Who are the Real “Game Changers?”
All the people standing by and at the windows cheered and cried, "Oh, how splendid are the Emperor's new clothes. What a magnificent train! How well the clothes fit!" No one dared to admit that he couldn't see anything, for who would want it to be known that he was either stupid or unfit for his post?.…
But among the crowds a little child suddenly gasped out, "But he hasn't got anything on." And the people began to whisper to one another what the child had said. "He hasn't got anything on." "There's a little child saying he hasn't got anything on." Till everyone was saying, "But he hasn't got anything on." The Emperor himself had the uncomfortable feeling that what they were whispering was only too true….
The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen
The real “game changers” are those who tell the truth: The unprejudiced, non-politically correct, unpopular, courageous TRUTH. So much of what we call “new” in politics, entertainment, style or popular culture is just novelty and fad — new players of an old game. While I do honor and give credit to thinkers, designers and inventors who look for new ways of expression, new ways of seeing, new ways of exposing fears and habits, new ways of solving old problems, new ways of serving, they can’t really be called “game changers” if they are co-opted and become part of the game. The “game” is limited by the terrain, by the rules and by the referees who enforce the rules. So many brilliant innovators in the past were effectively silenced by the “game.”
Huffington Post recently had a competition called “Game_Changers" — "the innovators, visionaries, and leaders who are harnessing the power of new media to reshape their fields and change the world.” Of all the fields of competition, the winner that was most surprising and most outside of the “game” was in the “Style” competition. Cameron Sinclair of “Architecture for Humanity” won while competing with a whole parade of “glamorous lifestyle” gurus who mainly used media innovatively for marketing. He differs from them by serving as a catalyst for progressive change, harnessing media to create a network of designers and building professionals to help communities in need. (see http://www.architectureforhumanity.org/) It was heartening to see the maturity of the readers’ choice to choose a “game changer” who really is attempting to change the rules and the game, not just trying to win at the old game.
When Congressman Dennis Kucinich voted against the health care reform bill in the House of Representatives, he was the most honest, candid, and uncompromising of politicians in that body. Conservative Democrats, who either used their vote to push anti-abortion rules into the legislation or voted against it, were criticized for not upholding core values of the Democratic Party. However, no such criticism could be directed at Kuchinich, who, of all the Democrats, stayed true to Democratic core values. While people were voting for “game changers” in Huffington Post, writer Lee_Stranahan_wrote_a_column defending Kuchinich’s courageous vote. He concluded:
“People like Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader and Michael Moore have been made pariahs by establishment Democrats. They have all been marginalized and made fun of...but check their records. They have been considered 'fringe' because they are telling us the truth about corporate abuses of power long before most of the rest of us catch up to the reality of what's happened.”
The real game changers are the people who, like the child in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” speak the undeniable truth and wake people from their hypnotic slumber. Whether that slumber is a result of comfort, fear, vanity, or ambition it causes us to accept the unacceptable and to play games in order to preserve it. The debate on health care reform is such a game. Why do the so-called “leaders” of our nation have such a problem meeting an urgent social need that upholds the mission of our nation (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness)? All their reasoning and rhetoric, manipulations and negotiations are a tragic comedy that is a waste of time at best. Worse, and more insulting, is when they create fictions as blatantly transparent as the Emperor’s clothes and then people blindly broadcast, support and defend them.
We are living in a time rich in innovation, increasing social consciousness, essential new knowledge and inventions, and awareness of irrefutable human and environmental needs. Yet we still cheer on the vassals and lackeys of the naked Emperor pumping up egos and silencing our consciences. We do need real “Game Changers,” not just people who use our gifts to play the game with more wit and stealth. So much of what is considered “new” are just clever gimmicks to recast our slumber into new dreams. Each of us can be a real “Game Changer” if we take the courage to speak the truth without fear of ridicule.
© 2009 Richard
Read Related Articles in the Media:
The top 10 Game Changers on Huffpost
Kucinich's Brave Health Vote vs. Obama's Failed Promise
The Secret Political Reach Of "The Family" - An exposé that could be a "game changer" if people would only wake up.
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