Being away from home for the weekend gave me a chance to talk to people and find out what their concerns, motivations and goals are. At the fair last weekend I had a few enlightening conversations.
Here’s what I found out:
- People are worried about the future, personal security and the economy.
- People are worried about the environment.
- Food and water security are huge and urgent issues.
- The nonconformists are artists, activists, and community leaders. Some are people of faith. (Just like not all people of faith are nonconformists, not all artists, activists and community leaders are nonconformists.)
- The English language is bereft of words to express the positive side of nonconformity. We can richly express it in the negative — A nonconformist is a non-compliant, rebel, eccentric, maverick, malcontent, dissenter, demonstrator, hippie, protester, radical, transgressor, mutineer, denier, insubordinate, activist. We don’t use terms like trail blazer, pioneer, creative, original or entrepreneur to express a world-changing nonconformist.
- The nonconformists were not the popular kids at school. The popular kids in high school rarely become leaders and world changers in later life. A lot of the nonconformists do.
- People who are leaders, who have chosen nonconformity, feel the sting of rejection.
- Nonconformists need tools to deal with the sting of rejection and get on with the important work or the wounds fester and that important work won’t get done. Or worse, each new sting compounds the previous pain and it can make life unbearable.
- The world needs more nonconformists, more creatives, more activists and more leaders, in order to address the urgent issues that people are worried about.
- Conformists can be loners. Violent people who shoot kids, or riot in the streets are conformists. Do you see someone making a point with violence? They are not nonconformists or creatives. They are conformists following the wrong leader.
My conversations over the weekend have left me with more questions than answers:
I wonder what the mechanism is that changes a person from a potential world-changer to a conformist? Does it happen before birth? During the school years? During adulthood?
Is it that pain of rejection, or maybe the fear of future rejection, that changes you from a potential leader and remarkable person to a conformist.
Would giving people a way to deal with the pain of rejection transform them into people with unleashed creativity and courage to solve our most pressing problems?
What would your community look like if you embraced your own nonconformity and creativity and pursued your calling? Would pursuing your calling create less security or more security for you?
These are the questions that I’m asking myself and many Purple Sheep are asking. What do you think? Leave a comment.