This morning, following a productive brainstorming meeting around the advancement of entrepreneurship in Newfoundland and Labrador, and a very cool and fun photo shoot hot on its heels… I found myself returning to office, my home base, my Pseudio. Along the way, Come with Me Now by Kongos was playing on the radio. The windows were down, the music was somewhat up and I was simply rockin’ with the tune. It is part of what I do and who I am. Stopped in traffic, I caught, out of the corner of my eye, a car load of youth who seemed to find it funny. I am not sure if it was joy shared or mockery engaged, but it did not stop me. Indeed, and because I love working with youth, I gave them a confident nod and continued on my way, with a huge smile on my face.

That being said, a thought did occur to me. If it was mockery… how unfortunate for such young minds to already be trapped within convention? How unfortunate is it to consider joy strange? At such an age, where could such attitudes, if held, take them; to conformist paths, ending up in “acceptable” jobs run by others, with traditional choices? Who knows?

As a business educator, I will say that there is nothing wrong with a good job for a good employer, if that is what you truly want. Still, too many take the path most traveled because of conformity. I argue that the best and most prosperous unity is built on diversity, not uniformity. Diversity demands difference.

So, who knows their path? Who knows where the lives of those youth will take them?

What I do know is that the song Come with Me Now speaks to this. With a rockin’ backbeat and somewhat different instrumentation, including an accordion, it speaks to conformity and the cage. It does so in lyric and music. Now, I offer this thought. Bruce Cockburn wrote a song that said “the trouble with normal is that it always gets worse”. The idea of normalcy is an ever present danger to creativity and excellence. In this world at this time, daring is vital… to thrive and survive alike. The world, whether private, public or community sectors, needs to burn the box, not simply think outside of it. Linear is no longer sufficient.

I dare to hope that those youth were finding my rockin’ joyful. I dare to hope that, if they found it something simply to mock, they will learn the lesson and power of difference sooner rather than later. Difference makes the difference.

Ultimately, what I do know is this. If I were to see them again, I would say “come with me now”.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, The Unity Guy™