I grew up in the late '60's/early 70's and those years affected me enormously. When I was 15 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. At the time of the Kansas City rioting I had not yet understood the significance of his death. Within the next few years, though, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War protests shaped who i was to become.
When my son started junior high school, at the annual parent-teacher meeting, the principal talked about nothing except the stupid rules, girl's skirts were not to be more than 2 inches over their knees, no students in the hall between classes, etc. I leaned over to my 12 year old boy and whispered, "Don't be afraid to question authority." It may or may not have been a turning point in my son's life, but that moment was significant to me.
This week Steve Jobs, a man of my generation, two years younger than me, died. He exemplified what a brilliant misfit could be when we he questioned the status quo. That Buddhist vegetarian is beloved and mourned by all of America, perhaps the world, for his creativity and innovation. Steve Jobs pushed the envelope. He didn't waste time conforming to society's expectations, he changed the world.
This week i have also been thinking of one of my client's, a whistleblower. As a result of her refusing to delete the truth from a medical record, she, a single mother, was fired. My client could not come up with the rent after her termination and she and her kids are on public assistance searching for shelter. She's a fighter. I am humbled by her and others like her. I want to show her that what she did was right and I pray I can do so.
Today we are supposed to have protests in Kansas City. The protesters here have been swayed by those protests on Wall Street and other places in this country. Is this a real movement? I don't know, but there is momentum. I have seen how one voice can make a difference. We are in a time now when we need to hear the voices of those who challenge the status quo. Let's hear it for the misfits, for they have the courage to make a difference!