The Courage to be Unpopular

It is sad that my generation, and the ones that followed, are so hyper-concerned about conformance to the current fickle, fashionable, popular thought that anyone who stands up for what’s right, for what’s true, for what’s proper, for what’s unpopular, is met with derision, antagonism, anger, and hate.

Why is society so fearful of those espousing unpopular beliefs? Is society so frail that it cannot support the weight of differing opinions? Or can people not handle thoughts that disagree with their own lest they be forced to reexamine their own beliefs and discover that they may, indeed, be completely wrong?

What a terrible way to live that must be!

As Albert Einstein once said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

It is time to stop demanding that our fellow members of society conform to the popular thought of the day. Greatness comes from individual inspiration, not group-think.

If you are confused about why we, as a society, have lost our greatness, you need only look at how much emotional effort is spent forcing others to agree with and conform to what’s popular.

Who decides what’s popular anyway? Is it those who encourage their fellow man to strive for greatness, or is it those who wish to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator so that those who choose not to strive for greatness are not left behind by those who do? Before blindly embracing popular thought, discover the motives of those who originated the thought in the first place. Was it to help men and women reach their highest potential, or was it to stifle that creative spark that leads to greatness?

Rather than be so concerned about what others think, each of us should throw off the shackles on our own minds and strive for the individual greatness of which we are all capable. Don’t be concerned with what everyone else thinks. Have the courage to be unpopular – it is the only way to achieve your full potential.


About wbspeirjr

Award-winning author William Speir was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1962. His first published work is the 2015 "Muzzle-Loading Artillery for Reenactors." In addition to his artillery manual, William has published 19 novels, including a 9-book action-adventure series ("The Knights of the Saltire Series"), five historical novels ("King’s Ransom," "The Saga of Asbjorn Thorleikson," "Nicaea - The Rise of the Imperial Church," "Arthur, King," and "The Besieged Pharaoh"), one fantasy novel ("The Kingstone of Airmid"), one science fiction novel ("The Olympium of Bacchus 12"), one geo-political thriller ("The Trinity Gambit"), and a stand-alone action-adventure novel ("Shiko Unleashed"). William is a 5-time Royal Palm Literary Award winner: 2014 Second Place Unpublished Historical Fiction for "King’s Ransom," 2015 Second Place Unpublished Historical Fiction for "The Saga of Asbjorn Thorleikson," 2017 Second Place Published Historical Fiction for "Arthur, King," 2017 First Place Published Historical Fiction for "Nicaea - The Rise of the Imperial Church," and 2017 First Place Published Science Fiction for "The Olympium of Bacchus 12." William currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, LLC. For more information about William Speir, please visit his website at
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