Crayon vs. Diamond Ideas — Why Finding your Gem Matters

A good idea has the power to change your life and the world

Robin Konie

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Photo by Veronica Lorine on Unsplash

A green crayon changed my life.

In junior high, I was always just outside the cool kids’ circle. Sure, I had plenty of friends and a rockin’ personality, but I spent most of my time one step behind the trendiest clothes and popular parties.

Then, in ninth grade, our all-girls choir traveled to a local mall for a performance. After singing, we headed to the food court, where a bunch of us half-jokingly ordered kids’ meals for lunch.

To our delight, those kids’ meals each came with a small box of crayons.

As I sat down with my food, I remembered that I had a skein of yarn in my backpack from a previous art assignment. With the box of crayons sitting next to my chicken nuggets, I carefully picked out the green one and tied a piece of string around it, making my very own crayon necklace.

Seeing my most fashionable new accessory, one of the most popular girls sitting near me grabbed a red crayon from her box, asked to borrow some string, and copied my necklace design.

Suddenly, everyone was wearing a crayon around their neck and praising my brilliant idea. We were the Crayon Chicks. I was their trusted leader.

I rode the coat-tails of that innovative design for a solid two months — which is practically a lifetime when it comes to teenage trends. As I watched the design spread like wildfire throughout the school, I learned that a single idea is a powerful thing.

The question is: How do we ensure the best ideas get heard?

Our thoughts shape our lives. And we all know what happens when a bad idea goes viral. Mullets. Corsets. The Macarena. Even something as benign as a green crayon has the power to influence behavior and divide people into “us vs. them” groups.

Ideas have influenced us in countless ways, for better and for worse.

The human brain is a fascinating mixture of untapped intelligence and terrifying susceptibility to delusion. From conspiracy theories to manipulative marketing messages, our minds are easily influenced.

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Robin Konie

Author & Freelance Editor. Making stuff up for forty years. robinkonie.com