IDEA |:| "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
When speaking of IDEAs, I just can't help but think of one of the most recognized symbols to convey an IDEA: the light bulb. For me, the attraction is two-fold, on one hand it's become an international symbol, on the other hand, it's a technology that brought darkness into light, literally. Before electric light was widely available, man and women everywhere scheduled their days according to the sun. Sure, many literally burned the midnight oil to have light to work by once the sun set, but when you factored in the cost in both effort and finances, working by candlelight, oil or wax, was not something that was practical to do all night, every night. Having to rely on burning candles made from animal fat (tallow), produced a smoky flame, which meant burning these materials indoors left traces on the walls overtime.
Once electric light became widely available, everyone started to notice just how dirty their walls had become overtime by keeping the candles burning at night. I can't help but think of the inconveniences that came with getting your house ready for electric light, as well as cleaning up the aftermath of these candle lights with smoky flames. Imagine walking into your room at night, turning on electric light and for the first time clearly seeing dirty walls you didn't really know you had! As inconvenient as the transitions might have become, overtime electric lighting became the new standard to light up the night indoors.
I can't help but think of how many times we've lived with an IDEA, then put it into action. Kept our IDEA burning for a while. Then had a greater IDEA that made the previous one obsolete, and in the process, showed us the stains that our old IDEAs left behind. The traces of how worn our own walls had become, and how now, in order to live with our new IDEA, we must take the time to clean the traces, the dirt, the smoke off our own walls. In order to live well with new IDEAs, it's important to make a choice to stop living with old IDEAs that have become obsolete and don't serve us well anymore.
So I ask you what I'm asking myself: what IDEAs are you willing to let go of? Which new IDEAs are you excited about today? As you make the transition, don't be afraid to jump in and wipe out the smoke left behind by an old flame. New IDEAs are worth the effort.
Modern Ornament at The Shoppes at 615 Mall
615 S Livingston Ave
Livingston, NJ 07039
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📷 Dave Slater