What Do You Do With an Idea?

This adorable book by Kobi Yamada, and illustrated by Mae Beasom, is one of the most impressive books for small children I have seen in a very long time. Although it is a picture book intended for small children, the basic theme applies to all of us.

Why? Because it shows how ideas grow from a simple idea that is first ignored, then nurtured, and, as confidence grows it becomes a reality. Have you ever had an idea? A wonderful idea that you feared everyone would tell you to forget, because it would never work? Of course you have. Did you drop the idea, or did you nurture it, and watch it grow and succeed?

After having a wonderful, even brilliant idea, the child who, in this story, remains genderless and nameless, immediately thought what most of us think: “Who am I to think I can do this? People will tell me I can’t do it, or it’s too difficult, or I’m not smart enough, or there is no market for my idea.” If you’re like most people, of course you have.

Remember, everything we see around us, everything we use in our daily lives: dishwashers, antibiotics, computers, airplanes, indoor plumbing (thankfully), even paved roads, was once an idea. People laughed at the first person to talk about these ideas. They said, “It will never work.” or “Who do you think you are? You can’t do that.”

In this story, the idea won’t stop nagging the child who, first fears ridicule, but gradually develops self-confidence, and nurtures the idea. When the idea is successful, the child realizes what you can do with an idea: “you can change the world!” This book should be required reading for every person everywhere.

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