In high school, I was that guy in my group of friends who was “The Nerd”. I was the guy who loved to watch Star Trek, Star Wars, Starblazers, Voltron, played Dungeons & Dragons, etc. I could talk about it for hours on end, which most of the athletes I hung with found annoying from time to time.
After a while, it felt pretty lonely to be that guy.
But as lonely as it feels at times, I am confident that I’m not the only one out there. In college, I found some folks who taught me how to play Magic: The Gathering and would let me be the DM again. In the Jaycees, I’ve found some great people who love to play trivia and write fantastical stories.
And in the last week I found a video of Wil Wheaton that went viral, urging a newborn nerd/geek to be awesome. What he said was something that brought me to tears in the middle of a work day.
Specifically, Wil got me crying when he said:
I realized that being a nerd is not about what you love. It’s about how you love … Doesn’t matter what it is. The way you love it and finding other people who love it the way you do is what makes being a nerd awesome.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that thing that you love is a thing that you can’t love.
Be honest. Honorable. Kind. Work hard because everything worth doing is hard.
And be awesome!
I hope that my kids will remember this in the years to come. I hope that I will remember this in the years to come. I hope that we all remember that life is not about what or who you love, it’s all about how you love.
Yes, I love the Enterprise and the Battlestar Galactica and the Argo. Yes, I love KITT and Airwolf and all of the characters from The West Wing. Yes, I love Xena and Spartacus and Pullo, Vorenus, and Caesar … and will even tolerate the Wesley Crusher (sorry Wil … I hated that character).
But I love Alex and Cristiana and my family and friend most of all.
So let’s all be awesome with whatever we love.