, so I wrote him a letter. The dear man wrote me back with best wishes on my endeavors. I have the letter framed and keep it near me and look at it when I am in doubt and need encouragement. The root of the word "encouragement" is "courage." And that's what Mr. Yunus inspires in me.
Muhammad Yunus is my hero, because he thinks out-of-the-box and then moves forward no matter what anyone says. He was laughed at for his microcredit idea, being told poor people would never pay back. However, he knew the consciousness of those poor people and was certain they would pay back. And he was right; they do pay back over 98% of the time. That's a better rate than the rest of us.
Muhammad Yunus also came up with a plan for beggars to sell wears as an alternative means for earning income. He figured in the begging business they know the territory very well so while they are begging why not sell? So he loans them money to buy the inventory with no interest, and the amazing thing is it is working. Many beggars have stopped begging and have become full-time sales people--moving off the streets. If a beggar squanders the loan, they simply aren't loaned anymore. I think this works, because by being offered loans and taken seriously, they begin to feel a sense of dignity and pull themselves up. Impossible you would say, but it is really happening.
I too have out-of-the-box ideas far less way-out than Mr. Yunus, but within this community they still are unconventional. However, what I have in common with Mr. Yunus is a keen ability to read the consciousness here, and that gives me a kind of edge that leaves other out-of-the-box thinkers behind. It's not enough to have great ideas, but you must know how to sell them and who to sell them to. It's an art. The other key is to never give up, but rather adapt your approach. Always be flexible or be willing to put an idea on the back burner for a while until you begin to see readiness for it. In the meantime, work on something else.
My biggest problem are naysayers, people, who, no matter what, will tell you, "It's impossible!" This is what Mr. Yunus ran up against. So rather than stopping what he was doing, he simply continued to do it without involving the naysayers. Eventually, many naysayers, when they come to see the success of your idea, will come on board.
You cannot fault a naysayer for many are tunnel-visioned, fearful of new things, afraid of failure, or lack imagination. Some simply aren't conceptual thinkers and must see something on the ground and working before they understand. Some don't have good insight to human psychology, and others are just cynical. It was Yunus's belief in the goodness of the poor that enabled him to do what he is doing. I have that same belief about people. Yes--I am not naive to the greed and terrible things humans do, but, like Mr. Yunus, I set that aside and focus on the good. Muhammad Yunus also was not naive, because he recognized these very unwholesome traits in the banking system, and it was this recognition that motivated him to seek a brilliant alternative that works. This is totally stuff.
When I think of the success of Muhammad Yunus's beggar's program, I am convinced that all I want to do is possible. If any of what I want to do doesn't happen, it's not because it is impossible; rather it simply was not meant to happen or not here anyway. That means I am neither deluded nor are my ideas at fault. No one is at fault. It's just life choosing the forms that are meant to manifest. Sometimes they do manifest; sometimes they don't. And sometimes they do, but not in your lifetime.
My ideas are not really mine much as I may think so. I don't think them up. They simply pop up in my head or find me through some other means. One of my ideas that is just beginning to come true came by way of an entry on my friend's Facebook fan page. I never know how they will find me.
So to all you gentle dreamers out there, whether your ideas are big or small, keep them close to your heart and safe like you would a young infant. Do not feel allegiance to anyone who discourages you. Your allegiance must come to your ideas first before anyone else if they have any chance of coming into fruition. If Muhammad Yunus's madcap idea to assist beggars to pull themselves out of poverty works, then surely there's hope for our ideas too.
And with that cheerful note, I want to wish a Happy Birthday to me! Today I am 51. This birthday will be a quiet one, but next year I dream to have a large party with lots of friends. Keep tuned in until next year. Dream on!