The Best Ideas Arise From A Passionate Interest In Common Place Things – Essay Example
Ideas in Commonplace Things Ideas can be found everywhere. One can find it in a crisis, when one is riding the train, whether one just woke up or merely reading a passage in a book – ideas come in one’s ability to focus and appreciate the abundance of concepts, images, sounds, words, feelings, smell, among other things that the world has to offer.
There are outstanding inventions, critically acclaimed literature, design and other creative works that have been produced out of commonplace things. For example, John Steinback’s The Grapes of Wrath, a widely acclaimed and heart rending novel was actually a narrative of an Oklahoma farming family’s futile quest to find good life in California. This story was written out of the author’s common experiences as he interacted with the Mexican community in California. Through his job and his observation about the menial jobs that the Mexicans had to endure as laborers, he was able to discover a perfect theme that enabled him to complete his greatest work ever.
Perspectives also underscore how the commonplace can be a source of inspiration and ideas. For instance, an epicure, who has been delighting with the pleasure of food in his table, may just brush off the significance or the taste of a ripe apple. But there are others who will find the very fruit delicious and blessing in itself. This is also the case when a person confined in a dingy office all his life or incarcerated in jail appreciates the life outdoors, the smell of fresh air as well as the glorious sunshine.
Commonplace is also analogous to simplicity. It does not take a complicated effort to construct ingenuity and beauty. Chambers wrote:
A soul of goodness in things “COMMON”
Would men observing distil it out. (p. 408)
Commonplace things can affect us forcefully in such a way that they trigger and arouse the mind and set it to work. What we have to do is open our mind, be observant, and, as one cliché put it, just “stop and smell the flowers.” It will allow us to reject familiarity that keeps us from being “affected” by the world around us.
McCracken, C. (2000). Berkeleys Principles and Dialogues: background source materials. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.