Socrates. Sydney Carton. Jay Gatsby. 

What do these great literary heroes have in common? They’re all disruptors. But more importantly, they’re disruptors of each of their disrupted systems. For Socrates, Plato describes his legend with purity as the man whose very nature was to change society’s status quo and to rebel against religious beliefs and practices that could not define our humanity and our time on earth. His own sacrifice makes him nothing less than an unsung hero. For Mr. Carton, Mr. Dickens breathed life into a man whose altruism and righteousness, which leaves him left with certain death but a moral compass and true prophetic qualities, amidst Europe’s brink of destruction from the French Revolution. His self sacrifice to save Lucy Manette, the woman he loves, makes him nothing less than an unsung hero. For Mr. Gatsby, Mr. Fitzgerald, wrote a young but weathered gentleman who endured emphatic disruptions in his life with death of his best friend, and post-WWI during the rise of the Jazz Age in the 1920s. His decision to take the blame for Daisy’s hit and run, shows his self sacrifice, and how he is nothing shy of an unsung hero.

How can we apply these attributes to ourselves? How can we be our own heroes? To turn off the negativity, the discomfort, the stress of work and our personal lives and truly, save, not just the ones we care about, but even more so, ourselves? 

Disrupt yourself during our disruptive uncertain future. In our age of modernism, let’s not waste our days on only communication via a device we call a phone. Lets again recognize everyday nature: the stars in the night sky, the movement of waves bouncing off rock cliffs, the slow brush of white clouds in the sky… these are every day, momentary activities that will put your mind at ease, help you think broadly and restfully, and allow you to see the world and, ponder our greater universe. Surprise yourself. You’ll know when you do because afterwards you’ll smile and know you did something good for yourself.

I believe if we do something meditative for ourselves, however small, and add it to our routine, we will all have successfully disrupted our own world. And that will make all the difference. 

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  • David Neumann is a Motion Picture Literary Agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency. Neumann works in the New York office and represents screenwriters, directors, and actors including David Yates, Arlene Klasky and Ruth Wilson, among others.  Neumann joined CAA in 2018 from ICM Partners. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, playing basketball reading, and tries his best to listen to Arianna and not sleep with his iPhone!

    Neumann graduated from Baruch College with a degree in English Literature.