First, a timely and relevant fairytale
Most of us have heard the old fairytale about two swindlers who tell their emperor they can make him an outfit that’s only invisible to those who are stupid or not worthy of the emperor’s position.
Doubtful himself, the emperor sent two of his trusted men to see the new outfit. Both men of course couldn’t see the mystical cloth, but being too embarrassed to admit it to the emperor, instead praised it.
The emperor then proceeded to wear the outfit in a parade through town. The masses, who were also embarrassed by the fact they couldn’t see the “clothing”, applauded the emperor. Until, a child yells, “But he isn’t wearing any clothes!”
The naked truths
I love that story. When we hear it as youngsters it’s often the first time we’re exposed to groupthink, and it usually doesn’t make any sense.
As soloists, we tend to empathise with the child in the story. Why on earth would a group of people (especially adults who we believe should know better) value conformity and consensus over the truth?
Today is the perfect day to reflect on this fairytale. When you ask yourself why you ventured into soloism, do the following reasons come to mind?
- To fearlessly say things with your own voice, rather than what others tell you to say.
- To carry out work that is authentic rather than work that’s been watered down by committees and superiors.
- To prove to others that just because everyone thinks one way that there are in fact better alternatives!
As soloists, we’re often up against groupthink and societal norms all the time. From friends and family who question our choices to banks and insurance companies who consider us high risk.
We must continue to do what we do. To soldier on and remain true to the belief that truth and authenticity trump unwritten rules and blind conformity any day.
Here’s to our continued pursuit to always be that child who calls things as they see it. Here’s to soloism!
Feel free to share your reasons for venturing into soloism.
PS: Don’t forget to check out Flying Solo’s Work in the Nude Day!