For almost two years, University of California Berkley graduate Turner Barr has dedicated his life’s work to building a website and web series brand, called AroundTheWorldIn80Jobs.com. Essentially, the site has been a documentation of Barr’s adventures, as he explores a vast array of different jobs in different areas of the world. To his dismay, Barr’s dedication to building the site has come crashing down before his eyes, as global human resources firm, Adecco, recently claimed and trademarked his brand.
The company issued a contest in April, which they named ‘Around The World In 80 Jobs,’ giving ten contestants the opportunity to travel the world trying out different jobs. Barr claims that Adecco’s contest strikingly resembles the unique online persona that he established, yet the company made no attempt to contact him about using the name or personality that he originated.
When searching for Barr’s brand name, he is no longer at the top of the results page. After posting about his utter confusion and disappointment with the loss of his dream job that was so carelessly swept from under his feet, Adecco faced the heavy burden of a social media backlash, which resulted in the need for an apology by the company to the public.
So, what’s the moral of the story here? Not only has a budding entrepreneur been downtrodden by the overwhelmingly selfish schemes of a multinational company, but that company has had to kick its public relations communications crisis team into overdrive after a poor decision. The lesson learned by Adecco, and translated to the public, is that originality trumps all. There is nothing more rewarding than praise for a bona fide vision that has come to fruition. Unfortunately, Turner Barr found his recognition in the form of high regard tainted by sympathy.
Originality. What does it mean to you? Consider a time that you have felt genuinely accomplished after producing an original idea. What a fulfilling feeling that was to have achieved something with your own creative ability. Compare that feeling to the consequential feelings that followed those times you can remember cheating on a test, or that time you discovered the idea of another and twisted it into your own. The feeling is not nearly as gratifying, if at all, as it’s difficult to take credit for a concept that you did not conceive on your own.
Originality results from the power of imagination. We all have an overwhelming capacity for imagination. It’s up to the individual to take advantage of that imagination and turn it into something great. The imagination is limitless. It allows us to unleash our creativity and vividly envision our wildest dreams. The imagination aids our wishful thinking, but also leads us to accomplish our greatest achievements. How do you determine what is forever fictitious from what has the potential to be the real thing? The beauty of the imagination is that we have the power to determine just that.
Inspiration comes from outside factors, but the greatest factor in the process of creating an original idea comes from within the self. As individuals, we are unique in one or more ways that makes us unlike any other. Thus, we are all one of a kind. The notion that every person in the world contributes something different is what makes the world such a beautiful place.
In mind, body and soul, each of us brings a distinct character to the world, which paints the blank canvas that is society. Now, more than ever, we need the creativity of Generation-Y to continue painting that canvas, building onto what is becoming more and more advanced with each passing day.
Society is advancing. Technology is advancing. Intelligence is advancing. In a world of constant growth, you are your own worst enemy. Creativity reigns over comparison to other individuals that have already established fresh, innovative ideas to contribute to the world. There is nothing more empowering to an individual than unique qualities in a crowded society, where so many seek to fit the mold rather than set themselves apart.
It takes bravery and courage to set yourself apart from the crowd; to be a leader rather than a follower. The greatness in courage, however, is the reward that ensues. Be bold, be inspired, be open. Speak your mind. Share your opinions and build upon your own ideas. Whatever you do, be original. Originality is the key to being a successful and happy human being, with the dignity to show for it.
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