“Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
When Dr. King spoke of maladjusted, he was speaking of my tribe. The people who refuse to settle for normal, they’re alert to the possibilities that come when you look at the world from a slightly skewed perspective. And with 60+ years, I’ve never been so excited as I am now about this moment in history and the creatively maladjusted. Okay, there’s a lot I don’t like what’s happening, things that make me feel uncomfortable and afraid. However, I’m not about to feed that wolf - that hungry animal that thrives on fear. I know fear sells, but I’m not sold on it. I’d rather keep my eyes on the glory, the absurd that’s emerging from people who had the nerve to step outside the box.
It all reminds me of that amazing period in Europe called the Renaissance, the French word for rebirth and in Italian Rinascimento, from ri- "again" and nascere – to be born. A break through historical moment that gave us writers, architects and thinkers like Michelangelo to Dante, Brunelleschi and Da Vinci, to name a few. Underlying this astonishing creative eruption was a cultural and educational reform movement called Humanism. Humanists held the intent of creating well rounded citizens, women and men; people who would be able to write eloquently and with clarity and would be capable of persuading acts of virtue in their communities.
It seems to me that Humanists were what Jeremy Rifkin, author and advisor on sustainability to the European Community calls Homo Empathicus. As far as I’m concerned, they’re back in greater numbers. They’re taking the lead in promoting life supporting choices and change. Rifkin believes empathic consciousness will be the new organizing principle for global society. The Big Bonus: It’s extremely valuable in the lean years, as it offers support for both parties, which means greater opportunity for success. Without it, he believes we may not even have a future.
During the Renaissance artists were supported by some of Europe’s wealthiest and most powerful families, like the Medici in Italy. Today, millions are supporting others by connecting and providing access to their ideas and spirit on blogs, Skype, in local meet ups and flash crowds. Today, we have hundreds of thousands of people who become patrons and donors who use penny power and micro-financing to provide meals, and healthcare, and education. It seems to me that’s a whole lot of intentional international humanism.
The creatively maladjusted have moved beyond normal to empowering the wildly sublime.