Today is the April Fool’s day, and I remember the following famous quote:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
Many such unreasonable men have contributed to make our world better. Think about it:
- Wouldn’t people have mocked Larry Page when he said he wanted to download the internet on his computer? This seemingly outlandish idea was the genesis of Google.
- In 1943, IBM’s president Thomas Watson said, “I think there is a world market of maybe five computers”. Then in 1977, Ken Olsen, the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (which was a well-respected name in the world of computing then) said, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home”. These statements having come from the most authority figures, the sane students must have given up on computer studies. But unreasonable Bill Gates dreamed that computers would reach every household, and made it a reality. What would his batchmates have thought about him when he dropped out of college to work full time on computers?
- The greatest icon of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, was rejected as an actor many times in his early career for his height. His deep voice which became very famous was rejected by All India Radio when he appeared for an audition test. But he turned out to be an unreasonable man who just won’t give up. After 12 films, his 13th film “Zanzeer” catapulted him to success.
- King Shivaji who is renowned world-wide as a visionary created the Maratha empire out of nothing in the 16th century. He was a similar unreasonable man. When there was not a single ray of hope and no precedent, this son of a knight took a handful of his friends to a temple and took oath to create a good kingdom. A few years later it became a reality. Was that a sane thing to do at that time?
- Perhaps the most well-known example is Thomas Edison who said in response to New York Times reporter’s question, “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
These are just 5 random examples. There are many more sung and unsung heros.
These unreasonable people were fools in the eyes of the others around them, but they were actually wiser, as it later turned out. They perhaps saw what the others could not see, and kept working relentlessly to make their dreams real.
You can be sure that there would be many fools who are silently at work even at the present moment. Their work will go unnoticed till they turn the world upside down. No one will dare call them fools then, instead they will be branded as visionaries.
On this day, we salute all these great people!