As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I highly encourage openly speaking your mind. If you have a question, ask it; if you have an opinion on something, voice it. Whether you’re a student in a classroom, a halftime hacker, a wanna-be rockstar, or an ambitious poli sci student on internship, if you don’t speak up, you can’t contribute. But if you do, you can make a difference, if just in small ways at first.
The PrettyNerd and I were talking about a dangerous four-way intersection near her house the other day. Only one of the roads has stop signs, and some shrubs completely block view of the intersecting road on which cars speed by, creating a danger and hazard when trying to cross this particular intersection. So what is she doing? Writing a letter to her neighborhood council, of course. Will anything come of it? Who knows; but we know nothing will if no one says anything.
So when a friend stumbled across this letter I had sent to the USPTO back in September, I couldn’t help but rejoice that it might have played some smallÂ part in determining how the USPTO determines eligibility for software patents after the Supreme Court ruling onÂ Bilski v. Kappos. (I was one of 700 public comments.)
On a smaller scale, the same friend stumbled upon my student survey submission for The College Sustainability Report Card. I was one of three student responses responsible for Drexel University’s 2010 ranking of A for Student Involvement and Drexel’s recognition as a Student Involvement Leader University.
Lastly, just yesterday I messaged a Marketing VP at Comcast regarding their latest rubik’s cube commercials for Xfinity. (Basically, I don’t think it sends a message that Comcast doesn’t want to portrayâ€”Xfinity being “that easy” as a rubik’s cube isn’t really a good thing, as most people can’t solve them). Later, I message one of the Skype founders to thank him and his team for supporting my 2+ year Skype-centric long-distance relationship, and to offer our help if he ever wants a case study with a human touch for marketing.
Even if you just make a small difference, it’s worth it. Plus, who knows what opportunities could arise from simple, small interactions with those around you.
How have you spoken your mind? What came of it?