The hardest thing to being creative is resisting the urge to be popular.
When you think about it, it’s a truism that artists lead while politicians and commercialists follow. It’s not unlike that line in “The West Wing” where Marlee Matlin quotes a 19th Century French politician: “There go my people. I must find out where they’re going so I can lead them.”
That mantra is actually attributed to the workers’ revolutionary, Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin (we didn’t know each other), who’s purported to have said:
There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.
Honestly, it’s doubtful whether he uttered those words at all.
What is certain, however, is that rare is the everyday person in the street who doesn’t think like him. So, we toe the line, stay in step and nod in Groupthink with the crowd.
But have faith: there’s hope. There’s always the poor creative, that impoverished artist with one ear, shivering under wet news copy in a dilapidated boarding room who, rooted to an individual belief, finds fame.
Typically after death.
Oh, that’s a bit morbid.
Well, then how about that person who like you simply thumbs a nose at the world, full of life and says, “I don’t care what anyone thinks, come follow me!”
That’s what changes the world. When it comes to creativity, freedom is leading from the front.
© 2018 Adam Parker.