Urgent Evoke

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The secret that stuck with me the most as I read the 33 (what a magic number !) secrets of social innovation was number 5 from Paul Polak's list, "Think like a child". Why ? Let me tell you story...

When I was a kid - 10 or 11 years at best - my dad shared with me a series of books called Dune, by Frank Herbert. You probably heard of it, if not read it : the story of teenager Paul Atreides, a boy who can see the future and guides his people towards freedom. The character that stuck with me the most...Wasn't Paul.

The character that stuck with me the most was Paul's mentor and teacher Thufir Hawat. Thufir was a mentat, a human supercomputer who would tell you that the secret to being a good mentat was thinking like a child, turning your mind into a net - without prejudice, without preconceptions, without assumptions, just letting everything you see, everything you hear filter through, pull up the net...And see what your mind decided to keep.

Thinking like a child is one of the keys to doing grand things because children don't know of, nor believe in limits yet. They won't come up with words like "you can't do that" or "it's impossible", because they haven't been "contaminated" by the limitations we submit ourselves to as we grow up - or grow old.

Thinking like a child is also one of the things I hope to be able to do for another few years, to be able to think out of the box - and be able to completely forget there can be such a thing as a box in the first place, allowing me to see possibilities where others might not...

And share it all with them. Because when you're a child, you need friends to play with ;)

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Comment by Mia Judkins on March 20, 2010 at 9:01pm
Hi Thomas, I really like this post.

I think it takes a lot of courage to try to think like a child, letting go of preconceptions, however valid, to discover possibility. I really hope I can start to do this more too.
Comment by Thomas Maillioux on March 20, 2010 at 9:02pm
Me too Mia...Me too n_n If you were going to try that, what field/situation would you do it in ?
Comment by John D. Boyden on April 24, 2010 at 4:48pm
Well written *applause* I agree because we children always need people to play with (except when we don't wanna play!) +1 courage. You will find all kinds of battles trying to force you out of this child-like mode. Good luck! It can be done!! Personally I have used that mode as a teacher-and hopefully will again- and in my writing.


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