Let that persistent idea take center stage

I’ve found that one of the most frustrating situations I’ve been in as a student is being preoccupied with an idea.

An idea that won’t move over so I can accomplish the essay due tomorrow.

An idea that starts jumping up and down, stealing my focus as I try to pay attention to a lecture.

An idea that as I attempt to go to sleep keeps my mind racing.

You’ve been there and know exactly what I’m talking about.

Could it be possible that these ideas that keep stealing our attention from what we “should” be doing could be our biggest blessing?

I’m beginning to believe so.

I’m beginning to believe that instead of suppressing a preoccupying idea in our mind maybe we should allow it to stay.

Maybe we should nurture the idea in the midst of the essay that is due tomorrow.

Maybe we should foster the growth of an idea during a lecture.

Maybe we should allow an idea keep us up at night.

Surely I’m stepping on some toes right now, because what I am advocating for is that students be fully engaged with their ideas and allowing their ideas to run freely around their minds.  This is in stark contrast to the suppression of ideas that often takes places to learn today’s lesson.

Why am I advocating for this?

Because I believe that ideas are a gift.  A truly extraordinary gift at that.

Ideas imagine a different world, a new product, or a new way of doing something.  Simply stated, ideas hold power.

These are easy statements to make on paper, but the moment you stop reading this you are thrown back into a world where:

The essay, that your idea is in the way of, is due tomorrow and it has a grade attached to it.

The lecture, that your idea is stealing your focus from, you will be tested on the information presented next week.

The sleep, that your idea is keeping you from, is pretty necessary because you have an 8 a.m. class tomorrow.

Fostering the growth of an idea today, especially in our system of education, is not easy.  A majority of people are pushing aside the ideas that are preoccupying their mind.

Schools are failing, the economy is tanking, and violence is overwhelming, because we’ve failed to allow the ideas that offer solutions to these problems fully take up residence in our mind.

We live in a time that it is more important than ever to pursue your idea at whatever the cost.

Be encouraged.  Let the idea that is preoccupying your mind have a little more space.

Interact with it.  Get to know it.  Understand it.  Pursue it.

An idea is a gift.  It is unique to you.  Give it the care it needs to flourish.  Others are needing it.

Story by Jonathan Haag | Staff Writer | haagjr@grace.edu