Not long ago a friend was lamenting that what he does is not valued by other people. He was experiencing the cold sting of failure as a result, and a group of us tried to tell him that there can be a huge gulf between what is valuable and what is valued.
Some ideas are always ahead of their time, and as such, they isolate the thinker so they feel marked and strange. No one likes to feel separate from the group, and not respected, but that's where most innovators find themselves at some point in their lives. I tried to tell my friend that fifty or one hundred years from now the general thought process of the culture will be radically different than it is now.
Once upon a time everyone was convinced that the world was flat. White people thought it was reasonable to own black people as slaves. The medical profession drained the blood from people's bodies in an attempt to get rid of disease. And one day, society as a whole will recognize that your sexual orientation is not the defining factor of your life, and that day can't come soon enough for me.
It can take centuries for new and better thought processes to evolve and take root in a civilization. It's much easier to be on the other side of the growth curve where most people now generally accept something to be true. The earth is round, all people are equal regardless of skin colour, gender or sexual orientation, and bloodletting is not a reasonable cure for disease.
It's not hard to accept these concepts decades after the generation in question went to war over it. The challenging part is living through it when you are on the new side of the thought process.
But it must be done. We must fight the good fight and not give up just because we are in the minority and those holding onto power are swinging at us. It's happened many times in history and it will continue to occur long into the future.
Ever so slowly our world is moving toward the highest ideals of tolerance and acceptance, but those in power always fight to maintain the status quo and keep some groups marginalized. It's difficult to wield control if you don't have anyone to terrorize and make inferior to you.
A single candle can light up the darkest place. I continue to stubbornly hope that in my lifetime we will see positive change because there are brave people all attempting to pursue this lifestyle of grace and love. Believing and doing something of value does not mean we will be valued, but it's no less important to us and to the world we live in.