Happy Ruckusmaker Day!
To wit: February 24 is Steve Jobs’ birthday, and Seth Godin suggests that the day should be Ruckusmaker Day, an international day to “not only have a point of view, but to change it when the times demanded.”
Here’s a little more of what Godin wrote:
“Steve’s contribution wasn’t invention. Technology breakthroughs didn’t come out of his basement the way they did from Land or Tesla. Instead, his contribution was to have a point of view. To see something and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. To not only have a point of view, but to change it when the times demanded.
Most of all, to express that point of view, to act on it, to live with it.”
But how do you celebrate the day if you don’t feel like a ruckusmaker? If you’ve got nothing to say, should you celebrate Steve Jobs’ birthday by using an iPhone while simultaneously eating cake? What if you want to keep your voice quiet? What if your opinions will alienate others, create conflict or make you uncomfortable? What if you’re an introvert who prefers to keep to herself?
But you probably do have something to say, whether in a tweet, a blog post or a letter to a friend. I’m not the loudest person at a party, I don’t tell the funniest stories, and I despise conflict in my personal life. I like to think about things before acting. However…
There’s value in being the quiet voice of reason. Sometimes doing the work and sharing it with the world is more radical than the loud, cult-leading ruckusmakers would have us believe.
Sometimes that is how you make a ruckus.
Here’s Seth Godin again: “Share your taste and your perspective with someone who needs to hear it.”
Sometimes the quiet, working-on-my-own types are the ones who change the world and make an impression.
- Janet Rowley, a cancer researcher who raised her family, worked from a small laboratory and at her dining table, and discovered one of the first major connections between cancer and genetics.
- Emily Dickinson, who seldom interacted with others but left a legacy of poems studied in most American literature classes.
- Abraham Lincoln, no parenthetical needed, who is widely considered an introvert.
So today, I’m celebrating the ruckusmakers both loud and quiet. You do you, world. Someone out there needs to hear what you’ve got to say.
- Here’s how Twitter is celebrating #ruckusmakerday.
- A ruckus is explicitly defined as a “noisy fight, row or disturbance,” but did you know it’s actually thought to have come from combining two words (ruction and rumpus)? And ruction is thought to be slang derived from insurrection. Let the wild word rumpus begin.
- It seems apropos that Chicago is voting on a day labeled as “ruckusmakers day.” What better way to demand change and use your voice than to vote in local elections?
- If you’d prefer to celebrate muckrakers day, then let’s recognize the investigative press efforts of reporters who are covering these horrific “black sites” (aka illegal detention centers). To my knowledge, there is no official muckrakers day, but the phrases kept getting mixed in my head like a weird cultural tongue twister, thus I’m making the connection intentional. I salute all my friends who are reporters and news editors, helping to share important news with the world!