Being heretic, at least in our sense, has nothing to do with being disruptive for the sake of it. Dissension for the sake of it does not only help the status quo but also leave things in a worse state.
We’re all defined by something. In some instances we have power to decide what exactly and the extent. At other times it is our responses to things we have little or no control of.
One of the things has profound implications on us is our response to the dissenter in ourselves. We all have, at least, one. There’s an innate desire to do something that matters. To matter.
It matters to what impact we make. There are, of course, obstacles to be overcome. Fear is one of them. We trip up on whether what we do will matter. The dissenter in us, that other ‘we’ in us, believes strongly that there’s a contribution we can make that could impact and define humanity forever.
Every breath we breathe is a fight. A fight between whether we’ll listen to the dissenter, the heretic in us, that sees an alternate way or we’ll settle. “Settle” is not the appropriate word.
When we ignore or fight the heretic in us, we retreat to continue the fight again. You see, the heretic in everyone, in me, in you, is difficult to silence. In fact it takes more effort to silence him. His or her unrest is never forever.
We seek to silence the heretic in us through rationalizations. We have good reasons. No, great reasons why he or she’s wrong: “The art in us is not good enough. We’re not good enough. Someone needs to approve of us first. We need to be perfect. We must have clear plans and all figured out before setting out on the journey to make the world a greater place”.
The list goes on. We could spend all the time and effort we use in crafting excuses, in listening to what the heretic has to say. The first reaction is one of mistrust. Perhaps because we want to believe that the way things are is the best they could be. We want to leave all this “what could be” talk for the dreamers, the altruists. Right?
The thing about the heretic is that he or she shows up everywhere. It could be in art, engineering, social entrepreneurship, business, physics, life… everywhere and anywhere.
The heretic can be silenced but he’ll be back. It may be tomorrow but rest assured, he will come back to haunt us. Gnaw at us. Cause that unrest and battle within, again.
The point to all this? There’s always a battle in us. In all of us. The heretic who sees an alternate way. A greater way. Then there’s the other guy, who’s too scared and would rather conform. Leave the status quo untouched. Perhaps even polish it so it’s shinier, in a bid to make it a little more appealing than the more, possibly difficult, alternate way of the heretic.
Somehow we all know that the heretic in us is the means to leaving an indelible mark. To make things that matter to the world. Things that will might just make it a greater place or a small part of it, at least.
Standing in the way of the heretics in each of us is standing in the way of a greater world.
Dissenters want to cause a raucous. Perhaps the discomfort is what makes most averse to releasing the heretic from his anguish, from the neglect. Listen to the heretic and do something that matters.