Sometimes, the world seems overwhelming.
Run by the demagogues and the debutantes that have embraced the system. That have acquiesced to the perennial devils of every age – greed, familiarity, power, scale and growth at all costs – those whose sole effort it is, as it ever has been, to build a Babel that touches the hem of the sky in an ever-evolving, autolatry-induced effort to retain dominion over the those of us who have chosen to take refuge in the fringes.
Sometimes it feels like the world itself is against you.
Against the very precept that someone as small as you could stand up and be counted. Against the very notion that a life, remarkably and intentionally lived, is within your grasp.
When we lift up the lid, when we examine the construct, the essence of how the Universe itself works, we can take comfort in the fact that the world itself, although possessed by heavy machinery, is a stage set for the small to win.
Although hardware is heavy and large and visible, it is software, the tiny and weightless transfer of data packets that has quietly governed the machines.
Although our bodies move and act and run and dance, it is the tiny strands of DNA and microscopic cells that endow us with the abilities to do so.
Although the galaxy appears paralyzing in it’s magnitude and breadth, it is made up of indivisible and inexplicable sub-atomic particles.
The world itself roots for the small.
Not so many years ago, I remember wishing I could “make it big” – get rich, become famous (or internet famous), attain “success” – in order to start doing things that mattered.
Until the day I realized that I didn’t have to be “big”, I just had to be willing.
Willing to risk, to look like an idiot if it didn’t work, to dust myself off and try again, to evolve my perception of “success” from an unmarked destination to the deliberate plight of my choosing.
In reality, I am a nobody.
A small, infinitesimal speck in the canvas of the human history of my time.
Throughout the first few months of my trip around the world, not once has someone stopped me in a coffee shop, and said, “Hey, you’re AJ Leon, aren’t you?”
But you know what?
5 months ago, my Misfits and I helped raise enough money to provide 134,000 people in Malawi with clean drinking water, 3 months ago, I published a collection of essays which has now been read by over 50,000 people, 3 weeks ago, I launched a creative arts magazine to promote contemporary poetry and art and received a wildly positive response, yesterday the Misfits and I launched the first Shakespeare Film Festival and 108 days ago I set out on an epic quest to travel the wide world over land and sea.
(The astute reader will recognize that most of these endeavors were done in unison with my fellow misfits. Although a soloist may steal the show, the choir will always belt out a more powerful sound. Another article for another day.)
You are not too small.
You are just the right size. Small enough to be agile, smart enough to see what they can’t and powerful enough to make amazing things happen in the light of insurmountable odds.
In his new book, Amazing Things Will Happen, my dear friend, CC Chapman elucidates these topics. In this living memoir, he teaches us about defining our own success, travailing the less traveled seas and he instills in us the sage verity that Generosity encompasses the foundation of a life well-lived.
I’m not going to tell you any more about his book, and no, this is not an affiliate link, all I will say is this – CC is one of us. And he is one of the most passionate and generous humans I have had the great pleasure of meeting on my nomadic wanderings. I am proud to call him a friend, and I hope you take the time and the 10 or 15 bucks to support the opus of another bonafide misfit.
I want to do my part to help CC’s new project succeed, so I will be giving away another 10 Kindle-version copies (I gave away 5 last week on the POE Facebook page) to the first ten commenters on this article.
Your Fellow Misfit,
Ps – Oregon was breathtaking as always, especially the badlands. The past couple days I’ve been wandering around in Idaho, soaking in the vast expanses of uninhabited land while I get The Pegasus a much needed servicing and find some Veggie-oil. Tomorrow, I hit the road again towards Salt Lake City.
Written From: A hipster-filled cafe in Boise.
Article Photo Taken From: A Nameless Road in the Oregon Wilderness