Humanity consists of two different types of people: Conformists and adventurers.
Conformists are happy with the way things are, would like as little change as possible, want tomorrow to be the same as today, which should be the same as yesterday.Adventurers on the other hand are happy when things change, when there are opportunities and chances. Tomorrow should be different from today, which hopefully was not the same as yesterday.
The majority of people are conformists. Which makes perfect sense: It’s the saver option. Sure, things might not be perfect, but if things are ticking along quite well, why change it. We need these people. They form the basis of our society. They form the core, the heart of what we are and stand for.
On the edges are the adventurers. The few who strike out on their own or in small bands in search for pastures greener, gold or the next big thing. And it’s good that they are few. If everybody packed up their bags to head for the horizon, there quickly wouldn’t be a lot of humanity left. Because adventure is risky. For every greener valley there are ten that are barren or already inhabited (and guess what happens when an adventure tries to claim an already inhabited valley?).
Still, there are quite a few adventurers who do make it (even if it’s only because those are the only ones you ever hear of). The hero who crossed that mountain ridge and came back to tell about it. The entrepreneur with the bright idea that actually worked.
The first time something is done, it changes perception. So the ridge can be crossed. And if one person does it, there will be a next one. And a next. Until it gets common to cross that ridge. And it becomes a part of general culture “Of course we go across the ridge, we’ve always been going across that ridge.” Except of course we haven’t always…
The first to cross is the hero. And in a sense she is very important. But in just as real a sense, she isn’t. If she hadn’t done it, someone else, eventually, would have. Adventures call out to adventurers. Heroes are common.
I even have a point to this story, which is:
Do the right thing!
You might not be the first. You might not be the champion or the hero. But you help making it common, the (new) normal thing to do. Give, and the people around you are more likely to give (because “everybody’s doing it”). Care about the environment, the ones in need, economic oppression. And show that you care, so that others know that they are not alone in caring.
Everybody can be a bit of a hero!