HERE ARE 5 PEOPLE CHALLENGING THE NORM AND CHANGING THE WORLD

Launched in 1997, Apple’s epic Think Different campaign is often credited as a key factor in Apple’s recovery. It refocused the companies messaging got people to think about Apple in an entirely new way. Narrated by Richard Dryfus, the one-minute, black and white TV ad acted as a “quasi anthem” for Apple aficionados. Tech-nerd dreams aside, the ad is a perfect introduction for those who redefine normal.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
 Apple, Think Different
Written by Rob Siltanen and Ken Segall

WHAT’S CONSIDERED “NORMAL” CAN QUICKLY BECOME IRRELEVANT

There’s a progressive few who push the envelope. They are disruptive, unorthodox and willing to take a risk in the name if something bigger. It’s these people who inspire us to think differently to ultimately change the way we view the world.

MICHAEL BOTTICELLI

As the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or U.S. Drug Czar, he advocates an empathetic approach to treating addiction that completely goes against those who came before him. He insists the government start enforcing treatment over punishment. In a 60 Minutes interview, Botticelli states, “We can’t arrest and incarcerate addiction out of people. Not only do I think it’s really inhumane, but it’s ineffective and it cost us billions upon billions of dollars to keep doing this.”

What’s even more unique about this man is that he is a recovering alcoholic and openly gay, both firsts for a man in his position. He meets routinely with LGBTQ leaders and makes visits to several treatment programs across the US. Men of his position have usually come from law enforcement backgrounds and repeatedly focused on the punishment aspect of treating drug offenders. Botticelli is far from the norm – he’s been supporting treatment programs for over 20 years and remained focused on recovery.

CORY BOOKER

What distinguishes the New Jersey Senator from his colleagues isn’t just his charisma, remarkable public speaking skills or his leadership qualities. It’s his intimate take on politics and how he brings spirituality into the political arena.

Some were critical of his campaign as mayor of Newark. They said he was too privileged to empathize with the residents. During his time as mayor, he lived in same projects as his constituents.

Booker promotes equality in all aspects of humanity. In regards to religion, Booker stated that he has no interest in what people say about their faith or love for their religion, but rather how they “choose to live and give.” Booker doesn’t sound like most politicians and demonstrates a level of transparency that is few and far between in the world of politics.

OPRAH WINFREY

The media mogul’s rags to riches story is truly inspiring. What’s more inspiring is how she has completely transformed the TV landscape over the last three decades.

Winfrey was the “first host to put her own personal life on the line”. She didn’t shy away from sensitive subjects and was never hesitant to be vulnerable with her audience. Her ability to empathize with her viewers revolutionized television and has transcended into several other media outlets.

She didn’t stop there – she used her successful position to help inspire and empower people from all walks of life to help those less fortunate. Collectively, she has helped raise over $50,000,000 for charitable organizations and is a dedicated activist for children’s rights.

ASHLEY GRAHAM

Both the fashion and entertainment industries have long promoted unhealthy body types. Typically, ultra slim-figured women have been used to sell everything from lingerie to hamburgers. However, this plus-size model caused a disruption in the fashion industry, showing us that beauty comes in all sizes.

Graham was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated last year and encourages women to embrace the body they have. Her confidence and advocacy for self-respect have spawned a new trend, urging the fashion industry and women alike, to rethink their standards.

AYDIAN DOWLING

The testosterone-driven world of men’s fitness magazines took a huge step last year when Men’s Health featured a transgender model on their cover for the first time in history.

Dowling, the 27-year old activist, bodybuilder and vlogger made it to the finals of the magazine’s Ultimate Guy contest. He received more than 72,000 votes from readers to be featured on the cover, showing us that public opinion, even among a completely male-driven audience, leans towards a more progressive stance on gender identity.

His monumental appearance has drawn him a large social following and he uses this visibility to serve as a voice for the trans community and help others to find self-acceptance.

From politics to publishing, some of the most influential people of our time made all the difference just by showing up when others wouldn’t and putting themselves out there to the public when others would’ve shriveled away. It’s this transparency that opens our eyes to the idea that everyone has a voice. They remind us that what’s considered “normal” can quickly become irrelevant.

CBS

Vox

Biography

TIME

Buzzfeed

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