Be For What Is
My friend and fellow Worthless Bastard Brett Feinstein occasionally quotes his business partner, Jamie, as saying, “Be for what is.” I think I understand what Jamie is saying.
There are basically two ways of seeing:
1. the way things ought to be.
2. the way things are.
Do you find yourself moaning about the injustice of it all and wishing that things were different? Follow the advice of Jamie and Bigteeth Ted, who said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Be for what is.
I wrote about this in chapter 76 of my first book, The Wizard of Ads. “Weasels are everywhere, incessantly singing their sad little song: If Only. 'If only I had a better education.' 'If only my boss liked me better.' 'If only I had married someone else.' 'If only I had invested in Chrysler when it was fifty cents a share…' There's a little weasel in all of us, and that weasel needs to be slapped. When your ears hear your lips start to sing the Song of the Weasel, you must learn to immediately slap the weasel within.”
Now that we've established the wisdom of a pragmatic, clear-eyed worldview, let's examine the equal-but-opposite wisdom offered by that other hemisphere of your brain, the right:
What might happen if a person simply rejected the way things are and insisted on seeing them as they ought to be?
1. First, the person would be considered irrelevant, an impractical dreamer.
2. If persistent, they'd become a nuisance.
3. Then a renegade, a rebel, a lunatic and a heretic.
4. Finally, a serious troublemaker and a borderline criminal.
5. Later, the founder of a movement.
Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King.
“Every man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.” – Mark Twain
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
I'm not trying to be mysterious when I say I agree with both of these equal-but-opposite worldviews. We must Be for What Is if we are to accomplish anything in the short term, and we must Be the Crank with a New Idea if tomorrow is going to be better than today.
Wizard Academy is a school for cranks with new ideas. Our plan is to change the world, one perspective at a time. I really can't put it more plainly than that. Is there anything in your world that needs changing? Come to Austin and we'll talk about it.
It was my favorite pioneering educational genius from Brazil, Paolo Freire, who said,
“Education either functions as
1. an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity, or
2. it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
Paolo Freire would have liked Wizard Academy.
Helen Keller would have been at home here, too. She said, “The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next.”
Wizard Academy alumni are the creators of tomorrow's orthodoxy in the sciences, the arts, and marketing.
I believe Pablo Picasso would have loved it here. “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
You gotta love the Pablo.
But I think Robert Frost may have said it best:
“Most of the change we think we see in life
Is due to truths being in and out of favor.”
Like me, Frost realized that both perspectives are true. Our society simply moves from one extreme to the other in an arc spanning exactly 40 years. And we've been doing it since the beginning of time.
I suppose that's enough rambling for one day. Click the hyperlinks above and below if you want to stay on the trail of the elusive rabbit.
Roy H. Williams
Are you a perfomer or visual artist?
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau
Do you want to learn from the best how to market to women?