I was told a while ago that I should change my business name.
Think Banned Thoughts is a bad name for a business catering to writers, after all, what writer wants to be banned?
I do! I answered, rather a little too enthusiastically. I want to be a banned writer. Doesn’t everyone? Shouldn’t everyone?
I mean, if you’re banned, that means you’re dangerous, and if you’re dangerous, that means you’re making people think and isn’t that what we writers are supposed to do?
(Can I please get a “Hell yeah!” up in here?!?)
This one stuck with me – “Pick a subject you care so deeply about that you’d speak on a soapbox about it.”
See, I’m all about the soapbox. I wish more people were too. I don’t mean preachy and self-rightous, but passionate, thoughtful, and thought provoking. I love a novel that makes me see the world in a new way. I love a good news article that makes me think, or a company that shows me a better way to do things. I love being challenged.
Now, I understand, that’s not for everyone. Loads of people are more than happy to bounce along, cozy in their little bubbles, avoiding sharp things that might burst their world view and make them breathe in reality. That’s okay. There’s lots of stuff out there for those folk, and there are plenty of people willing to cater to them.
That’s not me. Not only do I like being challenged, I like returning the favor. I like making people rethink old positions, question their own resolve, stand on their heads and look at the world from a new angle. And I like working with people who do the same.
The world is filled with things that reinforce our positions, that reinforce our ideas of reality. But, as George Bernard Shaw once said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
Thus, those who challenge the world around them, who seek a different path, they are the ones on whom progress depends.
So, to all of you out there wondering what you can do, whatever your cause, whatever your passion, the best thing you can do is get your soapbox and tell your story. Be unreasonable. Act as if you can change the world, and before you know it, you will have done so.