Boy, can I turn on a dime.
I have written on several occasions about how I read or hear somebody say something I have also written or thought and I feel like, “Hey, I’m on the right track.”
Well… it appears we have gone “An occasion too far.”
Because it happened again.
And instead, I felt angry.
I would like to have one original thought. But to date – and time is concerningly running out – I seem unable to pull that off.
I feel like the guy who came up with “E-=MC Squared.”
But he came up with it second.
Or possibly, later than that.
Likewise in my field. You pitch this sidesplitting joke. And you hear,
“'Abbott and Costello’ – 1948.”
But it is not like being first.
And when it happens a lot, your reaction – or at least my reaction – migrates from “flattered” to “Stop!”
So here I am, a couple of weeks ago, and, like “a bolt from the blue”, I come up with this insight. And I am really excited about it. Because I am thrilled by how it looks.
It looks like a “Breakthrough Paradigm”
And those ones are special.
That’s hookin’ the Big Fish.
Suddenly, your eyes uncloud, and you see things in an entirely new way.
Saving the world.
Classic Example: In medicine.
Where “germs” were once, “There’s ‘germs’? That’s an entirely new ballgame.”
That “game changer” was huge for its day. Then came “The New Thing”, supplanting the “Old New Thing.” With probably a few in the middle, but I don’t know what they are.
The New New Thing” said, “It’s not germs that make you sick. Germs are everywhere. Inside, and sneezing on you on the subway. Normally, our bodies “naturally” fight those germs off. Unless, according to the ‘New New Thing’, your ‘Inside Switch’ is malfunctioning, because you need that switch working, to fight off the germs.”
This isn’t flying over your heads, I hope. You are following along, right?
We are talking the “Auto-immune” template. Your body fights off the bad stuff, unless your “Inside Switch” fails to click on. Research doctors go “Oooh! and race off in an new – hopefully helpful – medical direction.
That’s the kind of breakthrough “Paradigm Shift” I believed I was on to.
When it came to mind a couple of weeks ago.
Oh, the embarrassing hubris of it all.
Okay, here’s what occurred to me.
People say – I have even heard President Obama say it, and he’s a big optimist –
“The system is broken.”
Which I have said before many times myself.
And not just about one system. About pretty much everything (Complete List - Available 'On Request.' Or just look.)
And yet we continue do things, described even by optimists as “broken”, in exactly the same way.
And I subliminally thought to myself – you know, unconsciously –
“Why is that happening?”
(LIKE A GAME SHOW ANNOUNCER) “It’s the ‘Paradigm Breakthrough!”
We continue to do things the same way, it abruptly occurred to me, because for some people,
The system is not broken.
For some people, the system actually works great. And those people are powerful enough to keep that “Great for them” system working exactly the same way.
That’s why, despite all the complaints,
A week or two later, I turn on the TV. I see Elizabeth Warren, one of the dozens of announced Democratic candidates for president, being interviewed. And in the course of that interview, after explaining she really believed she was an Indian and profusely apologizing because she’s not, she said,
“The system actually works great a lot of people. That’s why it’s so difficult to get it to change.”
Imagine a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon. You stick a big pin in it.
And I’m the balloon.
I like to see myself as “An Original Thinker.”
And except for everyone else