Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Edge vs. the Top

It is NOT lonely at the top, it is lonely at the edge -- the cutting edge. At the top everyone wants to be your friend, at the edge you stand alone. They also call it the bleeding edge which is the second clue it is a painful place to be. When I spoke in front of the city council tonight I was bringing mainstream global thinking to mainstreet middle America where it is viewed with great suspicion as cutting edge risky propositions. Ironically the sustainability knowledge I shared with my local government officials is not even cutting edge in other parts of the country. Opportunity doesn’t keep knocking until we are ready, it moves on to receptive people willing to open their doors.

My friends tell me I am once again too far ahead of the curve and that I should not waste my time. Dress rehearsals are important. Citizenship is rarely a waste of time; it is a privilege and responsibility. Some people confuse this as leadership, but that is not accurate. An innovator invents for the love of creation; followership is not required. The innovator sees a way to make the world a better place and expressing that vision is an absolute joy. I have special knowledge I shared with my city tonight. They may have to hear it ten times before it becomes familiar and acceptable. And I really don’t mind paving the way for that tenth person who will be heard. Who knows, I may even get back in the queue and be that tenth person. The point is to persevere toward progress because it doesn’t happen by accident or apathy.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you didn't find a receptive audience at your city council meeting. I know that can be frustrating. But this post exemplifies why you are such a great advocate to present these ideas -- your firm belief that these ideas will make the world a better place (I agree), the joy you bring to sharing this knowledge with others, and your perseverance over time to see these changes adopted and implemented. Once again, I'm honored to know you and count you as a friend and ally in this change process.