This I Believe

Mark - Portland, Oregon
Entered on May 1, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

The Power of Ideas

I believe in the power of ideas. I believe our ideas form the persons we are. Born of experience, our ideas filter subsequent experiences; ideas help us make sense of events when they make little sense themselves. The sense of events we comprehend constructs the person we are. Ideas help us make sense of ourselves.

Ideas guide the way through uncertainty. They collect the energy needed to travel the unfamiliar. They combine the disparate into a consistent whole and they establish a path of action where none existed. Ideas determine what actions we take and what activities we undertake. Our ideas determine our success and failures, accomplishments and good tries. Ideas determine what careers we pursue, what acceptances and protests we make and avocations we enjoy. Each of these experiences helps create new ideas.

Our ideas are born of experience. These occurrences begin early and stay for a life time. Whether we believe the world is benign or hostile begins with our earliest experiences. New ideas take life from one olds and are added to them. Some ideas add a richness of understanding to the old ones and old ones give relevance to the new; others remain discrete and unique like vegetables in a tossed salad.

Big ideas lead to big people; crabbed ideas lead to crabby people. Generous ideas lead to generous people; stingy ideas lead to stingy people. Bad experiences produce bad ideas; good experiences produce good ones. The ideas we use to interpret previous events determine the quality of current activities. The meaning and quality events are filtered through our ideas.

Passing ideas is one more event in our children lives. Adult ideas become part of who they are and what they do. Our ideas shape their experiences and their private experiences modify our ideas.

The incubation of good ideas, in creating a world to the best of our ability where good ideas are nurtured and flourish is our gift to our children. Weeding bad ideas out but in ways that does not encourage more aggressive growth is also our gift. Eliminating bad ideas is as much of an experience as growing good ones and their elimination becomes an experience from which new ones are born.

My best idea is to till carefully, quietly and kindly.