One thing that drives me nuts about celebrating holidays is when you’re in the middle of a conversation and someone says, “Well, that’s just how it is.”
Just how it is. The way it is. Just how things are. How it’s always been.
These are all euphemisms for: I’m afraid of change.
It’s Independence Day in America today. A day that’s supposed to celebrate our declaration of freedom from an oppressive system.
I like to imagine what people said about those fighting the system back then. Like every time Ben and George got up to give a (now famous) speech, what did the people at parties say?
- Ugh, Hamilton! Will you just let it go!
- There goes Ben again with another one of his speeches.
- Look at Jefferson all smug in the corner. He thinks he’s better than us. Screw that guy. He didn’t even fight.
- Betsey is trying to get us to come over again to see that damn flag. Can she just stop? She’s so obsessed with the flag. I don’t want another lecture on stitching.
We like to believe we’re the ones who will stand up to naysayers and take a stand with pride, but I think we underestimate the type of courage that requires.
The courage to be disliked.
To turn to your friends when it’s unpopular and say the thing they’ll make fun of you for.
The thing they think, “is just how it is.”
We’ve come a long way since 1776, but we still have a long way to go. It’s time for a new breed of Founding People.
It’s time for you: The next generation of leader who will pioneer the future.
The person who will fight the status quo.
The pioneers of today don’t look like war heroes of the 18th century. We don’t get medals of honor or fancy uniforms (unless you count yoga pants and sneakers).
We get the part the history books left out: social castigation.
You’re going to get looks. Whispers.
You’re going to be invited to events with a warning: “Don’t bring up gender in front of Julien. It’s a whole thing.” That’s the new war. The new frontier.
“Just enjoy the party.” <— That’s your new battleground. No, I don’t mean disrupting parties, I mean disdain.
The people who belittle and dismiss change because it’s uncomfortable.
Not everyone can see what you see. And those who do, don’t want to believe it because it means risking everything they hold true. It disrupts the natural order. The way things are.
But you know the way things COULD BE. The way things COULD BE is much, much better than the way things are.
Don’t try and convince those who think, “This is just how it is,” of anything otherwise. They’re too afraid and they need their fear to keep it all together.
Your job isn’t to change them, it’s to change the system that’s making them scared.
They’re never going to concede until it’s popular to do so.
Part of your job as a revolutionary is to fight on their behalf.
They will never say thank you, they will never see the value of how hard you’re working because it doesn’t look like a bayonet on the battlefield and medals of honor.
When you point out the flaws in the oppressive system and they say, “Don’t make this a thing. That’s just how it is.”
You say, “Yeah, but should it be?”
And then you go change it.
Happy Forth. 🇺🇸