There is a modern day school of thought that postulates there is no longer anything that one could honestly refer to as original thinking.
In other words, no matter how innovative, original or one-of-a-kind you think your ideas might be, they have in fact, already been done by someone, somewhere at some time.
That fact that you may not know this only means that while you think your idea or post or thought is original, the amount of thinking out there is infinitely large and you can’t know everything.
This, of course is only a theory and it’s one that you can take or leave as you choose.
But if you do buy into it too seriously, it’s possible that you could become extremely demotivated to carry on thinking and expressing those thoughts.
But you shouldn’t and I will explain why.
In university, I studied philosophy, mainly because I thought it would add some depth to my writing, which up to that point had mainly consisted of smart-ass little poems and a few stories…nothing that would ever set the world on fire.
I actually learned a fair bit from those years of immersing myself in a world I barely understood and came out the other end of with some basic impressions about life and the evolution of thought.
The key thing I came to understand was that, in philosophy, all core philosophical insight was basically created by the Greek philosophers: like Plato, Socrates and Aristotle and that these basic tenets were simply, updated, added to and evolved to embrace changes in the way the world worked and how people fit into it all.
So you can look at the history of philosophical thought, which is really the history of ideas, as a continuum that stretches all the way to the present day.
And while the ideas may express themselves in different ways, or at least through the use of different language, when you boil them all down they are simply the end product of Greek philosophical thinking expressed in modern day terms.
There’s actually a great deal of comfort in that notion. Because, when you think about it, all of us, who are writing stories and articles about the way the world is, are very much a part of that continuum.
And for that reason alone, originality, which I personally believe does not exist and hasn’t for quite some time, is not what’s important about communication.
What’s important is humanity. That the things we write about are based on the things we care about. And that the things we care about are the things we feel others could, should or do care about too.
I write a lot of posts here about my experience as a writer. Sometimes it’s philosophical. Sometimes it critical. Sometimes it’s about sharing insights. Sometimes it’s self promotional.
But is is original? I have never labored under that delusion. But what I have worked hard at is making it human.
Because if we, as writers, are in fact a part of the continuum of thought, it’s extremely important that we make sure that our humanity is at the core of it.
Today’s world, despite sensationalist news stories to the contrary, and despite a handful of sub-human whackos sucking up all the air, is a much more human place than it ever has been.
There are countless numbers of people working on ideas to benefit the entire human race. There are more leaders with true vision than those who have none. There is more potential to keep this planet going strong than there is the will to destroy it.
You may not feel that way right now. But that could be due to the influences that are impacting on you currently.
Over the last while I have been making a concerted effort to move away from my attraction to the dark side of humanity and work to find and write about things are are being done to save the world, not destroy it.
I guess you could call this a noble cause. But throughout history the world has managed to survive all manner of crap and the world community has managed to grow in more positive ways than negative ways. So where I’m steering my little boat is nowhere new.
The trouble with media-based influence is that the negative gets all the attention. Because fear mongering is a form of control. And the people who control the media would prefer it that way, although I have never been able to figure out why.
I was a victim of this for quite a while without even realizing it. But one day someone on LinkedIn pointed it out to me with a collection of words that struck a chord in my head.
After that, the realization started dawning on me that instead of publicizing what I considered to be evil and negative, by the very act of in-depth criticism of it, that I should start to change gears and focus on the human site to a greater extent.
This is a slow process even at full speed. It will take some time, but I can assure you I am pointed in the right direction, and I would strongly encourage everyone who sees both the good and the evil in this world to focus their energy and attention on the good. De-emphasize the problems and focus on solutions. Be constructively critical instead of just plain bitchy.
The Greek philosophers, from we are all intellectually descended, would be proud.
Jim Murray is an experienced advertising and marketing professional. He is a communication strategist, writer, art director, broadcast producer, mildly opinionated op/ed blogger & beBee Brand Ambassador.
He is also a partner at Bullet Proof Consulting. www.bulletproofconsulting.ca
On beBee: https://www.bebee.com/bee/jim-murray
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