Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The writing prompt today was not a writing prompt, really, but an action prompt. Problem is I don’t believe it captured the essence of this quote from Emerson at all.
The prompt was to mess up your hair, were funny mismatched clothes and think about who you are trying to impress when you dress and look normal. My hair is normally messy. That's just the way I roll.
I go to the gym every day to do water exercises. I usually take a shower and "fix" my hair. There was this beautiful gray-haired lady who had her hair looking like it just came out of the beauty parlor. I asked her what she used on it and it was normal hair spray, which I can't stand. Hence my "look". I'm guessing for me, the prompt would be to put every hair in place and spray it down. Not happening.
From what I can tell, though, not one of the men mentioned by Emerson were into looking weird or different. But all of them were different by the standards of their own society. However, it was what was within them rather than how they looked that set them apart. Actually, it was what made them great.
All of them are credited with discoveries or theories or belief systems, such as heliocentric theory, Pythagorean Theorum, Socratic Method, Galilian telescope, the laws of motion, modern physical science, Protestantism and Christianity.
Every man mentioned did not set out to discover, invent, create or become founder of anything. All were being who they were in the course of their normal life doing what they knew to do and being curious about something, investigating it and sharing it with others.
All of them received hostile criticism, most from the church that was in charge of society at the time. They were laughed at, made fun of, doubted, totally misunderstood. Some were put to death. Only One rose from the dead. It was not until after these men died that they were credited with being great. Jesus, of course, was finally seen as Savior of the World and God Incarnate.
I am not a god nor do I want to be. My postulation, though, is that in order for me to be great, I must in the ordinary course of my day be interested enough to think differently from the established authority. I must be willing to challenge those in power with what I know to be true.
What I know to be true may go against the grain of my church or government, but I must do it if I am to be achieve what God has called me to be in my time here on his earth.
Herein lies the rub. Do I really desire to be great? To do so means I must fully be myself. It is in being 100% who I am that any original thought, idea or plan is discovered and written.
If nothing else, these 30 days have taught me that it is necessary for me to be myself. I do not need to wear two different socks or mismatched clothes. That is not who I am. But I do need to be my ordinary, extraordinary self. The best me I can be, messy hair and all.
This I will endeavor, with God's help, to do.
What about you?