This is an idea that I have heard referenced directly and by implication multiple times in the past months, and I'm sure if you stop to consider it, you will will realize the same is true for you. Have you not heard the lament that, 'Nothing is new in the world', as if 'newness' is a core requirement for anything to be considered worthy of our short attention spans? Or what about the idea that if someone else 'discovered' or 'thought of' something before someone else, the second person's individual path to understanding has no merit because they weren't 'first'? Consider the following quote from Clive Cussler's Treasure.
'If Junius Venator's voyage to the Americas was absolutely proved ... history books needed to be revised and new chapters written.Granted, Cussler explores historical possibilities and modern implications of such fascinating possibilities in his adventures rather than known fact, but I think my stance on the matter shines through clearly. Why, why, why does a thing have to be the first one ever to have full merit? Two people come up with the same eureka moment completely separately from each other but one does it a few years before the other, so the second person's journey doesn't measure up?
'Poor Leif Eriksson and Christopher Columbus would be relegated to also-ran footnotes!'(p. 455 italics added for emphasis)
Or consider in the more mundane world as opposed to the cutting-edge of the arts and sciences. (Odd that they can be paired at all, no?) One community faces a difficulty and after much struggle, they come upon a solution that finally gets things back in order. Another community comes to be in the same situation. If so much value and worth is declared in doing something no one else has done before, do they ignore the solution right in front of them because it is devalued as unoriginal? Is the modern world so stubborn that we insist on seeking something different just because we can't respect or even see any value in something classic?
I know that there are places and venues where the drive for the new is something we all understandably appreciate. Most of us would abhor being bound to the original generations of the computers and cell-phones. I'm not saying that thinking should be confined to the list of what has been done before. They did that in the dark ages, and society rather decayed. I am saying that it might be good to consider the 'also-rans' in another light.
According to dictionary.com, 'original' has five top-listed definitions.