When an artist sits down and creates something, they view that thing as original. However, are we ever truly original? Even more accurately, do we ever really “create” anything, or just reorder materials? If it’s an almost an exact reordering, then its either a dispicable plagery or a marvelous copy. What is “new” depends on the situation, on our past experiences, and the knowledge that nothing is 100% original. We just do the best we can.
To do the honorable thing would be to understand each process, to see each mechanism and appreciate its origin. But frankly, little Eli isn’t going to be thinking of the history of wax when he scribbles on a piece of paper. For most people and most situations, we don’t think about the origin. Are french fries really french? Why do we say “from out of the blue”? What makes blue frosting blue without tasting like blueberries? No one cares because it’s not as pressing a matter.
However, as we grow older and become more educated, we should. If you take the metro everyday, shouldn’t you understand it’s past and creators? Everywhere we look we can see where people have put in effort. We just don’t focus on it because it doesn’t particularly matter to us. Still, maybe even just once a day, look around. Be grateful.