To any and all who ever wore the title of “nerd,” “geek” “weeb” or whatever other label was placed on your curiosity and creativity.
Have you ever asked yourself what it means to be a nerd? Beyond stereotypes from the 1970s that stopped being funny somewhere around the 1990s and yet still stick around in our minds like hairy old gum? Our time is precious, and each breath is a second our timers tick down, so how we choose to spend it is important. Instead of the laws of culture: over what it “is”, the nerd chooses to see the world differently; the nerd sees what the world could be.
Anything that changes or challenges our understanding of the world is perceived as both confusing and outrageous. And so we, with our crazy “what ifs” and absurd “but why is that like that?” are confusing and outrageous. “That’s just how things are can’t hold our curiosity back, and neither could insults or belittling. Anyone who goes against the accepted will face ridicule and opposition, but if no one ever challenged the normal, how could we evolve?
What would the world be like without us?
How many things are in your house that you don’t understand how, but you just hit some buttons and it works? Could you make a TV? Do you even know how the remote control–essentially a handheld plastic rectangle with some bits and buttons- manages to interact with a TV from across the room? Even if it was wired, could you explain how it works beyond “plug it in and hit a button”? Many people barely know how soap works beyond that it’s a little bar of solid “clean” that you rub all over yourself (but quickly wash off before it ever-so-slightly destroys you.)
I don’t know even know how you’re able to read this right now, but I know it took a whole hive of nerds to be able to make it happen.
What would the world be like with no movies? No cartoons? No computers? Who would design our amusement parks? Would we have invented the internet? What would the world be like without the Da Vincis, the Teslas, the Benjamin Bannekers? Would we have ever tried to fly, when driving was “good enough”? How do you think the first reaction was to the idea of the telephone? When we decided the world was flat, so it was; and when someone proved the world was round, so it was; and even today our understanding of the world and our placement in it faces conflicting evidence. Normal people don’t care about these things, they may be interesting, but nothing worth passionately pursuing – not when the realities of what’s right here and happening right now are more important. – not when there is a social system you must devote your time to mastering in order to live a comfortable and safe life.
You are the way you are because you have to be, because the world needs you to look at it differently from the next person. Because your ideas, your creativity, are the catalyst for growth. But growing is hard, and to stand apart from the rest even harder. Though you may be a rare mental species, you’re not alone. And though misunderstood by some, never curve your imagination, and never stop sharing your ideas. What you express and create is shaped by what you see, who you meet, and how it all makes you feel.
No one will ever think the thoughts the way you will.
And that’s why we need you.