Saturday, October 13, 2012

Be Original

To my son Tommy,

Today, I was watching a morning show, I believe it was CBS in the morning or something like that and they had Georgia kindergarten teacher who has made a million dollars selling her lesson plans online.  It wasn't the  money that startled me.  It was the fact that this was hitting the news now.  I am pretty sure I had read this on the internet about ten times in the past 5 months in one form or another.  Each news outlet that reported it, reported this as if they were the first to tell the story.  Granted this morning they actually had the lady on for an interview in person and I guess a cool million is more newsworthy than the seven hundred thousand she had banked when reported it back in May.  So to the credit of CBS it was a bit of a different spin, but not actually what I would call original content.

This brought me to a couple profound conclusions.  First, the mainstream media is behind the times and slow and mostly unoriginal.  They just piggy back on a previous article and dress it up but the content nor the idea was not theirs.  Secondly, I finally see where the internet can end up killing tv news and newspapers, assuming they can start taking credit for the first run of the story and reaching a broader market.  Third, I am a total geek to not only have read this five months prior but to have been able to recall it and within two guesses remember where I read it.  Fourth, it made me wonder how much of my blog can be considered original.  Pretty much every concept I cover is as old as the hills and has been dealt with in plays or conversation or literature as far back as history goes.  Is my view of life and my way of explaining everything any different than what was told to us by great minds like Socrates or Confucius?  Not that I am comparing myself or this blog to the great minds of the ages.  They probably expressed the concepts I try to pass on to you much more simply and elegantly.  So I mean to say; Have I added anything new? Is there a novel idea anywhere in my letters to you or am I just taking some old news story like Plato's Republic and revamping it?

So the challenge for me, that I pass on to you, is strive for originality.  You may not achieve total uniqueness but you may just add a new enough twist on your words to allow someone to finally understand the time tested age old sage advice.  You are definitely one of a kind, and always will be.  Never let yourself fall into the trap of running someone else's news report five months later.  If you must draw inspiration from others, go much further back and bring us the big ideas from centuries ago in simple words with a simple understanding.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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