You ever notice how people question your motives for being interested in a cause? Like you cannot be an LGBTQ activist unless you are LGBTQ or love someone who is. I mean you can, but it’s “weird.”
We need to know WHY you care. We need to hear that your daughter had leukemia, that’s why you’re organizing this fundraiser. Your sister is an addict, that’s why you’re impassioned about recovery. You’re a religious Christian, so it’s “ok” to care about Israel even though you’re not Jewish.
It’s not ok to simply care. It HAS to be personal.
- Why does she care so much about mental health? IS SHE CRAZY?
- Why does he care so much about gay rights? IS HE GAY!
- Why do they care so much about sexual abuse? ARE THEY A VICTIM?!
- Why does she care about family leave? SHE IS PREGNANT.
While this is stupid (all problems deserve to be taken seriously, regardless of your motivation), I think it’s based on something smart. Because of Blanche.
Blanche is the voice in your head screaming: ABORT ABORT ABORT THIS IS NOT WORTH IT ABORTTTTTT
Or (to borrow the altMBA language): STOP MAKING A RUCKUS.
Head down. Fit in. Stop asking questions. Stop challenging. Stop making it weird (because boy does it get weird). Stop making people uncomfortable. Stop being so EXTRA.
At a certain point, you need something underneath your ambition fueling it.
Otherwise, you will abandon ship because I assure you, $200k for 90 hour weeks will sound a lot better than being berated by trolls, mocked by people in the cheap seats, and in a psychological prison created by Blanche.
To have the ability and willingness to endure the shitstorm that comes down on you when you’re on the path searching for solutions and paving a new way forward – you have to have the inside voice that drowns Blanche out and reminds you to STAY THE COURSE.
And that voice is hard to hear if it’s not personal.
To do this work, to dare to make a difference, there has to be a motivator beyond logic.
It’s got to be personal.
When you point out what’s wrong, when you challenge the norm, when you choose a new way forward: People lose their shit.
People take offense, get annoyed, dismissive, or actively put you and your work down. Pick a time in history and you will see someone who was right, forced to endure a litany of ridiculous challenges to convince the world that they have a better way forward.
It’s cliche now, but stating the obvious has literally cost people their lives:
- The earth is round
- The earth revolves around the sun
- Washing hands prevents infection
- Humans descended from apes
- Slavery is inhumane
- Jews are people
- Black women deserve the right to vote
- Putting a virus inside someone keeps them from getting sick
- Gay people are not mentally ill
ToTo state the obvious requires enormous strength. To change a system that doesn’t work requires taking risks. Risks that make absolutely zero sense to take if it’s not a little bit personal.
We need the people who make it personal to be our pioneers. To defend us and stand up where we
Because why would anyone logically do that, if it wasn’t personal?