Getting it Done.
Every one is familiar with the light bulb and that it signifies a bright new idea. Like turning on the light in a darkened place, it adds perspective to how we see the world. Once that idea is accepted progress can be made more easily.
What I post today is about one of those light bulb ideas. Gee I’ve got a bright idea what about the light bulb and Edison. (I couldn’t resist forgive me).
I imagine that there were hundreds of thousands of people that wished at night that they had more light. Probably hundreds of people worked at doing something about it. Better kerosene then gas lamps etc. Probably fifty or so thought that electricity that mysterious force coming into vogue could somehow be used to create light. After all lightning would light up the sky, why not a little lightning to light up a room.
From there I’m sure that some few came up with the idea of a filament that would only partially short out the circuit and not create a spark but still heat up the wire enough to create light. After that it was only Edison that tried hundreds of different filaments until he found one that worked.
The conclusion I’ve drawn from this is that Edison was not looking for a solution that was perfect in every way, a solution that would solve all our energy needs. He simply wanted something that would work. Well he found it and it worked well for a long time. There were countless improvements along the way also.
The incandescent light bulb we use today has evolved into a more energy efficient and cost effective product. The point is that Edison’s first light bulb wasn’t discarded because it wasn’t the perfect solution. We accepted the inferior solution then let the market place keep coming out with better solutions. As technology grows in part as a result of this competition, better and better products keep emerging, until someone else comes up with a better “light bulb” idea.
I see the example above as a microcosm of how the two parties approach problems and the solutions they offer.
Republicans offer more concrete specific solutions to the problem. They might only be partial solutions but a step in the right direction. Republicans seem to intuitively know that the act of solving part of the problem leads us to better understand the problem and allows us to come up with better solutions than we could come up with if we waited till a perfect solution was found. We gain insight into the problem by diving in and trying to actually make a solution work. I am of the idea that there are really no perfect solutions due to the fact that we are not a perfect people. Looking for perfection only tends to burn out that which is within us that wants to fix things and make things better. If that dies we soon become cynical and perhaps bitter in the effort.
I believe that if one can accept that a perfect solution does not exist then we will be more content by striving to do what we think will help and be happy with the effort. As with Edison a workable solution is found then later better ones come along and all the benefits along the way are utilized and people feel confident by the steady progress. It is precisely that confidence I am saying is what makes the whole thing work.
Without that as we are seeing today things get bogged down, the idea that only big anything from big business to big government has the ability to find that perfect solution. This is robbing the citizens of that feeling of self worth found in feeling that they are part of the solution. That they have added their two cents. That they are indeed invested in the society.
As with the energy problem we face. Let’s start doing all we can in every direction from all sorts of places to find partial solutions. One small success will build and be the rallying cry to win the next, and on and on. Confidence will build. We only need to be able to accept that there will be missteps then do what we can to quickly abandon wrong approaches and adapt to what is available. Soon enough we will be coming up with newer technologies to overcome more parts of the problem, putting thousands to work while we correct these imperfect solutions. I see something noble in this vs. paying people to do nothing, or charging them to do nothing.
Peter F. Drucker wrote the following in his book, “The Effective Executive”. “Effective Executives lead from strength in their own work. They make productive what they can do. ………. Effective executives are of course also concerned with limitations. But it is amazing how many things they find that can be done and are worth doing. While the others complain about threir inability to do anything, the effective executives go ahead and do. As a result, the limitations that weigh so heabily on their brethren often melt away”
This ties into my “What Can I Do Today” philosophy. It is surprising me what I am doing with that simple idea. If we as a country can only start to dwell on not what is wrong but what is right, on what we are good at and not what we are not. This country will prosper and you and I will not only feel better about it, but ourselves too.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative