In a recent interview, former Vice President Al Gore suggested his mission to save the world from Global Warming is comparable to Jackie Robinson‘s achievements, Jackie’s effort to break down US racial segregation, by becoming the first African American to play Major League Baseball in modern times.
I don’t want to compare you to Jackie Robinson, but I’m going to draw a parallel. When you’re first at something or, in your case, out front, it’s often difficult. You had naysayers. Even though you were at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, there were people who made fun of it.
Oh, yeah. A few still do.
How do you deal with that? How are you able to keep putting yourself out there? How do you emotionally tell yourself, “It’s worth it?”
There is a time-honored tradition of people who strongly disagree with a message and take it out on the messenger, and opponents of integration had a personal animus for Jackie Robinson. Opponents of all the great social movements would take out after the advocates that were most effective in asking people to change.
As a result, I don’t take it personally when the criticism comes at me. I believe so passionately in this mission, if you will. The word “mission” might sound a little grandiose, but that’s kind of what it feels like to me. Honestly, it is a joy and a privilege to have work that justifies pouring every ounce of energy you can pour into it. That is a blessing that is to be cherished.
Words fail me.