A Little Bit Crazy

My son is really into the History channel. The other day he watched a special on the Great Wall of China. I, of course, watched it with him. Here’s what I learned. Emperor Chin, who built the wall, was basically bat sh*t crazy. We’re talking completely divorced from reality. He fired most of his advisors and replaced them with soothsayers.  He had the wall built because he had a dream that told him to. And yes, he drained the treasury and caused a lot of people to die in his pursuit of his dream. No wonder the Chinese thought the wall symbolized only tyranny and death.

It was westerners who first looked at the wall and thought, wow - that’s an amazingly great wall! And, having been at the wall (both the reconstructed and unreconstructed areas) I have to say, it’s pretty amazing. Because the Chinese are pretty smart folks and they do like the money tourism brings in, they’ve decided to embrace the “Great Wall” mythology. But, to them, it still probably represents tyranny, death and what happens when you have a crazy dictator.

But, that’s not my point today. My point is that sometimes, you need to be a little bit crazy to do amazing things. Because great things often require the person doing them to not understand that things just can't be done or don't need to be done or won't be effective even if you do them, as was the case with the Great Wall.

Of course, if you do decide to be a little bit crazy to follow your dreams, try not to be a tyrannical dictator about it. People don’t like that.

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