I recently watched the film adaptation for the book, The Fault in Our Stars written by NYT Bestselling author, John Green. I never realized how much of an influence that man [and his brother] had on my life until I watched it and I was just completely blown away.
I’ve been watching Vlogbrothers videos since I was in high school. When I started watching them, until that point, my world view was heavily skewed by the fact that I was raised in this tiny town in south alabama. It’s saturated with racism, sexism, homophobia, and general unpleasatry cloaked in this sheepskin of southern hospitality. So to the untrained eye, it actually seems like a beautiful small town with few worries and friendly people.
The reality is much to the contrary.
I grew up in a society steeped in southern tradition which is certainly not a good thing in many respects. I always felt like it was all a little messed up, but I didn’t know enough to think beyond this seems wrong…
I essentially matured into a functioning adult with the vlogbrothers guiding me and helping me figure things out for myself. I learned alternate viewpoints of major things going on in the world. I learned to love myself. I learned life was mostly about making this world a better place. But most of all, I learned that everyone matters and has the power to change the world.
I didn’t realize how profound their affect was on me until I was sitting in the theater a few days ago, listening to Hazel Grace tear into Augustus for belittling how much he changed her life and how that didn’t seem to be enough for him. The thing is, if you take away the anger, I gave literally the exact same speech to a friend of mine just days before the movie was released.
Hazel Grace was all about causing as little pain and suffering as possible which is why she wouldn’t allow herself fall for Augustus until she realized she had about as much control over that as she did her cancer. The thing is, for the most part, that’s my approach to life. I want to cause as little worldsuck as I possibly can. I’m constantly thinking about how my actions affect those around me. And more than that, I keep most people at a distance because I view myself as too much of a mess to really let anyone else in. That last part isn’t exactly a positive trait, but it’s the truth.
The thing is, that’s what nerdfighteria is about. It’s about being a positive influence on the world. It’s about giving a voice to those who felt silenced. It’s about accepting yourself and not hiding the things that mainstream media looked down on for so long.
These are all things that are of the greatest value to me. John and Hank Green essentially raised me to believe in all of these things. I am a nerdfighter to my core and it took sitting in a movie about a girl who literally came from the mind of these men to see that they are actually the greatest influence on my life.
So in the very unlikely event John or Hank sees this post, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for teaching me I was [and continue to be] awesome. And then not letting me forget it. Thank you for your passion for people my age. Thank you for being a positive voice in a world of general terribleness.