Gatherers (Something new out of something old)
The interesting thing about Gladwell though, is that while his concepts and ideas are highly original, the stories he uses to support them are often not. The majority of Gladwell’s content is comes from reports on history and studies in psychology. In fact, around 80% of a Gladwell book is comprised of work somebody else has done, discoveries somebody else has made, and stories that somebody else has lived and created.
What makes Gladwell a great author, artist, and frankly, the best in the world at what he does, is his ability to tell and connect these borrowed points in a creative way to strongly support the grander story he is trying to tell. Gladwell is not a typical artist in that he does not create high volumes of original content. But he is still a great artist just the same because of his ability to use the original content of others in order to create something new. Gladwell creates something new out of something old. Gladwell is a “Gatherer.”
In the last post, we talked about how Originators bring something out of nothing. We looked at how God is the ultimate Originator, bringing the universe out of an empty, chaotic void.
But what if God was also a Gatherer?
“And God said, “Let the water under the sky by gathered to one place and let dry ground appear.” (Genesis 1:9)
During the second day, God had created waters. But it wasn’t until those waters were gathered together that there was a possibility for land to appear.
The gathering together of what already exists separately will always create something new. This is true from historical events to scientific studies to family dynamics to musical genres to the creation of the world. Sometimes, the most creative thing we can do is bring several previously created elements together in order to tell a grander story and serve a greater purpose.
Perhaps you have trouble creating original content. This is a common problem for many people, and causes them to believe that they are not an artist, that they are not creative. This, as evidenced above, could not be further from the truth. Your struggles with being an Originator may not be because you aren’t creative, but because God gave you the mind of a Gatherer. Perhaps you will do your best work creating something new out of something old. Give it a shot.
Check back on Friday to enjoy part 3. Keep being awesome.