“Too often, people talk of what is unachievable. We need to be reminded about what is achievable, too. —Shirin Ebadi, Nobel prize-winning Iranian activist and lawyer
Misfits, rebels, agent provocateurs, thinkers, innovators, people who dare try changing the world… This was the topic of a discussion I had the other night with a small group of friends who – for me – are all beautiful, daring, dauntless “misfits.” The classic Apple commercial was the focal point that teased us all. Back to the future of today, who would you cast now to play the deviant heretic who would have the power to move us all and change the world?
It was a rather activist sort of a discussion about Greeks and their current and future set of challenges. Tangible and intangible terms like trust, responsibility, leadership, heroism, proof, credibility, passion, faith and determination clouded our forum.
“Zorba? Let’s park him for now. Let’s imagine the future,” Peter’s thesis on contemporary Greece got us all thinking.
So, you are in crisis. What if you know you can do something about it? What if you simply think you should do something about it? And what if you think you are powerless and there is nothing you can do? The only difference between each circumstance is the thinking – but who would admit it’s all in our head?
And the conundrum goes beyond politics, economics, crisis, defaults, strikes and euro bailouts. The heart of the matter is people – it’s always the people who matter and who can or cannot do something about anything. So, playing the numbers game, some will be the chickens and some will play the rogue elephant games. However, some will rise up and simply act – and do what they do best, inspiring, challenging, teaching, showing, motivating or simply just taking the responsibility and doing the right thing – whatever the right thing may be.
While revolutions catch fire through the dare-devilish acts of the heroic, powerful “ones” – habits, behaviors and customs along with collective memories change much slower. Sometimes, we need to bring the models and the masters closer to home and find the stories of those people next door that really matter.
“If she can do it, so can I” is the comment I want to hear when the story is told. Heroes who are not out of reach, out of context, out of the ordinary, and so far away from the Joneses and the Greek Papadopoulos of our daily lives.
We need to find those star players that will win us the game and help inspire the turn-around. Some are shining brilliant scholars in academic ivory towers, others are masters of their business domains in global conglomerates; some are the unsung volunteers feeding refugees and the homeless in iffy and relative unsafe neighborhoods; some are the young developers cracking code in their grandfather’s family home. Stories…so many untold stories of people who are Zorba’s great grand children. The contemporary Greeks, Americans, Africans, Arabs, Norwegians and all those who can – world’s children of a lesser god – can they take over from Zorba and leave their own mark on the world?
In the end, random acts of thoughtfulness matter so much more than promises and Marshall plans…