So, whose idea did you steal today?
Come on, you know what I’m talking about.
You read it in a book somewhere, or watched a video, or listened to something on a radio, or overheard something someone said, and you used it to do that thing you do.
It seemed like something you came up with, but it really was just an amalgamation of information from different sources that you integrated and interpreted in your own unique way.
Original thought is a fallacy, because even inspiration comes from something absorbed from a situation, environment, occurrence, experience or moment in time. And really… all we need to do is to be OK with that.
Why? Because everything is linked to something, which has its roots in something else, and originated from somewhere along the way.
Think of urban legends, of jokes, of oral history, of fairy tales and lullabies, of truisms and tall tales.
Does it really matter who started them?
It’s their impact that counts. It’s the results and the consequence and the experience in between. It’s the value that they created, it’s the benefit they brings in their repetition and transmutation and updating and re-alignment and reinterpretation. It’s the emotions they provoke through their adding and subtracting and fractioning, through the way their broken down or expanded upon.
So the next time you come across something that somehow feels too familiar to be original, suppress your desire to ask “Hasn’t that been done before?” and instead ask “Has it been done better?”
Now THAT’S really the question.