If the Internet has taught me one lesson, it is this: virtually every “original” idea I have was already had, likely a long time ago, by someone much smarter than I, who understood the counterpoints and implications far better than I do.
I have learned that the worth of an idea rests not in being its originator, discoverer, or author. Nor is the value of an idea some inherent property related to its degree of originality.
In the end, what matters about ideas is not only their capacity to shape the way I view the world, but even more how they shape my actions, choices, and behaviours in the world.
When an idea acutely changes the way I live my life, does really matter who had the idea first?
Perhaps our obsession with originality is more clearly a reflection of our individualism.
Every day I find myself more consciously aware that I need to hear, discover, and absorb the ideas of others… even people who have lived thousands of years ago.
The Internet tantalized the ego of my individualism, which sought to be original and unique, and turned it on its head to teach me a (repeated) lesson about humility.