An Idea

Where Does It Begin?

An idea comes out of nowhere but originates in the ordinary mind of an ordinary person. An idea takes mindful flight as it travels, “tossed into the air and transformed…escape and recaptured..made iridescent with fancy, and winged with paradox,” as Oscar Wilde described it.

An idea is born and finds life while still living in your imagination, germinating and looking for maturity. You wrestle with it until you feel it is honed sufficiently to present it to others. The inner grin where the idea was born slowly emerges on your confident, smiling face. The first unveiling of this creative infant is a meeting tomorrow morning with your peers.

Tentative but Excited

Sheepish and positive, you present your still-growing, tiny gem to others. You expected the first reaction. “It’ll never work,” says the steadfast employee who enjoys the present status quo and hopes the boss agrees with him. After some stumbling talk, the next remark is also expected, “It’s been tried before and didn’t work,” said the employee whose newness ended after his first year. You sit back as the chatter heightens and you observe as your newborn is laid across the table of stability, small risks and continuing paychecks.

Ingenuity, innovation and creativity are words often used to describe a company but rarely to describe its employees. The words look inspiring in an annual report but the day to day operation is more frequently heavily weighed in a steady course toward retirement.
You drive home as alone as when you went to work that day. Smiling to yourself, however, you realize that you were never alone. You had an idea. It is growing, blossoming and has potential. This idea will soon have a life of its own. For the moment it’s escaped but soon recaptured and transformed for the its next stage, and your boss will take full credit for your idea. Your inner grin returns and soon becomes your outward smile.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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