Diogenes was a man who unquestionably "walked his talk". Tim Rayner wrote a great blog about him "Cynic simplicity: the courage to think".
It made me think of people today who are living courageous, and at times lonely, lives because of what they think and the authenticity of their actions.
They are people who are seers (see-ers, seeing things as they are) visionaries (seeing where things could go), and prophets (speaking out their truths). They are explorers and pioneers in our present landscape of rapid change, people who see how it might be and go ahead of us "walking their talk". Like Diogenes, they are outside the system, they think independently, act accordingly, aren't cowed by existing hierarchical power structures, and often face derision.
My crazy-sane freinds
As I read Tim's blog I saw it as a celebration and affirmation of my crazy-sane friends (I explained about them in Celebrating my crazy-sane friends and contacts in February last year)
Anyone who has a vision for "positive" change and pursues it against the odds is courageous in my eyes. (I accept that "positive change" is very subjective and given the law of unexpected consequences there are things I think of as positive that could turn out otherwise.) I admire creative thinking, practical action, and persistance despite ridicule and/or lack of resources.)
The work of Arunachalam Muruganantham is benefitting many women. His is an inspiring story of vision brought to reality against the odds. It's an unlikely theme for inspiration:
Arunachalam Muruganantham of Jayaashree Industries designed, created, tested and implemented a sanitary napkin-making machine that operates on a small scale.
The Jayaashree Industries model helps offer livelihood, hygiene, dignity and empowerment to underprivileged women all over the world. And it does so using a sustainable business framework.
"'My vision is to make India a 100% napkin-using country,' said Muruganantham at the INK conference in Jaipur. 'We can create 1 million employment opportunities for rural women and expand the model to other developing nations.'"
His story is good news for many reasons. It's about practical problem solving, satisfying a genuine need and, as part of the process, creating small sustainable businesses to satisfy the need. He tells his story in a light hearted and humourous way, but it must often have been a lonely struggle ed Talk
Like many replicable projects his began through seeing the need of one individual and trying to solve a problem for her. It was his wife's problem, a problem that he discoverd when he was a recently married young man, and it was a problem with the affordabiliity of sanitary towels.
It's hard to think of a humbler or less glamourous product to attract the huge personal efforts he put in, and yet sanitary protection makes a difference to the quality of life for a woman month after month, year after year, in so many ways. For example lack of sanitary towels is recognised as a strong contributory factor to girls dropping out of school once they reach puberty, which in turn affects age of marriage and various knock on effects regarding motherhood and childrearing and impact on the next generation.
I can't imagine a woman who's heart won't go out to this man as he light heartedly and humourously tell his story - Ted Talk