It’s just a coincidence that some other things in life vaguely relates to “twenty-five”. TCP port number 25 was arbitrarily assigned as the TCP port that humbly delivers your emails, but it’s not important as long as you get your emails. Twenty-five degrees celcius is what commonly known as “room temperature” but it pretty much depends on where the room is. Gianfranco Zola was wearing shirt number 25 when playing for Chealsea untill 2003, this I can bet, was also done on a whim.

In short, twenty-five is not a ‘magic’ number. I think I’ve made my point.

But we often like to add meanings to things. It makes life more…well, more meaningful. There is nothing wrong with that, isn’t it. So let’s add meaning to the number 25. Let’s ask our selves what does it means to be twenty-five. Where am I on my twenty-fifth?.

To aid you with some bearing, here is where these people were when they were “twenty-five”…

  • Muhammad pbuh (born 570), the last prophet of Islam. Was working as merchant for Khadijah, whom he shall marry one year after. Khadijah’s company to the prophet was later considered vital in the conveying of Muhammad’s teachings.
  • Salahuddin Al-Ayubi (born 1138), Muslim general and the Sultan of Egypt, renowned in the west as Saladdin. At the age of 25, commanded the defence of Egypt against the Kingdom of Jerussalem.
  • Galileo Galilei (born 1564), renaissance physicist, astronomer and engineer celebrated in the west as ‘the father of science’. On his 25th, he was appointed to the chair of mathematics in University of Pisa, the same university where he flunked earlier taking the subject of medicine.
  • Soekarno (born 1901), one of the declarator of Independence and later became the first president of Indonesia. At the age of 25, was forming Algemene Studie Club in Bandung.
  • John F. Nash (born 1928), Mathematician and Nobel Prize winner, famous for his work on non-cooperative games. Published his third influential article “Two person cooperative games” on the mathematic-economic journal Econometrica.
  • Baharuddin Jusuf Habibie (born 1936), 3rd president of Indonesia, renowned aeronautic engineer. Just earned his diploma from Aachen, continued to pursue doctorate.
  • Donald E. Knuth (born 1938), Mathematician and Computer Scientist. Just earned his PhD in mathematics from Caltech. Began to work on the standard-textbook of computer science “The Art of Computer Programming”
  • Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (born 1949), 5th president of Indonesia, the first to be elected directly by the people. Graduated a year earlier, he then assigned as platoon commander in 330 Airborne Batallion Kostrad (Army Strategic Command). A year after, he left for Ranger Training at Fort Benning USA.
  • Linus B. Torvalds (born 1969), creator of Linux, an open source operating system. Was still studying in Uni Helsinki. Presumably writing linux kernel which would be his Master thesis topic.
  • Lawrence Page (born 1973). Was still on his PhD, when at the same time with Sergey Brin, launched the later to become de-facto standard search engine, google.
  • Satrio ‘Piyu’ Yudi Wahono (born 1973), Guitarist for Indonesian pop rock band, Padi. After the formation of Padi in the previous year, he was then doing traveling stage performances. In the same year, being contracted into the record industry.
  • Ronaldo de Assis Moreira a.k.a Ronaldhino (born 1980). Famous Brazilian footballer. In his 25th birthday, he was playing for Barcelona, Spain. Received his second FIFA World Player of the year award, after his first in the previous year. And received his first European Footballer of the year award, before the Second in the next year.
  • Dian Sastrowardoyo (born 1982), Indonesian model, actress, and host. By 25, she has starred in seven movies. Received five international awards.

The list might grow in the future.

So back to the question, where are you on your 25th?

Comments are most welcome…


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