I read a snippet of a review of a book by Melinda Gates this morning. Something to the effect of “this book seems to be more about raising awareness than making waves.” I gathered that Melinda must be Bill Gates’ wife and then I read the first paragraph of the review. It was scathing in a way that only an episode of NPR’s Fresh Air could be. AKA it came off as nice.
This post isn’t about that book at all. If you’d like to read a memoir/mission statement of the Gates Foundation, be my guest. I’ll assume there’s something good in it. This post is about making waves.
I once said something about the strength of having opinions. About how it can be uncomfortable, but that to not to have opinions is to care. I’ll take that over the alternative. Having opinions makes waves and making waves in today’s world can be especially uncomfortable.
My friend Chris tells me often to quit apologizing. I am more of a people pleaser than you may think and while I can’t help being blunt and honest, I don’t want to purposefully make people more uncomfortable than necessary. I’d say I try to balance it but my history speaks otherwise.
But that’s not how it works. Especially not in 2019. In the words of Jack Nicholson in that 90s movie I can’t remember. “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!” I know this because while my threshold may be way higher, I can’t either. We have been babied and coddled and told that it’s not okay to say anything that ruffles anyone’s feathers that we can’t even talk anymore. And this is bullshit.
How about instead of sitting on the offended hair trigger, we take things in stride and realize that just because something is true for you that not everything is about you.
Making waves can be positive too. It’s not just opinions. It’s impact. What are the things we (you) can do that can cause a s small ripple to develop. These are the things I want more than just having opinions.
I have espoused why it’s important to have a “why” to define how you live. I think it’s equally important and maybe just a tangential idea to also consider what your impacts are. Are they mostly positive. Are they aligned with what you say you’re about.
Define why. Have opinions. Make impacts.
Doesn’t sound like a bad plan.