I came across an article titled "In Praise of Dissent" in the July/August issue of Ode Magazine. Have you heard of Ode? It's the magazine for 'intelligent optimists.' Isn't that a wonderful way for a magazine to describe itself? I found it in the periodicals section of the Greenville County Public Library and I'm glad I did. It has become one of my favorites.
The article by Jeremy Mercer is a look into the lives of people who 'think different.' They're the ones Apple founder Steve Jobs wrote about in his poem "Here's to the Crazy Ones."
Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify them or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they
can change the world, are the ones who do.
Mercers article reminds us that people who 'Think Different' are persecuted by people who think alike, are crushed in heart, soul, mind, and body by those who yell, "We hate what you think, feel, and say...we hate who you are!"
It reflects on the truth that those persecuted, hated ones are the very people who bring the compassion, commitment, and creativity to the world that change it into a more human place for everyone to live.
Along with this article, I also recommend a book by Gregory Burns, a professor at Emory University, called "Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How To Think Differently."
Let's do things that others say can't be done, especially for the smallest and most forgotten people in our world.