The Misfits Can Change the World

Take Joy in Being One of the Misfits

When Steve Jobs spoke about the Misfits who can change the world, he included all of us. I never quite fit in anywhere. Part of that was my fault, and the other part was grounded in jealousy and misperception.

Are we Misfits? Absolutely, and I love it!

I remember how all the other girls made so much fun of me because I wore nylons to school instead of bobby socks. They teased me unmercifully that I thought I was better than anyone else. Truth? Whenever I wore bobby socks, my feet sweat and swelled while I developed the oozing, raw and painful sores of athletes foot.

When my children were little, I bought them computers. No one owned them back then. I struggled to learn basic programming skills. But, I did it so I could teach them the talents at four and six years they would need when they entered high school and college. I could see the future while others scoffed at my insistence that my boys would not be left behind. Obviously, people consider my talents in that area amateurish today, but it was a beginning.

Why Do We Struggle So to Shed the Moniker of “Misfit?”

The future belongs to those who stand up to adversity and forge new ground. My great-grandmother was fascinated by the simple light bulb until the day she died. Edison was neither the first nor the only person trying to invent the incandescent light bulb. In fact, some historians claim there were over 20 inventors of incandescent lamps before Edison’s version. However, Edison is often credited with the invention because his version was able to outstrip the earlier versions because of a combination of three factors: an effective incandescent material, a higher vacuum than others were able to achieve and a high resistance that made power distribution from a centralized source economically viable. (Source:

Edison and his counterparts weren’t misfits; they were people with a vision to improve our world. Kerosene lamps were both dirty and dangerous. Instead of putting up with the inconvenience, these people spent months of their lives looking for a solution for the average consumer of the time.

I may not fit into every situation I encounter. But, I still love to do the unexpected and relish the successes. Why use a recipe that calls for ingredients I don’t currently have on hand when I can improvise. Actually, I’ve had far more successes than failures.

Remember the Misfits with Gratitude

Can a “Misfit” Save Our World from the Ravages of Man?

Some celebrated my attempts to protect the beautiful nature of our natural waters while others howled that I was targeting our precious farm families. I understand that many people who live on the lakes don’t create appropriate buffers around the lake. They mow their lawns down to the water’s edge and allow runoff of lawn chemicals and pet waste to enter and pollute the waters with phosphorus and nitrogen. That doesn’t come close to the volumes of chemicals running off farm fields. Modern science has solutions to these problems that aren’t that difficult to implement.

I’m a Misfit in a Crumbling Environment

Blue Green Algae on Chetek Lake in Wisconsin. Can the Misfits find a way to clean and protect our water resources?
The ducks on Lake Chetek in Wisconsin no longer remember what clear water looked like four decades ago.

The fact that everyone isn’t on board as far as protecting our natural resources reflects in some of the recent cutbacks in controls.

Does that mean it’s time to stop our efforts? Not if we remember the crystal clear streams which used to flow in our neighborhoods. We need to work even harder.

You and I can no longer accept that our waters run green with toxic cyanobacteria. What many call blue-green algae blooms have the potential to kill not only our livestock and wild animals but of inflicting humans with oozing sores and chronic breathing problems.

I had no idea when we purchased a home on a lake in Wisconsin that I’d end up closing myself up inside my home during the summer months. Unfortunately, I do this to avoid the stench and airborne toxins that invade my yard and home each summer.

I could have lied and sold the home to some other unsuspecting buyer, but I made the decision to be a rebel and a troublemaker in demanding we search for equitable solutions. After all, I’m a Misfit.

Can The Great Barrier Reef Be Saved?

Taking a trip to Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef has been on my “Bucket List” for a lifetime. I’ve been fascinated by all the pictures and videos I’ve searched out over the years to see a place I have yet only dreamed of visiting.

When the PBS Special came on at the end of March, I openly wept. My brother is a scientist, and I’ve seen the research and understand the impact man has methodically made over the years in the spirit of commercialism.

Why Don’t We Want to Protect the Environment for Future Generations?

The DNR class I attended told me that the absolute worst statement which can be made to protect the environment is: “Protect it for the future generations.”

Seriously? The powers who control the environment don’t care about future generations?

Is our only goal to make money regardless of the impact it will have on those who follow us?

Blue Green Algae
The shoreline along Lake Tainter in Menomonie, WI

How much will they hate us? What is our legacy?

Have you smelled the stench yet?

How many articles have you read that link the green scum to Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s?

None, you say?


The sad truth is, we may not make it to the “Golden Years” unless we all become Misfits and stand up for those things we all know in our hearts is the right thing to do.

We sold our boat after spending weeks cleaning the green goop off the sides of the boat the first summer we lived in our dream retirement home on a large lake in Wisconsin. I can’t even take the dogs for a walk in the summer.

Am I a Misfit? Absolutely! I will fight those that threaten to destroy the very things that give us comfort when the day ends and we long to sit by the clear waters to enjoy all of God’s creation.

Are You Willing to be a Misfit too?


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