Nothing ever new is invented. Or so they say. And they kind of have a point. Harry Potter has been compared to Star Wars, which has been compared to the Wizard of Oz. The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, has been compared to the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. The Ten Commandments,Â attributed toÂ Moses, are said to be inspired by ancient laws taken from the EgyptianÂ Book of the Dead.
So what’s the point?Â It’s been said thatÂ when you begin to realizeÂ you can never really create somethingÂ completely newÂ unlike anything that has ever existed, it’s kind of comforting. It takes the pressure of. You can easily relax, because you know that building on previous accomplishments can give you a leg up. Many scientistsÂ admit they only have gotten where they are by standing on the shoulders of giants that came before them.
And this brings to light an interesting point about human nature. It can be comforting when you realize that all people have similar needs and desires. When you understand that most people really want the same thing underneath, it can make it easy toÂ discover common groundÂ when dealing with others. That is pretty much the basis of all contract negotiation. Discussing what both parties want, and figuring out to satisfy everybody. And in the end, more often than not,Â you may realizeÂ your needs, whichÂ you might have thought were far apart, are actually a lot more similar than expected.
On the flip side, of course, is the simple fact that everybody is different. Everybody has their own unique views and experience. You take several people and have them look at an abstract painting, and they all come up with a different interpretation, based on their own history, experience, and emotions. This can make meeting and getting to know new people one of the most wonderful experiences available. The moreÂ you expandÂ yourself to seek and experience new ideas, the broader our perspectives grow to encompass things we never dreamed possible.
I was in a strange city once, talking to a friend over the phone. He was giving me directions on how to meet him the next day for lunch. They were fairly complex instructions, involving navigating a strange subway system, going in and out of multiple exits. The fact that all the signs were written in Japanese (a language I didn’t speak at the time) didn’t help. He ended the conversation by saying something surprising. He told me that because there were several subway lines and exits and landmarks to recognize and navigate, it was likely that I’d become lost and confused. He said “And that’s really awesome, because you can realize the opportunity, AND the excuse to talk to and get to know many people along the way.” Before then, I’d never thought that getting lost could be considered an opportunity.
It’s our differences, and out unique perspectives on the same things that everybody shares that gives us such a wonderful opportunity to experience life in new and exciting ways, even if we do the same things and see the same people every day.
How many ways can you find ways to experience something or someone new, today?