Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Have Ideas

When I was in school, it was weird and unpopular to think outside of the box, along the seashore. But there I was.

It’s not something I learned to do. It’s how I came to the world.

Much like a left-handed kid learns to use right-handed scissors, I learned to figure out how other kids think. I learned to observe so that I could understand them. Knowing that was a survival skill for me. For them, the reverse was a gesture of friendship.

That was then.

In school it’s weird not to think like everyone else.In society, outside-of-the-box thinking is a prized commodity. . . . So long as you don’t do too much of it.

My experience of school, both as a student and as a teacher was not, in the most primary sense, geared toward developing new ideas. It was centered around teaching and learning what had already been done, without taking that next step to challenge the past. We rarely had time to talk about how it might have been done differently . . . or better.

Now the power of ideas is a strange and mystical.

People love ideas, but they somehow fear them. Ideas shift the balance of power. If you have one and I don’t, then you might gain control. People might seek you out. I might be pushed aside.

It’s sad we didn't spend more time making up new and exciting ideas in school. Then we wouldn’t fear ideas now. Then everyone would know how to have them.

I have ideas.

I have ideas about ideas.

I can imagine.

Ideas are the joy of thinking.

−me strauss Letting me strauss


Janus Torrell said...

yep yep it's true, ideas are good as long as it's not coming from someone who you think is a threat to your job and system of order

ME Strauss said...

Hi Janus,
thank you for saying that. I have a friend who just lost her job, because she had one too many good ideas. She was no threat, but she was perceived as one -- not by the boss, by the owner. He thought she had too much power over the president. Sad really, she's all kindness and goodness -- not a threat to anyone.

bradford said...

appreciating thinking gives me ideas too! Sharing them can be tricky. . They say, "too smart for their own good" to slow us down. .

ME Strauss said...

Hi Bradford,
They do try to slow us down, don't they? The power of an idea scares some folks. Too bad they won't just let us teach them how to have some . . .