“Do I dare
Disturb the universe?”
—T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Sometimes those of us who are imaginative enough to want to change the world for the better are seen as crazy and are accused of disregarding the rules or upsetting the order of things. It’s not that we “crazies” don’t like rules, it’s simply that we like them to make sense and help us progress, not keep us boring and stagnant. Personally, I don’t think keeping things the same simply because we can is a justifiable reason for being against change. (True story: I was once in a job interview where both the administrator and teacher justified their purpose for teaching a particular text because, “I had to read it, you had to read it, so the students have to read it.” It was almost like a punishment. I felt they were too lazy to consider reevaluating the their lessons, disregarded the value of the text, and missed the point of teaching and influencing young people’s minds.)

Sometimes it’s reassuring to know that I am not the only one facing opposition in my pursuits. In remembrance of Steve Jobs, Apple’s main man, who passed away recently, I give you some of my favorite quotes of his. I may not agree with all of Jobs’ decisions, but I do agree that we each have to love what we do, stay true to ourselves, and learn how to either overcome or recruit our nay-sayers.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. . . . Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it.” –from his Stanford commencement speech

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. . . Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – from his Stanford commencement address

So, fellow crazies, go put your own “ding” in the universe.

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