This is a question from Formspring that deserves a blog post to itself, much like the one about the point of learning literature.
For context, I often use the line “All I need is a place to stand” in the About Me portions of my social networking pages.
The question of “What’s so significant about having a place to stand?” comes from a student who wants to know why I place so much importance on the above-mentioned phrase.
Before I explain, though, I’d like all of you to read the following pages before coming back here:
Now, Archimedes was a mathematician who is believed to have said, “Give me a place to stand and I will move the Earth”.
This is with reference to the law of the lever, where one can use a small effort to move a great load, so long as the distance between the effort and the fulcrum is sufficiently longer than that between the load and the fulcrum.
However, we can also interpret “move” as a metaphor to mean ‘affect in an inspirational manner’ – something which Archimedes’s findings have done for the world.
Therefore, I am leveraging on (pun intended) Archimedes’s metaphor to explain my own ambitions in life; ideally, I’d like to do what Archimedes has done and change the world with a small idea one day.
Before I can do that, however, I need to find a niche or an area in which I can make a difference. Once I find this niche/area, I know I’ll be good to go.
Hence, “[a]ll I need is a place to stand”.
TL;DR: Don’t be a lazy shit – just read the damn post.