New Ideas Are Unfamiliar

By Patrick McNerthney

Back in ancient times, I bought compact discs (CDs) to listen to music. Often, it was music I heard on the “radio,” a tele-electric contraption that operated off – get ready for this – radio waves – often in my car, or on my CD/radio player (which was made for this specific purpose) at home.  

I realize this sounds cumbersome, even archaic, what with your phones and iTunes and Spotifys and instant-everything. What can I say? You’re right; but trust me. There’s a certain peace that comes with a slow pace…just saying. 

It worked like this: The people at the radio station would broadcast “hit singles” released by various artists. If I liked a song, I’d buy the CD, pretty much just for that particular song.

(This, my friends, is a pretty cool CD/Radio and even TAPE player from the aforementioned ancient times, often referred to as a “boom box.”)

At first, I’d skip over every other song just to get to the “hit.” Eventually, I’d start to like the other songs on the CD. Later, if I was really lucky, my new “favorite” would become some unplayed song buried in the CD at around track 10.

All of this being said, when I’d go to see this artist live, I’d want to hear their hit (just like the other several hundred or sometimes several thousand fans). Maybe if the band played “track 10” I’d be in heaven, but the rest of the audience would be rather displeased. The worst that could happen is when the band decided to try out “some new material.” Then we would all collectively groaaaaaaaaaan. God forbid the band plays mostly new material – in that case, we’d all say the show bombed. 

(Stop screwing around, we just want to hear the hit!)

But every good or bad idea starts as a new idea. The band doesn’t know whether  their new stuff will work unless they try it out on people. Live people. And for the audience, who knows? Maybe we’ll grow to like the new song. After all, the initial reason we don’t like it is that it’s not familiar.  

This directly applies to everything, including the work you do. Introducing something new takes courage, because it won’t be familiar to your audience, so you risk their judgement, and possibly listening to their complaints! 

But it doesn’t mean it will be bad. How could you know? Again, you can’t know, because bad ideas and good ideas all come from the same starting point: being new. 

Fine Art Miracles started as a new idea, a different approach to helping the elderly, children with challenges, people of varying abilities, and anyone suffering from their lack of independence. Our idea centers around using creative expression to connect under-served populations with their self-worth, self-esteem, and ability to create change, and thus impact a world that seems to have passed them by. Suddenly, they’re relevant again, and powerful!  

It turns out it works: Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance and Movement Therapy, and our brand new Drama Therapy reduce anxiety, depression, and the other adverse effects of social isolation. Our programs literally change the way your residents and loved ones think.

Your next move is threefold: 

  1. Develop the courage to try something new through our creative expression-based programs; dancing with the fear they might not work. 
  2. Understand introducing something new may result in resistance from those you’re trying to help, because it’s unfamiliar.
  3. Accept it may become a hit (that’s our bet), or it may bomb, but you’ll never know unless you give it a shot!

What do you think? If you have any questions, drop us a note or give us a call!

Sadly, my CD collection is gone, which is really a shame. The problem with streaming music is that it’s hard to find (or discover) those “number 10 tracks” I liked so much. Plus there’s no album art! I bet you guys don’t even know what album art is! It was so cool to open a CD (or buy an actual record) and find all the great artwork, notes from the band, bonus material…okay, okay, I’ll stop.



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