In the post titled “Do you need a permit?” acclaimed blogger Seth Godin asked why most of us are more comfortable doing ‘follow-follow’ or words to that effect. More worrying is the other side. Where people feel comfortable destroying a persons ideas or rubbishing their actions just because they think it’s for the person’s good. This person just wants to be the change they would like to see in the world, and others are either afraid of change or just too scared to step out of their comfort zone.
To be honest, it takes a lot of guts to stand in the face of such negative attitudes. In some Nigerian circles, it is called the Pull-Him-Down Syndrome or ‘PHD’, usually going hand in hand with Herd Mentality. So what Seth Godin is saying is not new, but I think it is worth repeating. People who want to blaze a trail need to be encouraged because sometimes, it is impossible to be a changemaker unless you have a few good people around you. People who will cheer you on and not try to hold you back. People who will jump in and offer help and support.
A recent song by Beyonce, ‘I was Here’, contains some of my thoughts on this issue. It doesn’t have to be about me all the time. There has to be a purpose for which I’m here that is bigger than what I want or what will make me happy. I ask myself, what about other people? How can I affect their lives, how can I make a difference? For me, that is the best perk of being a writer – creating something, and having the opportunity through my words, to reach out to so many other people. It’s not about the money or about the fame, even as these can come in useful, but about viral ideas and influence. It’s about sharing something you’re passionate about, and having other people tap into it or benefit from it.
Someone complained that people who have a passion to change the world ought not to have families, because they end up disappointing their loved ones by giving a large chunk of their time and energy to their passion. This can be true, and so I’m always impressed and want to learn from those who have found a balance. Those who live, who love, and at the same time, were there for their bigger community. For those who are married, it certainly helps when both of them share in that passion. But married, yet to be married, or single, we can DO something that will show when we’re gone, that we were here.
So the question to you. What are you doing with that vision?