When my brother wanted to learn to play guitar, he took formal lessons and started practicing E minor; when I wanted to learn to play the drums, I bought the sheet music for Metallica, Rush, and Led Zeppelin.

My brother went the more conservative route, I went in, head first.

When my brother learned to play tennis, he enrolled in classes and had an instructor teach him the basic principles; when I wanted to learn, my friends and I went to the public courts, made some rules and started gambling at $2 per game.

My brother goes about doing things in a more traditional way than I do.

When my brother took an interest in film and video, he signed up for high-school classes and then enjoyed an education at a major university; I bought a bunch of audio/video shit and hit the record button.

My brother enjoys structure and formal education more than I do.

If it’s 4th-and-goal at the three-yard line and his team is down by three, late in the fourth quarter, my brother will kick the field goal; I will go for it, every single time…then go for two…then onside kick it…and run a flea flicker… just to see what happens.

My brother and I approach things very differently. However, we both approach things. We try stuff. We throw it against the wall and see if it sticks. If we like it, we do more of it. If not, we scrap it and try something different. My parents never told me that I should do things more like my brother and they never told my brother not to go about things the way that I do. We were both encouraged to pursue different areas of interest, regardless of what they thought about that particular area of skill or knowledge.

Yesterday, a friend of mine expressed an interest in blogging her thoughts and personal progress. Her only concern was this:

“I wonder if anyone would even give a shit.”

I thought about this for the rest of the day. Part of me was angry that she would even feel this way, particularly because this individual teaches others what it looks like to “give a shit” more than most anybody I have ever seen; the other part of me was thankful to have been raised in an environment that didn’t view anyone else’s opinion as a prerequisite for pursuing a goal.

I was taught that my decision to pursue a skill was purely dependant on my desire to pursue it. The shit that I give is the only currency required to buy-in for the ride.

Besides, if no one gives a shit, then who gives a shit? And if someone does give a shit, then that’s reason enough to continue.

 

 

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