The accepted state is to be a cog. The preferred career is to follow the well-worn path, to read the instructions, to do what we're told. It's safer that way. Less responsibility. More people to blame.
When someone comes along and says, "not me, I'm going down a different path," we flinch. We're not organized to encourage and celebrate the unproven striver. It's safer to tear them down (with their best interests at heart, of course). Better, we think, to let them down easy, to encourage them to take a safer path, to be realistic, to hear it from us rather than the marketplace.
In the post titled "Do you need a permit?" acclaimed blogger Seth Godin asked why most of us are more comfortable doing follow-follow or words to that effect. More worrying is the other side. Where people feel comfortable destroying a persons ideas or rubbishing their actions just because they think it's for the person's good. This person just wants to be the change they would like to see in this world and others, not just too scared to step out of their comfort zone, are also scared of change.
To be honest, it takes a lot of guts to stand in the face of such attitude not to talk of continue on that unbeaten path you've chosen for yourself. In some Nigerian circles, it is called the Pull-Him-Down Syndrome or PHD usually going hand in hand with Herd Mentality. So what Seth Godin is saying is not new but I think it is worth repeating. People who want to blaze a trail need to be encouraged because sometimes, it is impossible to be a changemaker unless you have a few good people around you. People who will cheer you on and not try to hold you back. People who will jump in and offer help and support.
So question to you. Have you been a changemaker before, seen someone try? How much support did you receive, and what opposition. Are you still on course with that vision?