The irony of being a rebel is, we don’t play by anyone’s rules. Including our own. And so, it’s easy to trap ourselves in an endless loop of opposition.
I’m reminded of a classic scene from my favorite television show. Homer is driving home from a bar, completely intoxicated. And he announces to himself:
I’m in no condition to drive.
But then he has an epiphany...
Wait a minute, I shouldn’t listen to myself, I’m drunk!
That’s the rebel’s loop. We get stuck in an infinite regression of choosing freedom and resisting expectation and flouting rules and accomplishing our own aims on our own terms. We don’t have to do something just because somebody expects that of us. People’s expectations are their problem.
Instead, we choose to do things as expressions of our identity. We hit the snooze button just to prove to the alarm clock that we can.
Which may sound exhausting to people who prefer to oblige and uphold the rules, but when you’re born with rebellious wiring, there’s no stopping that train. May as well ride it somewhere meaningful.
Whitman was perhaps the most notorious rebel of his time. And he inspired multiple generations of poets and artists through his work. He famously wrote:
Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men. Dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.
Now that’s a rebel. The quo has officially lost its status.
And so, for those of us in the club, for those of us whose spirit of opposition is ignited on a daily basis, we remind ourselves to use it productively. To beware of being rebellious to our own detriment. And to channel our defiant nature into pursuits and careers and projects that make the world a better place.
Otherwise we’re just being annoying.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are you converting your feelings of opposition into?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
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That Guy with the Nametag
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