I’m Not Well

I have a personal theory.
That being the case, you may choose to disagree with it. On the off chance, though, that it rings true with you, here it is.
We are not wells. We are cisterns.
Wells produce water. Cisterns hold water.
And so too it would seem to be with us humans and our thoughts.
Sure, every now and again we’re capable of producing what some would call an original thought. But by and large, we tend more to act as repositories. Cauldrons simmering a bespoke blend of beliefs, ideas, and experiences.
It starts when we are tiny. When we’re born our cistern is empty. For good or bad, the people around us tip their cistern into ours. (As a side note, it would seem the thing that makes it “good” or “bad” is not necessarily the information itself, but how we feel about the person who put it there.) And you can’t blame them; for we love when things are made in our image.
Then, as we get a little older in school, we start getting to choose some of what goes into our cistern. We express ourselves with electives and activities. And so on and so on into adulthood.
Ok. So, if we’re cisterns then what’s the point being made here?
When we face a problem or decision, the answer comes from drawing upon the water in our cistern.
Do you want to be a more creative problem solver? Then put into your cistern the stories and case studies of the most creative problem solvers history can offer.
Do you want to be a better writer? Then pour into your cistern the works of the world’s great writers.
Do you want to be a better designer? Then dump into your cistern the finest designs you can find.
You can do this with anything. Immerse yourself, fill your cistern, with the thing you want to do better. For so as you fill you will receive. Because I’m not well.
I’m cistern.
– Zac Smith, VC