Jerry Garcia was a reluctant rebel

Jerry Garcia, Reluctant Rebel at Workjpeg There’s a pervasive image of change makers as hell-bent, fire-breathing, go get ‘em cowboy (or Steve Jobs) types of people.

Not really. Most of us are incredibly reluctant to get involved.

Not because we don’t care. But because we often feel that solving the problem requires expertise far beyond what we know. And because we know how HARD it is to change things inside a company, a non-profit, our children’s school, or any organization that has been functioning a certain way for a while.

We keep thinking that the people with the expertise should see the problem and step in. But when it becomes clear that the people with the expertise aren’t seeing the issue or acting, we feel that we must.

The fact is most rebels care too much to sit around and let a problem fester.

So we reluctantly get involved, even when we don’t necessarily have the expertise to solve the problem.

When the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead got involved in efforts to save the rainforests he famously said:

“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic it has to be us, with all the other citizens of the planet, and all the other resources out there, but since no one else is doing anything about it, we don't really have any choice.”

 In a 1989 interview with High Times  Garcia explained his reluctance.

HT: You've made the statement that you think it's pretty pathetic that you're the ones who have to do it.

JG: Yeah, it is. It's an alarming feeling. This is an earth problem -- the whole earth. And who's left talking about it? Us.

Come on! We're not the ones. We're not qualified to do it. But we're going to do it unless, or until, somebody else does. We're going to keep working on it. We're going to get as much support from as many people as we possibly can.

If we lose it (the rainforest), we're not going to get it back. It's definitely life threatening, in the same sense that atomic bombs are life threatening, only this one is mindless. It's gone along and there's nobody at the wheel. Out of control. Something needs to be done about it. We're alarmed -- we're just making an effort to communicate our own alarm.

 Rebel theme: "Something needs to be done about this. I guess I need to be the one to get things started."