Over the years, in approaching community problems, I have often reflected on the need to protect fragile beginnings. Ideas and innovations need special care and patient nurturing in their beginning stages. The initial spark of a great idea can be extinguished quickly if it flickers into view too quickly. It can be snuffed by premature opposition or criticism when it is still in its infancy and never reach a point of constructive consideration. It takes time, trust, and a tolerance for ambiguity to work through the development and adoption of an idea. I have found the dictum of protecting fragile beginnings to be a good guide for my own consideration of emerging ideas presented to me and to initiatives I have urged into being. The best work we have done has evolved from imperfect notions coaxed into reality and massaged to workability.
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