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MAX(imum) Inspiration

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Note from the editor: Alex, our summer intern, is back again with another post for you--but this one is about finding inspiration around you in even the most mundane situations. Take a read for yourself. If you haven't read Alex's posts yet, check out his introduction to his desk (a doorway to a world of opportunities), and his second post on not staying still.

I think I’ve known the proverb, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” since I was no more than 5 or 6 years old. It’s a beautiful statement, really, unless you consider yourself somewhat of a minimalist writer, and unfortunately, I only get around 500 words for one of these blogs. So is this blog worth only half a picture…? I hope not.

How many pictures is an idea worth? That is the question.

A picture is worth a 1000 words. Well, this one has 300 but you get the point. A picture is worth a 1000 words. Well, this one has 300 but you get the point.

I ride the MAX to work almost every day. For those of you not familiar with the Portland area, the MAX is a light rail that travels around Portland and the surrounding suburbs with 4 different lines. From my abode in downtown Portland, I switch lines once before I end up at a stop near Intel where a company shuttle is waiting to take employees from the stop to their campus.

My attempt at sharing some of the street performers I see on the MAX. My attempt at sharing some of the street performers I see on the MAX.

Each and every day, without fail, I have a new experience on the MAX. There are some experiences which include seeing teenagers getting off the train and falling off of their longboards (I can always imagine their mother yelling, “Wear your helmet!”) or a street performer craftily practicing the art of balloon animals. Whatever I do see, it can be a pretty lively way to start my mornings.

So why am I telling you this? Chances are you’ve made a commute before; to school, to work, to just get around, we’ve all done it. However, if you haven’t realized this from my previous blogs, I don’t like to just do anything. I need to make my moments extraordinary, else, why would they be worth it?

So I play a game. How many (somewhat sane) ideas will my fellow passengers inspire in me during my 45 minute commute? This morning’s count: 9. I don’t usually count them specifically, but rather just enjoy the task of generating these random fantasies throughout my travels. So here is a quick summary of my ideas for this morning and descriptions of the idea stimulating event:

  1. Automated seating queue so that passengers getting off sooner are closer to the door (man trips on bike trying to get past other passenger)

  2. Personal solar garbage compactors (woman places garbage in her purse to throw out later

  3. Solar panel glasses with LED lamp (combination of #2 and man squinting at book in tunnel

    Luck_ Psht...I don Luck? Psht...I don't need luck. I've got these shoes!

  4. A four leaf clover shoelace knot for a day of good luck (woman in sneakers and bright green pants)

  5. An app that records what someone is saying while you text so if you’re not paying attention they don’t have to repeat themselves (teenage girlfriend texts while her boyfriend is talking)

  6. An app that turns off other people’s texting while you’re talking so that you don’t have to repeat yourself (see number 5)

    Or ears for that matter... Or ears for that matter...

  7. Harry Potter series written from Voldemort’s perspective (man with very flat nose)

  8. Revamped water system using salt water in toilets to reduce fresh water waste (half-filled Aquafina bottle left on the ground)

  9. Computer program that generates ideas for me (my reflection in the window as I had my thinking face on, deciding what to write this blog about)

I’m a firm believer that an idea has no worth in pictures. Each one is priceless. Every idea you have can generate millions, billions of pictures, smiles, words, and great days. Why limit yourself to just one thousand pictures or one thousand words? Let your brain loose and see what you come up with. Take ideas to the MAX. What are some ideas you've thought up of?

Until next time,

Your summer intern,