Editorial – An idea about ideas

Jeff Burgar

Is it true there is a shortage of STP?

In every community, everywhere, we hear the same story: “There just isn’t enough STP to go around.”

The shortage isn’t unique to High Prairie, Joussard, Grouard, Whitefish or East Prairie. The issue of STP goes beyond our borders. In fact, it goes beyond Northern Alberta, all of Alberta, and even Canada. STP is said to be a very, very scarce resource.

STP, for those who might have forgotten some of our columns from years past, or who just might not get out from under their Tweets more than once a week, stands for the “Same Ten People.” As in, when you need some volunteer work done in your town, call on the STP. Because, most days, at least one or two, often four or five or more, will show up.

And of course, it’s just a saying. But indeed, it takes a few meetings, and a few happenings, and a few get-togethers before “outsiders” start to notice – Hey! There are almost always the same faces showing up to pitch in.

These same faces don’t ask for leadership roles. They don’t ask for perks or payments. They don’t ask for special privileges. They are just there, ready to pitch in.

Now it’s said, there just aren’t enough of those same faces, the STP. Supposedly, there are lots of people with ideas looking for help with those ideas. In our perfect world, there would be many, many people with nothing to do, just looking for an idea they want to help with.

Really? Maybe the problem isn’t a shortage of STP. It’s more a problem the ideas just aren’t that good to start with.

And that, of course, depends on who is what and who is deciding. What seems like a fantastic idea to one or two people, doesn’t rock the boat with everybody else. Too expensive. Too much work. Too small. Too big. Not enough fun. And on, and on, and on.

It’s surprising how many people like to spout off about the ills of negativity. Two breaths later, they tell you how your idea won’t work. Well, they are mostly right. Evolution didn’t happen by the first person to try anything at all always being a roaring success. Google and Facebook weren’t first. But they caught on.

Living beside a volcano might have been warm and scenic. Didn’t catch on. Neither did eating everything in the forest.

That said, the observation that our region must have so many millionaires we can’t count them, must be true. Why? Because every person one runs into is just about the smartest person you ever want to meet! They keep telling you so!

In the end, for those with ideas that seem not to catch on, don’t be discouraged. That’s just the way it is. For every good idea, there are indeed going to be eight or nine not so good. It’s pretty well a rule of life.

Sometimes, even an idea not working just needs the way it is handled tweaked. When you can get the STP involved, and then even more, you know you are on to something.


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