There is nothing new under the sun but yet many of us stop ourselves from doing anything because it’s been done before, it’s been written before, and somebody owns the copyright. I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong with the copyright act, although there may be, I wouldn’t know as I am not a lawyer, and I don’t even pretend to play one on television.
What I know is that very often when I want to do something a little voice, in a suit and briefcase suggests that whatever it is I am thinking of doing should be left to another day because it’s been done before. But has it really?
Philosophically yes. We have come into existence in this moment of time, and any of our contribution is just a variation of all the contributions that came before us. We don’t actually create anything, we just have the mandate to make it beautifully better. Even a little and a little is often enough.
So philosophically, yes, nothing is new under the sun but that is assuming we all have the same opportunities and access to those opportunities. That is assuming that we all know similar things but that is not so. Take the very thoughts that I dispense here each and every morning. I know without any hesitation that if you read enough, or listened enough you would be able to thread all of my thoughts to this author or that singer songwriter, and pin point it to this or that. But that would be a very laboursome endeavour and one that would miss the fact that perhaps you are reading or thinking about what I am writing and thinking about for the first time.
Does it really matter where it comes from? Again, I want to be clear that I abhor plagiarism and stealing peoples ideas, stealing their words, and thoughts, the very thing that allows them to make a living and give more and more I am not advocating that there should be a free for all on human idea, I am just musing how much we prevent ourselves from doing simply because there is nothing new under the sun.
How you see your contribution will matter greatly if you’ll contribute.
Does the world really need another Cello player? Do we need another self-development book? With all of the music that has been written and recored in the history of time, do we really need someone to string together those seven notes in this particular pattern or another? Would they do it, if they had to first figure out if they are borrowing a melody or a string of words from somewhere else, that has burrowed itself inside their unconscious mind some time ago?
We don’t need anything and we don’t need to do anything. There is absolutely nothing new under the sun, except for me and you. This is why we have to continue to create, because Chopin is dead, Dostoevsky is dead, but they are very much alive in us. We have the power as human beings to share a little humanity by sharing a little bit of theirs.
So don’t second guess your value, or the importance of your work. Don’t let thoughts of plagiarism stop you. Let someone’s lawyers do that. Focus on being and living a meaningful life. Dare to share. Dare to learn and communicate even if there is absolutely nothing new under the sun.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Karsten Würth.