Here’s to the Crazy Ones!
It was a small poster that came in the mail almost twenty years ago. Apple sent it to me because I was a true-blue Mac user.
‘Here’s to the Crazy Ones,’ it said.
I felt buoyed, not because I liked being considered crazy—the poster wasn’t personal, although, it was kind of personal—but because the two words that followed the toast-like salute grabbed me: ‘The Misfits.’
Here’s to the Crazy Ones. The Misfits.
Apple, you had me at hello. And you sealed the deal at goodbye … ‘Think Different.’
These last two words of the poster ensured I would never defect from a company that didn’t see different thinking as a defect.
Square peg in a round hole that I was, I now felt a little more confident staring at an empty page (like the ad suggested) and filling it with my different style of thinking.
It was suddenly cool to be the uncool kid. Apple said so. Right? It was suddenly cool to see the world through a skewed lens. Skewed, mind you, according to and in relation to social norms.
A Good Fit or a Natural Fit?
Who or what determines ‘normal’, though? Psychologists, sociologists, educationalists, marketers, the media and/or social media?
For the modern ‘ists’ and ‘isms’ that promote a departure from traditional ‘whatevers’, fitting in means following what’s trending at the mo; not following means being a proverbial dinosaur (although … you can still fit with other dinosaurs); deviating from both old and new norms means not fitting.
Archaic—not dinosaur—thinking is not what you think it is, though.
For the ancients, everything was normal: divinity, deviances et al. In ancient stories, no one was a misfit and nothing was a misfit. Gorgons fit as much as gods did. Crazy was normal. Back then, crazy was not stigmatised. It’s one reason why I have an affinity with the back-then stories.
Then there’s this: These stories are the roots of human life (including all thoughts, impulses, behaviours). Their characters represent the human psyche in its entirety: black and white, and everything in between—so much more than fifty shades of grey. All are different, all are of equal value.
The Heart of the Matter
I tend to think outside the boxes of all the social categories I was slotted into when I was born. It can be tough. But it’s comforting just knowing that the raw, uncut stories—the real ones at the core of our existence—collapse man-made differences, and respect natural ones.
And it’s in this place, which comes down to essential humanness, well, that’s where I fit. One hundred percent. So do you.
As writer, Carlo Levi, said: ‘The future has an ancient heart.’ It’s simpler and safer to think like everyone else, but how can you unlock that ancient-brand new heart you entered the world with—that can be obscured by a blind adherence to isms—if you don’t dare to … think different?