What is an idea? Is it something novel? Horrible? Strange? Or strong? The answers are many. A small word embedded with a big meaning. Something that moves the world; rather shakes it up!
Oscar Wilde said, “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all”. Einstein believed that if the idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it. Dickens imagined idea as a ghost that must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself. Mark Twain declared that the man with a new idea is a crank—until the idea succeeds.
Meaning brainchild is as creepy and perilous as the one who fathers it. The source can be equally weird. The idea like fascism is still an obnoxious reality even as its originator is dead. The idea like a revolution is yet an endemic endeavor for many in the world after various known revolutionaries left an indelible mark.
Ideas, ranging from politics, religion to social structuring, have been instrumental in shaping the course of events. The history of ideas has framed the trail of human history. Ideas have been the source of both intellectual and fallacious orgies for humanity since times immemorial. In the war of ideas, people have been killed as well as condemned. Tortured and tormented. Fooled and forced. Applauded and accepted. Rewarded and raised. It’s all in the nature of ideas to either create a difference or alter the status quo.
Moreover, if idea emanates out of some serious thought, it can educate and inspire. It can also intrigue. It can help imagine a possible future, or remind us of possibilities, or reprimand us for our failings in following an idea properly.
An idea that germinates from within, takes shape and is delivered; and has the potential of ushering in new ways of thinking and worldviews. Provided it gathers support and following.
Over the years, ideas have transformed into sheer mortal entities. People have failed to provide a strong explanation and application of their ideas. In a way, ideas have not proven as popular and powerful as the idea givers. That’s why ideas expire as soon as their originators pop off. If at all, some claim otherwise, the lifeline of such ideas has been potently devastating. Such ideas and their creators have only added to the chaos prevailing in the world.
Unlike great ideas, which are believed to ‘have endurance without death’, as John Kennedy proclaimed, flimsy ideas from feeble founding fathers are bound to bounce badly. Such ideas become subservient to individuals. Upshot, idea turns insignificant and individual puffs up. The indication that the individual has propounded idea for his own self, not for the people. And the reality that nobody can actually own it once the individual is gone.
But great ideas per se are not subservient to a particular person or a group. They neither age nor die with people. These ideas last until eternity. Such ideas form the basis of any nation provided the ideas don’t get adulterated and hijacked because of the hypocrisy of the so-called custodians of such ideas.
So, what’s it that brings you to your ideas? The committed understanding of the thought your idea propagates or the sincere handling of the motives? The idea can be a fleeting reflection that morphs into something worthwhile to pursue. It can be a compelling ideology that stems from core pledge to certain values.
More so, an idea can be a lingering feeling, a modicum of ecstasy, or a streak of sorrow. For instance, a poem is an idea that defines a thought or a feeling or a person. A story is an idea that presents the dimensions of an event or a chain of events. A book is an idea that reveals the journey of various characters. A rebellion is an idea that springs from injustice and tyranny. Counter-rebellion is an idea borne out of threat and treachery. Hate is an idea that consumes hater by toxic torment. Love is an idea that conserves lover by unconditional devotion. Its ideas that bring suffering. Its ideas that beget solace. Featuring in here and beyond temporal. Almost all ideas work through these elements. And once they conspire in the right direction, their time has actually come—New dawnings; new learnings!