On ‘Changing the World’
I’ve been watching Mr. Robot, and at the end of episode 5 (I believe), Elliott the main character says something really profound that I wanted to hold onto. He said:
“My father picked me up from school one day, and we played hooky and went to the beach. It was too cold to go in the water, so we sat on a blanket and ate pizza.
When I got home my sneakers were full of sand, and I dumped it on my bedroom floor. I didn’t know the difference, I was six.
My mother screamed at me for the mess, but he wasn’t mad. He said that long ago, the world’s shifting, and ocean moving brought that sand to that spot on the beach, and then I took it away.
“Every day” he said, “we change the world”.
Which is a nice thought until I think about how many days and lifetimes I would need to bring a shoe full of sand home until there is no beach…until it made a difference to anyone.
Every day we change the world. But to change the world in a way that means anything…that takes more time than most people have. It never happens all at once. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s exhausting.
We don’t all have the stomach for it.”
In addition to being feared by the masses, is entirely necessary for growth. Changing a culture, a mindset…the world takes a long time. But we can change things, and leave them better than we found them.
If we have the stomach for it.
If we do it one shoe-full of sand at a time.
I’m super-honored to now be surrounded by a community of passionate, hungry, generous, empathic, and driven designers who are bringing sand home one shoe-full at a time.
Together, we’re stronger, together we’re even more powerful, together, we can make a difference.
I’ll close with one more sandy analogy that I’ve always held onto that puts a nice bow on this sentiment and the opening story:
There’s an old fable about a man who was walking along the beach.
He looks off in the distance and sees a young boy continuously picking things up from the sand and throwing them into the ocean.
As the man drew closer, he saw what looked like ten’s of thousands of starfish washed up along the sand.
Filled with curiosity, the man asks the boy, “What are you doing?”
The boy replied, “I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. If I don’t, they’ll die.”
The man scoffed, “You can’t possibly make a difference, just look at all the starfish there are upon the sand.”
The boy looked down and frowned for a second.
He then proceeded to bend down to pick up another starfish.
After throwing it back into the ocean, he turned to the man and with a satisfied look on his face said,
“I made a difference for that one!”
Keep 👊’ng on in making a difference, no matter how hard it can be sometimes. Stay passionate, stay hungry, stay inspired.
We can’t change the world, but we can change the world for one person…at at time.
If you’re looking to join a community that has every aim to leave this world better than we found it through the superpower of good design, then I encourage you to check out User Defenders: Community.
It’s kinda like Facebook and Twitter, minus the swindling d-bagness of the Berg’s, and superfluous, often irrelevant scrolling of Jack’s box.
Oh, it also lacks annoying ads, and is entirely focused on UX, personal growth, and the power of good design to change the world.
Let’s get better together, ’cause we’re better together!
User Defenders: Community is a safe gathering place for Defenders in all areas and phases of UX to connect with other Defenders, ask questions, share knowledge, and offer inspiration to help us not grow weary in our important mission of fighting for our users!