A piece of technology? An invention? A new art form?
In the world of tap dance, maybe the first time someone put metal on the bottom of their shoes and called them taps it was new. After that it’s just a variation on a theme.
Maybe, the first time some one hit the floor with their feet and called it making music it was new. After that it’s just a variation on a particular form of expression.
Forms are important. They give us context. Innovation is important, too. It provides vibrancy, relevance, and intrigue. But innovation isn’t the only thing that does that. Variation does as well. Look at all the voices in the visual arts world, in the world of music, or in the world of dance. Many voices, much variation, singular forms.
We live in a world that idolizes innovators, to the degree that the value of variation is diminished. Sad. For many innovators stand on the top of a mountain built by accumulated contributions – a multitude of variations. We would do well to celebrate all of it.