A tribute to crazy people

We need crazy people who dream big, break the “fake rules”, and don’t ask for permission. We need people who do things their own way no matter what everyone else says. We need people who don’t care to be seen for who they really are. We need leaders and role models who are courageous enough to show up, to tell their truth, and to do so with their whole heart.

When we find this group of people, we realise that they don’t fit in the polished mould of society. These people are strong (and yes, also full of fears) and they have a drive to change the rules. They are willing to be seen as “weird” because deep down, they are themselves. They show who they are, even if they might feel misunderstood, rejected and sometimes marginalised. Not everyone is open to hear what the rules breakers have to say.

Yet, here is where magic happens. Innovation and creativity comes from letting go of the invisible rules we’ve been taught, so that we are able to change what doesn’t work. If you feel deep down that you are part of the crazy ones who want to change the world, welcome to the club! You are not alone. Together, we can make you shine, share your gifts, thoughts and passion with the world. We are a tribe of leaders and I know together we will inspire others. I am ready to break the rules with you. People like you give me strength to show up and go beyond what I thought was possible. Welcome to the tribe!

I want to leave you with this amazing text by Maya Angelou written in “Letter to my daughter”.

Commencement Address

And now the work begins

And now the joy begins

Now the years of preparation

Of tedious study and

Exciting learning

are explained.

The jumble of words and

Tangle of great and small ideas

Begin to take order and

This morning you can see

A small portion of the large

Plan of your futures.

Your hours of application,

The hopes of your parents,

And the labor of your instructors

Have all brought this moment

Into your hands.

Today, you are princesses and princes

Of the morning.

Ladies and Lords of the summer

You have shown the most

Remarkable of all virtues

For today as you sit

Wrapped in earned robes,

Literally or figuratively,

I see you filled with courage.

For although you might all

Be bright, intellectually astute,

You have had to use courage

To arrive at this moment.

You may be,

As you are often described,

Privileged, which of course means

Wealthy, or you have been born into an ongoing struggle with need.

In either case, you have had to develop

An outstanding courage to

Invent this moment.

Of all your attributes, youth,

Beauty, wit, kindness, mercy,

Courage is your greatest


For you, without it, can practice no other

Virtue with consistency.

And now that you have shown

That you are capable of manufacturing

That most wondrous virtue,

You must be asking yourselves,

What you will do with it.

Be assured that question

Is in the minds of your

Elders, your parents, and strangers

Who do not know your names,

Your fellow students who

Next year, or in the years to come

Will sit, robed and capped

Where you sit today,

And will ask the question

What will you do?

There is an African adage

Which fits your situation.

It is, “The trouble for the

Thief is not how to steal the Chief’s

Bugle, but where to play it.”

Are you prepared to work

To make this country, our country

More than it is today?

For that is the job to be done.

That is the reason you have

Worked hard, your sacrifices

Of energy and time,

The monies of your parents

Or of government have been paid

So that you can transform your

Country and your world.

Look beyond your tasseled caps

And you will see injustice.

At the end of your fingertips

You will find cruelties,

Irrational hate, bedrock sorrow

And terrifying loneliness.

There is your work.

Make a difference

Use this degree which you

Have earned to increase

Virtue in your world.

Your people, all people,

Are hoping that you are

The ones to do so.

The order is large,

The need immense.

But you can take heart.

For you know that you

Have already shown courage.

And keep in mind

One person, with good purpose,

can, constitute the majority.

Since life is our most precious gift

And since it is given to us to live but once,

Let us so live that we will not regret

Years of uselessness and inertia

You will be surprised that in time

The days of single-minded research

And the nights of crippling, cramming

Will be forgotten.

You will be surprised that these years of

Sleepless nights and months of uneasy

Days will be rolled into

An altering event called the

“Good old days.” And you will not

Be able to visit them even with an invitation

Since that is so you must face your presence.

You are prepared

Go out and transform your world

Welcome to your graduation.