“He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that follows vain persons is void of understanding” (Proverbs 12:11)
Another way of translating “vain persons” would be empty heads, or we could use the word idiots. Let me explain. Multi-billionaire Warren Buffet once stated, I suppose in reference to Wall Street, “First come the innovators then come the imitators then come the idiots”. Creativity and originality lead. Visionaries plow the ship’s bow through the polar ice. The copy cats ride in the innovators’ wake hoping to get their piece of the pie, and it does pay off to a degree, though it’s a free ride. Then follows the third group which always seems to show up a day late and a dollar short. The words folly and follow are similar for a reason. The person who doesn’t chart his own course and just blindly follow trends positions himself as caboose instead of steam engine which leaves only leftovers.
Computer giants like Apple and Microsoft are innovators. They’ve set the course for the tech revolution. But then follows the service businesses and the discount look-alikes that wouldn’t stand a chance were it not for the innovators. The success of the innovator opens the door for the success of the imitator. And the imitator can fool some people into believing he wrote the book when in fact he just copied it. The idiot, on the other hand, sets up shop in the shadow of the imitator then wonders why no one comes in to buy. He is too late. He’s behind the curve. By the time he gets his business cards printed the innovator has paved a whole new highway for the market.
Innovators make tracks, imitators follow ruts, idiots get stuck in them. It works that way in all sectors of life. To live on the cutting-edge, you must live on the edge. As long as America is the innovator she will lead in industry, technology and wealth, but when a nation or an individual takes their position for granted that entity grows flabby and soon runs second or third, or worse, to his competition. Then to stay alive he becomes an imitator. Next step is scary because the following generation will likely play the idiot. So, in your church, marriage, business or whatever, if you want to elevate, you’ll have to innovate.
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