Sunday, February 16, 2003

We need to share more of everything without reservation. I know this to be true and know that real progress occurs only when we share selflessly, but I’m trying to work something out. Let’s see if I can define the problem first, see if the problem is real and logical (?).

I borrow liberally from other people’s ideas to better improve the way I communicate, act, think and basically exist. If I see a good idea, I first try to understand its basic form, why it works and how it can be repurposed for some need I have. I think this is healthy and is what defines humans as smart monkeys. The frustrating part of this is needless duplication. For example, if you think my idea for say, a newspaper on the plight of minimum wage workers is really a good one and you decide to use the concept for a newspaper on I don’t know, let’s say ironwork, I think that you have effectively repurposed my idea and that is commendable. My concern is that when you try to start your own newspaper on the plight of minimum wage workers in the same space as the one I started, that you dilute both of our efforts in the process. I think this competitive type of existence is typical of modern capitalist driven mentality which has questionable validity for most of society and is absolutely worthless and destructive for people genuinely trying to effect positive social change.

Here are my suggestions:

If someone has a good idea, a creative scheme or even a creative repurposing of another idea, respect that they are the creators. Nitpicking someone else’s idea makes you seem petty and uncreative.

If you like their idea, can you work with them? Can you share leadership? Can you assist them to be better?

If not, should you compete with them? Ask yourself why you want to compete with someone. Envy? Frustration?

I know this is a light treatment, but I'm not writing a book here! I have thinking a lot about this lately because of competitive people around me and I’m not sure what to do to address it. Should I join in the competition (which I think is lame), should I ignore it (which I try to do now, but ignoring it seems to make it worse at times), or should I call it out?

I am open to suggestions.