Against the Tide

Going with the flow can mean letting things pass, but it means being a follower, too. Going against the tide means carving your own path.

Do not get me wrong—not all odd people are “cool” as they do not fit the norms bill. Rather, those that trust themselves are.

The brave ones I think of swam against the tide and went where few did tread. They saw things in fresh, fun, and strange ways.

Through hard work and much faith, these bold people wrote their names in fields not before them. Therefore, these self-confident men and women inspire me.

Hamilton Touched the Moon

Margaret Hamilton led the Software Engineering Division at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. Her code helped NASA’s Apollo program make it to the moon. Though those on board were male, she kept a key contribution for all the women of the world.

This shocks me as we do not see many girls in IT—or in any STEM field, for that matter. Even now, girls laugh away their lives in the studies, and many dream to marry a rich man. Though three men walked the moon, Hamilton showed us girls can climb against the tide and prejudice.

Gandhi Was the Odd One Out

All the things we think of dead men do not scathe their souls. Mahatma Gandhi is an example of this. Despite what may float in the wind about him, one must love this man’s simplicity.

No one else could go against the tide and wear traditional Indian attire to Britain. Hundreds of British men and women had gathered just to see this simple man once. Besides, India was still under them! For the first time, all saw and felt where greatness came from. Gandhi restates Sheikh Sadi’s point—clothes do not make man.

Introverted Zuckerberg Invented Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is now famed across the world as one of the wealthiest and smartest. After all, he made Facebook; but what drove him to? He always aspired to go against the tide.

Two twins would have paid Zuckerberg to make Harvard Connect, an institutional intranet like Facebook. Zuckerberg agreed to work for them, but he had bigger plans. He had a bigger project in mind—through legal debates, out came Facebook.

Facebook is a product of Zuckerberg’s resilience. Most people tend to fail at bargaining, but Zuckerberg had faith in himself and kept at it.

Tea Boy Modi Now Runs India

If you do not know, Narendra Modi sold tea on the streets of India, the lands he rules. Modi, who was from the oil-presser caste, must have heard he could never climb higher up in society. They were both grocers.

True that Modi started a chaiwala, and he was an average student with a mind for debate. However, he soon joined the RSS, where he learned discipline and started in politics. Without a doubt, he must also have gained the masses’ trust, for they chose him to lead them. None speaks down to the PM now.

German Schindler Saved 1100 Jews

To war is hard, but to resist the urge to war is harder. Oskar Schindler saw no future in the endless massacres of Jews by the Nazis during WWII. He was in the enamelware business, and he saved roughly 1100 Jews jobs there.

Schindler had to do this while keeping his cover as a member of the Secret Service. To them, he would have been a traitor fit for the guillotine. However, the 1100 he saved are eternally grateful. They worked through the war and evaded death. For him, their bloodlines still tread the earth.

Petrov May Have Stopped WWIII

The forces of the world are never at ease. In fact, they are always on the lookout. They must stay alert because no one can predict the thoughts of another or a group. Stanislav Petrov remained calm through a stressful ordeal and may have prevented WWIII.

In 1983, Soviet missile systems were still wonky. As a result, they saw an incoming US attack in the form of 6 nuclear missiles. In return, the Soviets were to attack, but Petrov marked the alerts faulty—they had been. Petrov deserves praise for acting against the tide.

We are born not to follow but to leave a mark on the world. True that necessity is the mother of innovation, but the rest is ours.

Real innovation is the courage to face our fears of getting separated from the rest. It is when we go against the tide that we may lead a life less ordinary.


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