Ideas Matter

Ideas, concepts and thoughts are all important. Perhaps never more important than in an era where everyone is screaming ‘fake news’ when a thought challenges their set views. Victor Hugo once said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Brilliant and true. What prompts me to mention this is my recent trip to a festival in lovely Sonoma Valley, California.

PathNorth members David and Ginny Freeman are the founders and organizers of the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival where amazing thinkers, readers and ideas all collide into a rich celebration of the mind and the importance of reading. What courage to take on such a daunting organizational task. From Doris Kearns Goodwin to Captain Scott Kelly to Presidential biographer and big thinker, Douglas Brinkley, the days were rich and stimulating.

Yours truly had several cameo appearances and worked hard not to embarrass himself in such a rarefied environment. I must say that I was unsettled to notice on the program that New York Times writer David Brooks and I were slated to wrap up the three day event with a

‘conversation’ on life and meaning. What could I add to the ideas of such a wise erudite thinker and writer? My mind immediately raced to the 1990s NBA finals when the Chicago Bulls put the finishing touch on the series with basketball legend Michael Jordan scoring 68 points. Unnoticed in the celebration was the deed of benchwarmer, Stacey King, who had a short appearance, was fouled, scored a free throw and came out of the game. After the game, King was interviewed and asked how it felt to play in such a game. He confidently opined, ‘as I see it, between Michael Jordan and I, we scored 69 points.’ Sharing the stage with Brooks (Jordan) was daunting but my goal like Stacey King, was to make one free throw, which in my case, was not to throw up or say something totally stupid. I survived!

Below, you will find more about the authors festival. A number of our members were present this year, so much like when we bring PathNorth members to Art Basel in Miami and the Summit of Minds in Chamonix, France, Pathnorth is considering bringing a group to this incredible event next May. Let us know if you might be interested. It should be amazing and fun...ideas, wine, rich conversations in Northern California...

Remember that ideas matter. One idea can change everything. What’s yours?