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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Here's To The Rejects!

Driving on country roads in northern Illinois a couple of weeks ago, my wife remarked, as we passed the sparsely-placed farm houses, how lonely it must have been, many years ago, with no phones and no internet.

The area had been settled about 175 years ago and here we were, wondering what would compel someone to move to such a remote location to make a living.  The short answer, for probably most of them, was, "They had no choice."

Building a better world

For the most part, the United States was settled by people who were rejected by the their home
country.  Many were rejected because of the religion they practiced.  Others were rejected when they tried to get a job that paid enough to feed and shelter themselves or their families.  Still others, migrating from the eastern seaboard, saw the good land and jobs gobbled up by the wealthy and well-connected.  So, they were rejects.

But what a beautiful, vibrant nation these rejects built.  And the building (and rejection) is still going on.  Many people are coming to this nation because they don't have the connections to get a good job in their own country, or simply are getting kicked out.  But more importantly, many who already live here are starting new businesses, or in some cases new industries, because they didn't get the dream job or get into the dream school they wanted.  For those working for companies, many were fired or laid off, being deemed redundant and not worthy of a corporate position, or were considered too old, to female, or too reluctant to go along with stupid ideas that they knew would never work.  Whatever the reason, they were rejected.

And so they picked themselves up, refocused their dreams and kept on trying, sadder, but wiser.  In many cases, the rejection stoked the proverbial "fire in the belly," giving that added bit of energy so needed to overcome the many obstacles every successful person faces.   

You are in good company

So, as much as it hurts, if you find yourself getting rejected, take comfort in the good company you have.  Here's a list for you to consider:
  • Walt Disney - Fired in 1919 from the Kansas City Star because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas"
  • J. K Rowling - Got fired from Amnesty International because she spent her days writing stories on her computer.  And her first Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times before it was published.
  • Michael Bloomberg - Fired while a partner at Salomon Brothers after a buyout.  Apparently, he wasn't a "keeper."
  • Oprah Winfrey -  Fired from her job at Baltimore's WJZ TV because she couldn't keep her emotions out of her reporting.
  • Elvis Presley - Told after a performance at the Grand Ole Opry that he would be better off going back to his old job as a truck driver.
  • Steven Spielberg - Rejected (3 times) from the University of Southern California School of Theatre, Film and Television.
  • Michael Jordan - Cut from his high school basketball team.

Thank you

For all the pain you've endured and for all the great things you've built, we salute you, the rejects.   You, like the original farmers of Northern Illinois, are the ones who made and are making a difference in this world.  

Please don't give up.  We need you.  

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