Friday, March 30, 2012

We are better than this

The last few days have really made me realize something... Before we set forth on our ambitious projects to change the world--as doctors, scientists or engineers, we have to first focus on treating those closest to us, those we encounter in our daily lives, with more respect and love. To be horrible to those you see everyday, yet to claim to have ambitions of positively impacting greater humanity, is perhaps the greatest hypocrisy of all. We are ALL guilty of this at times, absolutely myself included.

We can do better.

Friday, March 2, 2012


To be weird. It sounds like a horrible thing, right? On first thought, the mere connotations of the word, "weird" imply someone who wears a superhero leotard to the grocery store, is mentally imbalanced, and generally socially inept. I mean really, who would want to be weird?

Well, I do.  Why you ask? Why would someone want to classify themselves by such a horrid adjective? Simply because being weird is exactly not that. To me, being weird is something extraordinary. It is almost even a badge of honor. To be classified among those who reject the norms of society to live life as they see most fit; to live in a way that could theoretically maximize their potential. What an honor it would be to be classified amongst these fearless individuals. In a sense, for some, being weird is choosing to strive for excellence, choosing to be memorable.

As most of us individuals who are truly weird by nature can say, it's not so much a choice as it is who you are. While you can choose to act "normal" to help you blend-in and exist in a more camouflaged way within society, I believe doing so only inhibits personal growth.  To be weird is to allow yourself to get tangled within your own mind, in your own world of purposeful relevance, that could potentially lead to a moment of shining revelation. Furthermore, to allow yourself to be weird is to embrace your own intuition more than you regard the standards predetermined by our society for you.  I don't know about you, but I want to have the chutzpah to be a little MORE weird.

Albert Einstein: Changed the way we look at the world, yet he was totally weird
Don't believe in my advocacy for being weird? Then let's look at some legitimate facts. Some of the greatest individuals throughout our human history were considered to be entirely crazy, and functioning in their own world, during their time. The late Steve Jobs only attended one semester at Reed College. However after dropping out after this first term because a lack of the college's affordability, he proceeded to drop in on courses, as a non-paying student, while sleeping on the floor of his friend's apartments. During this time, he recycled cans and bottles to have money to eat, and he ate free meals every Sunday at the local Hare Krishna temple. Essentially, one of the greatest innovators of our time, spent part of his young adult life living like a homeless man.  Can you really tell me that his life during that time doesn't sound pretty weird?  Jobs is later quoted as having said that it was the inspiration he received from the courses he audited, and the resulting introspection, during this time that lead to his development of the early Mac computer.  It should go without saying that in addition to Mr. Jobs, countless other individuals throughout the history of man have been incredibly weird, yet on the brink of genius.

An individual who is considered weird now could very well be considered revolutionary and forward-thinking in the future. Besides, who's to decide what "weird" and "normal" are, really?

Be weird, strive for genius. Normalcy is overdone.