Ignore Your Elders
70,000 years ago if an elder told you to avoid eating a plant, you’d listen.
They’d teach you how to spark a fire, build a shelter, throw a spear.
And you’d listen.
That’s how we survived as a species.
By taking our tribe’s word as gospel.
But modern society has simplified survival.
Shelter, food, and water have become accessible.
Yet we continue to obey societal norms unflinchingly.
Because our hunter gatherer brains set off alarms if we go against the grain.
Worried that if we do, we’ll die.
That’s why students go hundreds of thousands in debt.
Why young adults choose a safe job they hate over a risky passion project they love.
Why strangers avoid other strangers on the bus.
Being different violates our social conditioning.
So it takes a special person to develop his or her own unique path.
To ask why.
To question ‘This is how it’s always been done.’
These are the iconoclasts.
The Galileos and Gandhis.
The Mandelas and Malalas.
Who, when speaking their truth, are ignored, laughed at, and fought against.
But hold strong nonetheless.
If you’re willing to be different, prepare to be judged.
But know that you’re not alone.
You’ll occupy that small club of humans.
Who took a different path.
Ignored their elders.
And pushed humanity to new frontiers.