“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”
— George Bernard Shaw
This quote has really got me thinking about the wonders of our light bulb moments.
They don’t discriminate. Anyone – old or young, male or female, rich or poor – can have an idea.
They are free. It doesn’t cost you anything to come up with an idea. You don’t really need the fancy gadgets, expensive locations or specific skills. While these things can be used in the pursuit of ideas, the ideas themselves are not dependant on them. They come flitting into your head without a prepaid plan or tax attached.
There are no quotas. There’s no little man in a little office somewhere metering out the number of ideas distributed in a day. You are free to come up with as many of them as you want. There is no penalty or official limit.
They can be shared. As George Bernard Shaw pointed out, once you have an idea, you can share it with anyone. It can travel through word of mouth, advertisements, art etc. And the more people who see the idea, the more copies of those ideas you’ll have. Ideas can be copied into the minds of as many people as you like without you having to restock the item.
They have the power to change things. Ideas can change almost anything, from the way you feed your dog to the way you live your life. Ideas can change the world.
Can you think of any additions to the list?
Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
August 16, 2010 at 11:32 am
I don’t have an addition but I have an experience regarding a free, non-descriminatory, non-quota, power-to-change idea I had just yesterday. I was reading some information regarding how often storylines are set up so that the reader is waiting for that climatic moment when the baddy comes to some sort of violent end, and I thought of how I didn’t really want to just have the stock-standard “violence solves everything” storyline (or in the case of sequals and trilogies, ‘”violence temporarily solves everything”).
And yet, my story does need action. And there are so few appealing stories that do not have some sort of conflict, some adversity needing to be overcome.
And then I had THE IDEA! A free, un-quota(d), un-discriminatory idea. Have both the conflict, action and violence (as necessary) and run it under the theme ‘See? Violence is NOT a wise solution’.
Now my storyline, I feel, has more depth. There is more nuance and shading to all my characters. There is a deeper level of reality – the ‘good’ characters are more flawed, the ‘bad’ characters more noble.
My storyline is changed for the better. And should I share the story, then perhaps it’s theme, that idea, can make other people consider change.
August 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm
That is a powerful idea. I can’t wait to see it in action. 😉
Thanks for sharing your experience!
August 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm
Great quote! I can see the puzzled apple swapers wondering why they can’t increase their supply.
I would add that when we share ideas they often give birth two new ideas, so if we share ideas we just might get three ideas or more.
Another plus for ideas is they can be EXCITING and they make life more INTERESTING. Even if we decide tomorrow the idea is inpractical or unsustainable it makes today that little bit better, more hopeful, more fun.
August 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm
Great points! Ideas certainly do multiply.
August 16, 2010 at 8:24 pm
Whatever your ideas, you better write them down. Don’t assume they will be there whenever you’re ready to call them up and use them. You may find it beneficial to review, even years down the road, the ideas you don’t use immediately. If you forget your idea and your friend forgets his or her idea–neither of you has an idea.
August 16, 2010 at 10:14 pm
Ah yes, I’m sure we’ve all experience that at some point. The lifespan of an unrecorded idea is frighteningly short.
August 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm
an idea makes you feel good
when you’re low think of an idea
sometimes the best ones are born out of sorrow 🙂
August 18, 2010 at 10:30 pm
Very true. The world always looks brighter after you’ve had an idea.
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