But for others, life exists inside the framework of what came before. The ideas are there, but sometimes that person lacks the ability, courage or voice to bring them out into the world.
Staying the same is safe. Letting things continue as they always have. Not speaking up. Overlooking injustice and unfairness. Smiling at someone when they make a sexist comment rather than correcting them. Ignoring someone when they make a racist statement rather than pointing it out.
All of these are ways in which we deny our own original thought, and conform to the way things have always been. Not rocking the boat breeds more of the same.
Original thoughts, ideas and talents are things each of us possess that are solely our own. They belong to us, but they don't have to stop with us.
Making it a point to share them with others, to create the opportunity for discussion, to use those thoughts and ideas to make life better, this is the stuff of which life is made. In my opinion, at least.
This month, the local gallery in my small Kentucky town opened a new show that epitomized original thought. From the concept to the artists to the art itself, this show was a first for the gallery, and a first for the town.
For a small town Gallery that normally showcases beautifully crafted watercolors and oil paintings, it was a risk to put a show on the walls that spoke to those of us in the "under 50" generation.
As a part of GenX, we grew up with comic books, skateboards and street art long before artists like Banksy made it a real part of the fabric of our society. Without his original thinking, his courage, his attitude and his voice, street art would never have hung on gallery walls anywhere.
And now, in a small gallery in a small southern town, standing in contrast to the bucolic landscapes and beautifully crafted wood pieces, comic book art, skateboard art, screenprinting and street art gave a pop to the exhibit wall at Gallery on the Square.
For Gallery Director Barb Markell-Thomas, the show's opening day was the culmination of a year's worth of planning. One local citizen was the sponsor of the show, Janice Keith, an artist and outspoken freethinker in her own right.
Franklin native Loyd Gant, who is a published comic book author and artist, drew cartoons for people and showcased his comics.
Thomas Kennedy and Coty DiMichele of Pyramid Prints showed off their artistic prowess and demonstrated screenprinting by printing a shirt for each attendee at the show.
I am writing this today because I want to show that free thought, original thought, new and different thought, all of these things can exist anywhere. Even people from the smallest, most conservative towns can support it when they have the courage to give a voice to these freethinkers.
Thank you, ladies, for having courage to give these artists a voice in our community.