Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse. — Sophocles
Are ideas worth anything without a prototype? I mean, do ideas have to be validated to be worthy? And tell me, how are they validated? What is necessary to take an idea and give it worth? Maybe a sizable amount of money, maybe family or friends that can invest in the idea, how about the tantalizing essence of youth, maybe a degree from the right school, perhaps a certain zip code, or a specific gender, or the sheer luck of knowing or being introduced to the right person. So tell me, how does this work for most people? How many great ideas are never shared. How un-democratic can this process look. I am here to say, the shut out, is without question, just another extension of all that is wrong in America.
We live in the most unconnected connected society in history. We have thousands of connections, but none we can turn to for support unless, of course, the above apply. Most people are so overwhelmed that they have no interest in brainstorming someone else’s moonshot, and then those who have arrived, mostly did so because of the above, so they gaze down in a most condescending way or better yet, do not reply. So we have set up a country of mediocrity, where the impossible stays impossible, except for those with a sense of guarantee. Because no matter what they say, success depends on someone else, and for many people, that somebody else never shows. Why is this??? Just think of what we might be missing. The great ideas, the creative people, the passion, the ingenuity of the unexpected…I guess really the American Dream no longer really applies, so don’t expect it.
Everything around us began as an idea. So why are we disinterested in them? Why are there preconditions before worthiness? And what is worthiness, maybe not too old, or too female, perhaps not too dark, or too far, too poor, or expectedly generationally intrenched in the wrong neighborhood. I have tried to ignite an idea. I know it is a good one. If a twenty-three year old male from Stanford had suggested it, it would be generously funded from a sketch on a napkin, but I do not qualify for that route. Why do we hear the same old story…just droning over and over again. Why can we not write new stories of desire and longing, luck and stoking, holding our lives in the palms of our hands…If only just once. Because it just doesn’t work that way.
So my moonshot, is stuck in my mind’s cluttered workshop. I cannot give up, and yet I know it will take a miracle, an enormous stroke of luck to unpack it. I still imagine. I see the whole thing, running in my head. I search for words to even begin to express the gnawing emptiness of unrealized dreams. I cannot build. I cannot code. It is necessary to have more than one dreamer, and yet, even dreamers need to be paid.
So the world continues to be built by similar people, who may lack in the process of being alive. Because alive is often paralyzed by suffering, and if you have not felt it, you live in a bubble of privilege that cannot understand problems, much less solve them. We need a hodgepodge of people bringing their unique perspectives to a world that lacks singularity, and yet as humans, we are lured to its existence, that all is one and we all individually are indeed one. And in our oneness we must have meaning and purpose that drives us towards ourselves in a sea of people doing the exact same thing, searching, yet acknowledging that worthiness is not, should not be burdened by preconception, but be set free by a novel universal luck that opens doors to all who want to enter. But luck is not random, it is manufactured in a society that qualifies us by what we are not. Why can we not, instead, look at who we can be?
In the trillion dollar companies, the billion dollar IPOs, the VCs, the money, the privilege, the wizards of worthiness…why can it not be me? Because I am not the script, the story, the golden egg to unicorn. Not because of me, but because no one will offer me a door to walk through. I cannot fulfill the prerequisites necessary to ever be, and there are so many plurals of me hanging on founder trees, just waiting to be plucked. Yet none are plucked, instead they are molded and polished and given a convincing story of “this is the best yet”, even when it clearly is not. We are drowning in a sea of madness, and the lucky have the life boats with all that they need and more. And I, of course, look from a distant shore, like it’s a movie from Netflix with a quote about the evils we fear, and I stare wide eyed with despair. Can we not even consider the impossible possibility of penning a new book where ideas are worthy regardless of who the person is who fed them? Maybe we should try it and see. I mean, it’s just an idea, coming from me, and it’s worthy, and so am I, dammit…worthy beyond measure, but that will never be seen.
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. — Dieter F. Uchtdorf
So beyond the unseen, are broken dreams. In the long game, what does that manifest? Amazon? Facebook? Airbnb? Uber? Is that what you see for a tomorrow, a handful of realized dreams that beget monopolies eating up the concept of dreams for future generations? Would it not be a better landscape for the future to create more possibilities with less funding, more ideas from different places, different faces to create a hope in the building of things? Inside every child, is a dream, often far fetched and hard to describe. Worthiness is not a metaphor of the mind, only in the dissection of certain people and their ideas that are subjugated to such inequity and bias before ever even being given a try. If we want a metamorphosis of an America in decline, the first place to start is with people and letting dreams fly. The minimum wage to nowhere, the college degree to debt, the vintage infrastructure of a museum’s past, the Industrial Revolution is now officially over, climate change is happening sooner than expected, the problems we are now encountering need bold new looks from sources often overlooked. If we want to boldly move into the uncertainties of our looming future, then “daring” must be defined in everyone, and “legendary” can be almost anyone. We give the world a new look…a larger stage, a smaller pot, a place where more people can arrive, and simultaneously connect the dots and just maybe ding the universe.
Of course it was a disaster.
That unbearable, dearest secret
has always been a disaster.
The danger when we try to leave.
Going over and over afterward
what we should have done
instead of what we did.
But for those short times
we seemed to be alive. Misled,
misused, lied to and cheated,
certainly. Still, for that
little while, we visited
our possible life.
— Jack Gilbert