Someone recently called me a “patient” entrepreneur. Yes, I am an ALS patient, but no, I am definitely not patient! 🙂
The things I undertake to battle my disease can be described as entrepreneurial. However, it’s just who and what I am. Do I have a choice? I certainly do, although I can’t help being me. Don’t put me in a wheelchair and ask me to just stare out the window. It would probably break me… Don’t sit me in front of a TV. I’d probably just switch that crap off! Don’t give me face time with politicians unless you want me to tell them what their doing wrong. I’ll lecture businesses on what to do and how to spend their money, and scientists on what they should try to discover. Now, surround me with my fellow patients and I immediately feel a compassion that fuels my drive to find a cure. Facing my family fills me with love—something that everyone needs in their life!
On my journey, I encounter stigmas towards patients, rigid social dogmas and oftentimes, outdated scientific paradigms. I am surprised at how our society has embedded fear into the roots of the very stakeholders that should be striving to make a difference, instead choosing compliance and governance over innovation and revolution. What has happened to the revolutionary mind of mankind that brought us to where we are today? How can we call ourselves innovators, when in reality, we’re just maintaining the status quo?
Cultural and national differences are amongst the challenges I face in my endeavours, but our disease is global. It has no borders and certainly needs a more cosmopolitan approach. One of the lessons I try to share with others is that despite the adversity being faced, cultural norms dictate that people are always approaching it from different angles. We must be compassionate, but not blind. In my opinion, this is the only way to fill the pre-judged gaps in our opinions.
As human beings, we are the only species that can feel both love and compassion. We have evolved beyond the confines of natural selection where the weak are left to themselves and the strong survive. When we combine compassion with our will to survive, we can overcome many issues and hell yes, even make the weak stronger!
Right is not always right, and wrong is not always wrong. Hence, why I keep building bridges…