I have a confession to make to you. It’s a little
shocking: -I’m crazy!- But before you feel sorry for me, please be informed that there is one main thing I have in common with Mahatma Gandhi of India, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Ted Turner of CNN, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft even Malala of Pakistan and many other people- we are all crazy!
I’m sure you would. agree that only a very crazy person would leave the world’s greatest university- Harvard, not because of academic or financial problems but to pursue some far-fetched dream that had never had commercial value before then. Even already tested and well funded business models fail. How much more an untried idea from someone just barely in his twenties? But that is the story of Bill Gates and Microsoft. It is also the story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Oh, you are not sure we are crazy? Or more recently, a sixteen year old girl called Malala. She has been declared the World’s boldest girl and this was after her strong stance on Female education in ‘Taliban-infested’ Pakistan. She decided to go to school and was shot. As God would have it she wasn’t killed. Today, Malala is a world-acclaimed female-education activist. Isn’t that Crazy?
Hang on! Did anyone ever tell you of what Mahatma Gandhi did to liberate India from white oppression? He told his people to fight armed men without arms! They were literally to be lambs to the slaughter, to show passive resistance, face punishments willingly, go to jail, lose their lives…there was a time a British General ordered that fire be opened on a crowd of protesting unarmed Indians inspite of the fact that there was nothing threatening
about them. They were in an enclosed square and the British soldiers blocked the entrance. Over one thousand Indians were shot that day including women and children. But this was the result of Gandhi’s teachings to the Indians. It is worthy of note that this strategy brought India her freedom and ultimately it wasn’t as costly (even in terms of lives) as a real war would have been and it demonstrated greater humanity than the British were able to handle. We have similar
examples (patterned after Gandhi) in Martin Luther King Jnr and Nelson Mandela.
How about the guy who insisted that the world was round? Galileo Galilee was criticized by the church which was at that time more of a political organization. He had to withdraw his claim when they decided to burn him alive because of his
discovery. Today, we all agree that the world is round. But at that time, Galileo was said to be mad. What about Ted Turner of CNN? The outfit that became CNN belonged to his father and incurred so much debt that the guy (Ted’s father) committed suicide. So to even dare to take charge of it, Ted was crazy. But when he brought out a previously unheard-of idea (to
start a 24-hour live cable TV station for only news), he confirmed that he was indeed crazy. CNN started up with low funds and a very low audience. It is said that at times, the ceilings would fall off the roof during live transmissions. But guess what? The crazy guy is the sane one today.
How about Daniel, who preferred to be thrown into a den of lions instead of merely not
praying for a while (or praying in secret), or how about Shedrach, Meschach and Abednigo who preferred to be thrown into fire alive instead of worshipping an idol for a few minutes? How about Jesus, who could easily call an entire legion of angels to his defense but instead, chose to die for the human beings who were going to kill him without any form of pity?I know you may not like my terms but it’s the truth. The world is not transformed by normal people. It is transformed by those who are crazy (for Christians, a better word would be ‘supernatural’).
Normal people live the life of Solomon Grundy: Born on Monday, Christened of Tuesday, Got Married on Wednesday, Gave birth on Thursday, Took ill on Friday, Died on Saturday, Buried on Sunday and that is the end of Solomon Grundy. Normal people just contribute to the world by being a
part of the 6 billion (their impact is felt only by
increase in number and not in impact). But crazy people take the bull by the horns, challenge traditional thinking and make the difference. The problem is that while they are doing that, they come under a lot of criticism. But when they succeed, the same people who criticised them begin to praise them. Stop trying to be a part of the crowd. The way to succeed and make impact is to stand out from it. Try a new idea. Give your wildest imaginations a shot at fulfilment. It may
not work out but you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you gave it your best shot. And perhaps, you would have earned the right not to be a part of Solomon Grundy’s family.

NB: In case you were inspired by my mention of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to
drop out of school, be informed that it’s NOT
necessarily my intention.
I am a strong advocate of good education

‘Dami Cole

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