Like a lot of teenagers, I read Anne Frank’s diary as a teenager, and what stuck with me was this idealistic quote:
in spite of everything I still believe that people are basically good at heart
Recently, I was thinking about that, and that maybe it’s not true. But, you know, I didn’t want to disrespect the memory of Anne Frank, or of all the teachers who influenced me and held that diary up as an important work to teach values to their students.
Then I heard about Amanda Todd (via Jeff Jarvis). A teenage girl who died because people were basically awful. So, I don’t think Anne Frank has the last word on this any more.
Most of the time, people are basically good, and you can expect them to be. But sometimes, they’re not. And it’s important to remember that.
A lot changed in 2012, because I gave myself permission to do so.
I bought a new car and a new laptop (and a Mac, at that).
I went to two conferences: the Jewish Futures Conference in New York, and an Interaction Design course at one of Neilsen/Norman Group’s events.
Finally, I started a new job at Vistaprint at the end of the year.
The common theme is that these were all things I’d previously told myself I couldn’t, or shouldn’t, do.
I’d told myself I shouldn’t spend this sort of money on myself. I’d told myself that jetting to a conference with a Macbook or working at a household-name e-commerce company were things that only the “cool kids” could do.
And I told myself, as I always had, that I was one of the unpopular kids. I came up with moral reasons to justify to myself why I didn’t buy the tech I wanted, the car we needed, or go after the career opportunities I was ready for.
But I was lying to myself if I said that I didn’t go for more because I really didn’t want it. So I faced my fears, and I succeeded.