Everything starts with an idea. Many times, ideas are born of troubling circumstances or speculation on grand opportunities. When someone feels there is a need that has not been met, or a hidden gem to discover, there is tension, curiosity, exploration and ultimately, creativity and innovation.
Then, the person with an idea, just a possibility, talks to others, until the idea takes a shape that is validated by enough other people that it begins to get traction.
When three or five or eight people can talk together on the subject of that idea, and discuss the ins and outs - the requirements, execution and implications - then heads turn and nod. Some in the early days may fall away and come back later when conditions improve.
If those committed people feel this is a sufficiently worthy cause to devote their time and resources, that venture begins to attract other people by word of mouth. People speak with intrigue of future hopes and dreams. Others seek this attitude against the din of the day.
And when those few people begin to sense they are fellow travelers on a journey to some credible destination, they attract a still greater following. People get better at articulating the mission and vision and strategy so that there is less struggle to get to the "return on investment".
Before long the idea has legs and takes on a life of its own. First it crawls, then it toddles to its feet. It walks before it runs, but run it will! In the long view, the idea begins to look like its in a relay race, with the baton passed forward for the next leg of the race. And maybe the finish line looks like it will never arrive. And then we find there is no final utopia, but the birth of a new idea, a new and better vision to pursue. And the cycle begins again.
Today we roll over on our hands and knees and raise our eyes at our teachers - the giants on whose shoulders we will stand to see the future we together shall build.
Strong drink is what we want to gull the people,
A hearty, brisk, and animating tipple;
Come, come, no more delay, no more excuses,
The stuff we ask you for, at once produce us.
Lose this day loitering—’twill be the same story
To-morrow–and the next more dilatory;
Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting o’er lost days.
Are you in earnest? seize this very minute–
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it,
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it,
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated—
Begin it, and the work will be completed!
-- Translation of Goethe’s “Faust” by Anster