William Thatcher (aka Ulrich Von Lichtenstein, and played by the late Heath Ledger RIP) is the hero of the highly under-rated film A Knight’s Tale.
He is a commoner who accidentally on purpose becomes a knight.
Here’s a trailer for the film. It’s well worth a regard if you haven’t seen it already, and I’ll let you make up your own mind as to whether William/Ulrich was born great, achieved greatness or had greatness thrust upon him.
Or, indeed, all of the above.
It shouldn’t spoil the film for me to tell you that he does achieve greatness in the form of knighthood by the end of the movie.
Nor should it spoil things if I tell you that he has to overcome a series of barriers put in front of him by a society that aggressively rejects the notion of a mere mortal from a common background getting ideas above his station.
And this is Thatcher’s lesson.
He refused to accept that it was his destiny to be a mere mortal.
He refuted the notion of being mere.
And this is what the internet is for.
The internet makes mortals less mere.
Mere : being nothing more nor better than that specified.
William Thatcher determined to be more and better than the commoner status that was specified for him.
And, for determined people, the internet is a great more than and better than enabler.
The internet connects and empowers.
If you are born with potential greatness, if you gave the gumption to grasp greatness with both hands when it is thrust in your general direction, then the internet makes it that little bit more likely that you will achieve said greatness.
The internet makes it easier to overcome or sidestep the kind of barriers that William Thatcher had to tackle head on.
The degree of difficulty associated with these verbs can be significantly reduced by the internet in the hands of the right person.
And I fucking love it for that.
I won’t spend the rest of my life as nothing.