The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

There is nothing new under the sun

Every idea that comes to existence is based on something that already exists. It’s by connecting the dots that they develop. Most people are just unaware of how they do it. And that’s because they forget the reference or don’t make themselves aware of it.

It’s the same with “nothing new under the sun”. It’s so commonly used nowadays that its mostly forgotten that it’s adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

In his book “Steal like an artistAustin Kleon describes how to make ourselves more aware of what and who influences us. Instead of simply taking in everything we observe he invites us to “figure out what’s worth stealing, then you move on to the next thing”.

This simple act transforms how you look at the world. It requires to develop an idea of how something can serve or be used. It serves a different goal than the assessment between good and bad does. The latter being there to give us a quick assessment of dangerous situations. Looking for what’s worth stealing serves creativity and takes more time. It only happens with intention.

Beyond transforming how you look at the world, this idea also removes the need to create something entirely original. It invites to use what exists and be part of the creative process instead of having to stand apart from it. Instead of starting from zero it allows to stand on “the shoulder of giants”.



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