It’s one thing to act crazy, it’s another to go crazy. When Civil Rights Freedom Fighter Fred Shuttlesworth told the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. history wouldn’t be kind to him if he didn’t take chances, I’m sure they looked at Shuttlesworth sideways. When he returned to his home after the Klan tried to bomb it, people were sure he had lost his mind.
Each time Apple pioneer Steve Jobs told an engineer, the product wasn’t good enough, create the impossible, some surely wanted him fit for a straight jacket. And one can only imagine how uncomfortable some people were when he introduced the Mac, iPod, Nano, iPhone and the iPad.
Legal Scholar Derrick Bell quit more jobs to protest unfair practices than some people have in a lifetime. He was the first tenured Black Law School Professor at Harvard.
All three men were considered crazy by some of their peers. They didn’t color in the lines. They didn’t let naysayers, negativity or neglect affect their agendas. They did what they were put on Earth to do. Approval wasn’t necessary. They did not conform.
Difference, diversity and divergent thinking are integral parts of greatness. All three men walked different paths yet they clearly cross in the fight for freedom and access.
Their deaths are three legs on a stool. By fate, one wouldn’t have gone without the other. Don’t cut any of their legacies short or the stool won’t have a leg upon which to stand.
Make people think you’re crazy and history may remember you more fondly. Heck, you’ll get noted for standing out quicker than you will for fitting in.