What moves us to act?

At various places throughout my town, I have been seeing this posted on random stop signs. After checking on line as to the significance of the “STOP, Collaborate and Listen” message, I found out it is from a Vanilla Ice song from 1989.  Rap really isn’t my preferred music genre so it isn’t surprising that I missed this one (nor did I know that that was actually a picture of Vanilla Ice).  And even after reading the lyrics from the song in which this line appears, I still can’t figure out what he wanted to convey.
Thankfully, my desire to write about the appearance of these small pieces of paper on stop signs has nothing to do with the message or photo but rather my curiosity around what moved the doer of this deed to do it.  Really, what causes someone to clandestinely post something like this? Did he just wake up one day and say, I’m going to post these around town? Perhaps this is some kind of expression of art? (another arena in which I regularly claim ignorance) Or maybe he is trying to make a statement of some kind – like how we should Stop – Collaborate – and Listen? I will probably never know, but that doesn’t bother me either.
What I really love about this is that whoever did it, took an intentional step to ACT. He (or she) made the effort and is reaping some silent reward just by the having done it. I believe that the act of doing vs. just thinking is a reward in and of itself. It’s what you reap by being courageous. (Of course there are those in the world with ill intent who act in ways that don’t serve others.  I believe it ultimately doesn’t serve them either.)
A lot of us have interesting, creative, outrageous ideas that we would like to put out in the world, but we don’t. What stimulates one person to take action and another to stay quiet? The answer to that is so long, varied and unique to each individual, that we could never fully articulate it.  But I think there are themes and they circle around feelings of fear, inadequacy or unworthiness. “What if people don’t like it?”  “What if it is not good enough?” “I don’t want to appear boastful”.  When I think of responses to those questions, the only thing I come up with is “So?  Who cares?”
When you look at the lives of the great inventors, creative writers and artists, successful leaders, most of them made tons of mistakes, received hundreds of rejections or where vilified publicly for doing something new or big. The world in which we live would no doubt be less awesome if they had stayed home and just thought instead of acted.
What are you keeping to yourself that the world needs? Maybe it isn’t something big and bold but everyone has a unique talent or gift that came with the package when you were born. It sure would be a shame if you went to your grave without sharing it.

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