“What are my dreams to the world? Does it really matter if I keep thinking small?” It matters.
Thinking small is no longer an alternative. Fatalistic thinking has never worked. It’s killing us—our society, our environment, our dreams. I think we need to deal with it.
We live in the world. We need to understand it. More—our world needs us. Sometimes thinking big means facing up to some harsh realities, like the cost of thinking small. Let’s start with a few reminders. It might not be pretty.
Throughout history, small thoughts have stood in opposition to big thoughts.
- The church reviled Galileo. The earth is flat, right?
- Darwin was disbelieved in his time. We couldn’t possibly be descended from apes, could we?
- Slave owners fought to the death to prevent abolition (don’t get me started on sex trafficking).
- Men did not let women vote (still the case in many parts of the world).
- Jazz was deemed illicit.
- Someone tried to kill the electric car (many are still trying).
- Books (and sometimes even the publishers’ offices) continue to be burned. Writers are incarcerated.
- We are poisoning our environment, but we keep on guzzling gas, consuming stuff, stuff, and more stuff and piling up trash.
- Endless wars are waged because nobody wants to let go of their hatred and moral posturing long enough to enable peace.
We are up against a society controlled by people and institutions who generally think small.
- The corporation that seeks to control and manipulate what you think, what you buy, what you believe.
- The friend who tells you not to be too big for your britches.
- The husband who dominates his wife and makes her feel irrelevant.
- The teacher who tells you there is only one way to do something.
- The television network who wants to dumb you down.
- The news media who want to tell you lies and answer no questions.
- The self-help guru who tells you to face death to really live (and people actually die).
Albert Einstein once said:
“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices, but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thought in clear form.”
Express yourself. Be bold. Take risks. Stand for something. Think big.