You may have heard about James Tate, the Connecticut high school student who was initially banned from, and then allowed to attend, his high school prom.
His crime? Using the side of the school building as a billboard to ask out his prospective prom date.
(I missed the story initially, but thanks to newsletter writer extraordinaire [and client] Debby Brown, I read about it in her June newsletter.)
I love this story. First, because you can’t read it without thinking about how stupid and timid the rest of us are for not being as creative, bold and, dare I say, cool as James Tate. (I’d consider marrying him if I weren’t straight, fifty, already married and living in another state.)
Second, because it’s a wonderful example of what can happen when you step out of the norm in the way you communicate. Some people try to punish you for it … the school principal initially suspended him. But other people jump up and proclaim how great what you did really is … emails in his defense from around the world; 90 people attending a live protest to get him reinstated.
And third, because it demonstrates that standing out has little to do with how much money you have or how well connected you are. Here in the 21st century, it’s all there for the taking.