As a kid, growing up in rural towns in the Midwestern United States, the Fourth of July held a special kind of magic for me. I was born in 1971 and during my childhood, patriotism was experiencing a renaissance brought on by the bicentennial and every little town we lived in seemed to be in competition for who could do Independence day the biggest. The parades were not merely a chance to advertise, but entertain. Not only did they throw candy, but fireworks were typically shot off along the route as part of the show as well.
So, every year, we make the trek to somewhere to watch fireworks, eat too much generally have a good time. This year, I had some observations that I think are pertinent for our country, human life on this planet in general and my writing and online business endeavors.
Possibilities are endless
With each shell that rockets skyward, an untold number of sparks shower forth, each on its own trajectory, each with its own potential to illuminate and burn, multiplying its force a billion times over. While we tend to focus on finding ways to defeat our limitations, in reality, those barriers are just that, limited. While they may prevent us from doing a thing in one or more ways, places or times, the universe presents us with infinite other possibilities, just like the sparks from a firework.
- · Each new idea can be a new launching point for a whole new way of looking at the world.
- · It really only takes one tiny spark to start a fire, which, when harnessed, is a powerful force for creative good.
- · Each new explosion can happen in an infinite variety of pattern, shape, color and size. Ideas can be like this too, if we incubate them properly, invest energy into dreaming them and let explode in our imaginations instead of immediately limiting them before they get started.
You always risk a fire
When the technician lights that first fuse, an audience holds its breath, because we all know we are about to see something awesome, or fearsome. When you unleash a powerful idea, there is always the potential risk of blowing up some part of your life. But, without that explosive power, fireworks wouldn’t be much to look at. It takes the kind of force that could take apart cities to create the magic.
- Don’t be afraid when your ideas are too big for you. The most magical things happen when they are too big for once person to contain. Get help.·
- Seek expert advice where the path has been blazed before you. There’s no need to reinvent a wheel, if a wheel is what you need. Get good, professional advice, even if it costs a little.
- Be prepared for disaster, have the firetruck standing by, but remember this, there’s always that one firefighter standing on top of that truck watching the fireworks with everyone else. They’ll be there to put you out if you fail, and as witnesses to your awesomeness when you succeed.
There’s something to be said for timing
The volunteers in the small Oklahoma town we visited last night put on a hell of a show. I couldn’t begin to tell you what it must have cost, 25 solid minutes of light and sound. But, in their amateur enthusiasm, they overlooked some subtleties present in more professional displays. By crowding the sky with too much color, too much noise end to end, it became too much at some points, almost overwhelming.
- · There is something to be said for timing, that pause between big volleys of fireworks that give you a chance to catch your breath and wonder what comes next is a part of it. Building anticipation is something the best pyrotechnicians understand well.
- · Sometimes too much is just that, too much. When an idea carries so much force that we cannot take it all in, the presenter either has to give us some distance to allow it to be appreciated, or it needs to be timed to burst on our consciousness a little at a time.
- · Wearing an audience out is a good thing, if its done right. That horror film, or drama that takes you to the raw edge where you’re not quite sure you can go further is loved and admired, but when it goes to far, only the gluttons can really appreciate it.
So, there you have it, deep thoughts with Mark for Independence day. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment here, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to engage in more conversations. Thanks for reading and I hope that if you are an American, you really think about your independence and what that means for us going forward, and if you don’t have freedom, wherever you are, I hope you find some small way to fight for it in your life today. It’s a beautiful thing, I hope we get ours right soon.