I am a Liability to the Status Quo


I am a liability to the status quo.

Last night, I was having drinks with the executive director and the chairman of a board I serve on. They shared another board member’s response to my strategic ideas: “You know,” he said hesitantly, “Rebecca’s a fighter. And she’s W A A A Y out there…” He was pointing to the future, or the edge of his vision. I’m not sure which.

I felt a little guilty about this. I wondered if I’d put our chairman or ED in a bad spot with this other board member.

So I slept on it. And I’ve come to this: if you want to preserve the status quo, if you don’t want to stretch your vision, I’m gonna make you uncomfortable. And I’m willing to fight mightily for a future that benefits all of our children.

Here’s my secret: in every meeting, I imagine a row of chairs occupied by kids I’ll never meet, people who will be born long after I’m dead. And I think about what decisions I can make today that will benefit them.

That’s not “out there” in the future.

That’s in here. (I am pointing to my heart.)

So screw anyone who wants to judge me because of their lack of comfort with the future or their discomfort with conflict. Future generations aren’t going to look back on us and say, “Thank you for maintaining the status quo. Thank you for continuing with your consumptive, environment-killing, selfish ways. I know you just wanted to be comfortable, and I’m so glad you valued your comfort over my future.”

Hell, no.

I’ll continue to be a liability to the status quo. And I’ll work my face off to help others do the same.


Note: This was originally published at Rebecca Ryan’s author page on Facebook.

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