"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." — Mark Twain
Stepping outside the norm and taking real chances in life is tough
. It takes profound courage to evaluate the status quo, decide on a completely new course of action and then take the leap.
From time to time towing the line is the wisest action... but sometimes you just have to walk to the edge of the cliff and jump.
Our society is set up totally against this notion. All of our institutions, from education to mass marketing, are designed to keep everyone distracted long enough to funnel them in the direction that is most profitable and efficient for society as a whole. Only in kids' movies and fairy tales do we ever hear that its not only okay to step out of line, but its the only way to ever be a hero.
Even in our own industry you can see this effect. There is a big machine working hard to convince us that we need all of the stuff they sell in order to keep our turf happy. This prescribed method of turf care is taught in schools, researched, and very well marketed. It has become accepted fact that the way we do things at the moment is truth, and to deviate from this truth is to commit heresy. The noted philosopher John Stuart Mill said it best:
"It often happens that the universal belief of one age, a belief from which no one... could be free without an extraordinary effort of genius or courage, becomes to a subsequent age, so palpable an absurdity that the only difficulty is, to imagine how such an idea could ever have appeared credible."
From time to time there are a few brave souls who challenge the norm.
They have to wisdom to ask questions, and the courage to go in a completely new direction to seek the answers. They face the wrath of the masses, and often times are the scapegoat when things don't go exactly as planned. Despite all the hardships they stay true to their convictions, and they are usually the ones we look to when all is said and done.
The funny thing is we always seem to remember the ones who took the leap never the ones who were content to march in step.