Innovation is the only way out and we can all contribute ! A word from Charlie Garland.
Today, just before I opened up my email to find your blog post, I was thinking about the philosophical quandary: “what does one do if life hands you lemons?” Well, there is conventional wisdom, and then there is innovative thinking. Naturally, we in the innovation genre (and others, of course) would respond with our own conventional wisdom: “if life hands you lemons…make lemon-aide!”
Ah, but isn’t it time for us to challenge even that conventional wisdom? Isn’t it time for us to truly think outside of that box…and reach for even deeper insight…for even greater value…for answers that might just spread a similar type of inspirational innovation to our brothers and sisters everywhere, who rather desperately need just that?
A not-too-famous comedian once said (and I paraphrase): “If life has given you lemons, then go find someone to whom life has given tequila…and make margarita’s!” And while I’m sure he meant to be cute and funny (and just a bit provocative, as is his style), he really did touch upon yet a different way of thinking altogether. He challenged the conventional wisdom of how most of us have been programmed to respond to that vexing philosophical question. It is a response that is so “automatic” that, at this point in our society, its lessons are not taken truly to heart. At best, they remind ourselves of how pathetic we are, and how narrow-minded we’ve been, but rarely if ever does such a restatement of such philosophy have any lasting effect. It’s just words.
But one really could explore that question much more interestingly. Let’s consider doing just that. Let’s not stop at the conventional answer to that question, but rather, let’s continue along the very same (or increasingly different) ways of thinking. What (else) can you do if life gives you lemons? Well, you can learn to juggle…we can develop new skills, entertain others, and translate that into our ability to handle more items than we have hands! We can extract the yellow pigment and produce beautiful, bright colors to an otherwise dull, black-and-white (and gray) world around us. We can use the citric acid within the lemon juice to do just about anything that a chemist uses acids for (e.g. cleaning, disinfecting, etching, etc.). And, of course, we can plant the lemon seeds in the ground, nurture them, and watch them blossom into an orchard of lemon trees for future generations to come.
I’m mentioning all this not because I really care so much about lemons (although, now that I’ve done this bit of brainstorming on them, I’m certainly more caring than I used to be!), but rather because this is the sort of thinking that all of us…in China, in Europe, in USA, in the Middle East, and truly everywhere…need to begin doing. How does it start? It starts from the seeds of innovative thinking that exist within people like you, Marianne. And it starts with the spread of inspiring insights that people like you, and I, and many others in the world have the ability to plant, and nurture, and grow, and help blossom within the communities that we are able to cultivate.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have my morning coffee (or is it merely another form of beverage comprised of water and some plant-borne produce?) to drink, and my thoughts to think. But thank you for helping wake up my brain this morning! :)”