I am an idea. I came to visit your mind. You held me for a moment and planned to capture me. You told me to wait for a while as you did something else. I tired of waiting and took my flight. It is too bad, for I perhaps could have even changed your life or maybe I could have even changed the world or solved your biggest problem. Maybe I was important or maybe I was unimportant, but you will never know, for you are too busy to capture me.
I do not ask for a large place to reside—an index card, a napkin from a restaurant, or a digital file on your phone is ample space for me, but I refuse to wait in the vestibule of your mind while you care for lesser things.
I am an idea. I came once to Edison, and he found a place for me, and the Wright brothers housed me; so did Jonas Salk. I do not need to dwell on a fancy scroll; I am not usually housed on expensive stationery. I need no library for my walls or prestigious publication for my dwelling place. I simply ask to be emailed back to you or even just scratched down on a simple post-it note.
I did not flee to another, for I was meant for you. I was designed to be used by you, to help others and to change the world, but you never stopped long enough to let me in. I knocked at the door of meditation, but it was locked. Just the slightest opening and I would have entered, but you never stopped to think, so I could not enter your mind.
I am an idea. After I left, you sought me diligently, but I was gone forever, for you placed me in your memory instead of giving me a physical place to stay. I cost you nothing; in fact, I will pay you rent if you will accommodate me, and I will even move in with others like me on the same piece of paper, and you need not pay attention to me until you are ready, but I WILL NOT live in your memory. I will flee unless you lodge me on any kind of paper or digital media. You could have captured me with your words and recorded them on a digital recorder or on your phone. But you did not think I was important enough to stop what you were doing.
If I leave, I will not come again, and the world may never know me or the contribution I could have made. If I ever visit another and they do capture me, I may bring them wealth, fame, or success.
I did not ask for a home with gilded edges or leather binding or fancy parchment or gold lettering. I did not ask to be printed or engraved-- just to be scribbled was all that was necessary. I do not ask that my landlord be a commercial artist or even to have pristine handwriting-- just a doodler would have sufficed.
Dwelling on such a simple medium I was able to make Rockefellers and Carnegies out of common men, Zig Ziglars from normal people, heads of state from the bourgeois, and university presidents from average folk.
I am an idea. My neglecters dwell in prisons, stand in soup lines, and live off welfare, and many of them work for those who recognized my value and wrote me on a modest slip of paper. I have made many wealthy and many famous, and those who housed me are called leaders while many neglecters call my landlords "lucky" and those who neglect me eat from the taxes of those who house me.
I am an idea. I dwell in the pockets of architects and surgeons and businessmen and authors and poets and successful people.
I am an idea. I am the difference between success and failure, an A+ and an F. I am the difference between quitting and graduating, standing and falling, passing and failing.
I am an idea. I have created a multitude of successful entrepreneurs. They have welcomed me and together we have become partners, birthing more new ideas. I have lined their pockets and enriched their lives.
I am an idea. Eventually, I dwell in the pockets of finer clothing and the most expensive purses. I am how they are afforded, though I do not ask for silk or satin or linen. I sought not Christian Dior or Zegna. Any old paper in any old pocket in any old shirt would have done.
I am an idea. I will eventually make my way on to the most up-to-date, high-end phones and electronic devices. But for now, an inexpensive out-of-date one will work just fine. I just need a home.
I am an idea. I did not ask for transportation in Calligraphy by a quill or even a Cross pen-- an old pencil would have sufficed. I want only a place to stay.
You know many of my keepers: Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, William Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Isaac Watts, George Washington, and many more. My neglecters are named... I seem to have forgotten... so have you.
I am an idea. You need not be talented to keep me. I sometimes seem unimportant to talented people, and those who trust their good memories have forgotten me forever. I am born miraculously and quickly and die very soon unless placed immediately in an incubator. When I am so kept, I recommend others to you and they run to you for lodging. I never do it alone; I share my space with many like me and share my pocket with many other ideas.
I am an idea. I pass by those who neglect reading. I love those who invest in themselves.
In fact, this article is one like me. It was scribbled on a three-by-five card and placed in a simple shirt pocket worn by one who is not brilliant but who houses many like me.
I am an idea. Probably you did not hear me knock; I knock so softly that you did not hear me. I DO knock all day just in case you come to the door of meditation or to the window of thought and study. I did not force my way in, for those who are too busy to greet me are too busy to use me.
It would not have taken long; just give me a place to stay and forget me. I will stay there until you call, but I WILL NOT stay in your memory.
I am an idea. I wanted you; I needed you. I will soon die for lack of my natural habitat, and the world will never know me because of you.
I am an idea. Now I am dying. I will soon be carried to an unmarked grave of uselessness by the pallbearers of neglect. My grave will never be visited, for no one knew me. I sigh for those who could have been known by millions if you could have taken thirty seconds and used an old pen and written me down. Millions could have met me, and I could have lived, but I was kept from the world... by you.
I am an idea. I did not ask for your I.Q. or for a financial report; I did not see what you look like, for beauty was not required. I did not notice your size or ability, nor did I check your intelligence-- I just wanted you. I did not even ask to live in your mind or in your heart or in your soul or even in your memory-- just a place in your pocket or purse.
I am an idea. I could have changed your life; I could have made you successful; I could have shown you how to make a difference, or perhaps even renowned or important or prosperous. But I came to you one day-- you played, you partied, you slept, you even met me, but I was not important enough for immediate attention. You casually asked me to wait for a few minutes, but when you came for me, I was gone-- gone forever-- and to think I would have stayed if you had only taken a minute to give me a home.
I WAS an idea. I died homeless. I died in infancy. I now rest with many others of your children. My death was so needless. I wanted to live. We could have been so happy together. Now soon you will also die and few will remember you either, for the world will remember BOTH or NEITHER of us.
And to think, we both could have lived and been remembered if you had only housed me in any old pocket on any old paper.
I am an idea. The last idea you had, perhaps from reading this article. Will I live or die? That depends on the action you take RIGHT NOW.