Aha! A light bulb moment.

Text: Solveig Hansen, 2021

In comic strips, a light bulb flashes up above a character’s head when they get a brilliant idea. Theorists define an aha moment as “an instant at which the solution to a problem becomes clear.” Others of us simply say, “It just popped into my head.”

Aha moments come in all sizes. There are mind-changing moments, for instance when authoritarian leaders reveal their true nature and are stripped naked in front of the TV cameras of the world as people stop cheering them and start wondering, “Whatever did we see in them?”

There are other defining moments that bring people together during natural disasters, or during rescue missions to bring astronauts safely back to Earth or trapped miners back to the surface. These are moments that touch us and show us what we can be.

Most of all, there are people like Mandela and Tutu and King who have educated us with their words and made us better citizens.

Although not close to these proportions, I do have my moments. Take my writing, for example. When an article or a story suddenly falls into place as the last unexpected line leaps out of my fingertips and I know that the story is complete, there is a near-aha-experience. Maybe not of a light bulb magnitude, but I’m delighted every time it happens, and I can’t stop smiling.

What was your most recent aha moment? What sparked it?

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