Do it Afraid
Today I am in a somewhat somber mood as I reflect on the recent repercussions of Super Storm Sandy that hit various states of America, New York being the worst hit. My heart goes out to all the victims of the ferocious storm and hope that with time, they will rebuild their lives and move on. For those who lost loved ones, I wish them peace and strength during this trying period.
I have been watching and following the different updates about Sandy, and I must admit the technologies that have been employed in data collection, communication and rescue missions are on point. The fact that the meteorological department was able to detect the storm a couple of days before it really happened is something to be thankful for; thanks to technology. No doubt the death toll would have been more than it is now if there had not been available technology to detect the storm. I shudder at the thought of what would have happened.
There’s one clip I remember watching, where a family was holed up in a certain house. Fortunately one of them had a phone and after calling 911, they were connected to one of the rescuers and eventually they were rescued. Can you imagine if there had been no phone communications, or satellites enabling the rest of the world to see what has been going on? And what if there had been no surveillance drones to help with sending real-time images of Super Storm Sandy unleashing her wrath? It would have been very hard to know which areas to avoid and which ones needed more resources. In short, information was made possible because technology was readily available.
As we all know, all these technologies were invented by different people at different times, to cater for a particular need at that time. For instance, the concept of the phone was invented by one Alexander Graham Bell long before you and I were born. Today terrestrial phones are still in use, but not as much as mobile phones are, a much newer technology that was invented by Dr. Martin Cooper. Then there were the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, who invented the first plane. It may not have been as sophisticated as the new 787 Dreamliner but that first plane made the idea of air transportation possible.
We cannot talk about technology and not talk about computers and everything complimenting computers. If my memory serves me right, I remember my IT teacher telling us that the first computer was so huge it filled up a whole room. Now whether that was true or not is not the point, though I am inclined to believe it is because if you look at the trend, they are becoming smaller and slimmer as days go by. The computer manufacturing giants are competing and outclassing each other with every version of each device they produce, not to mention the applications that keep getting better every hour. That innovation has made if possible for us today to communicate with the rest of the world without necessarily being there physically.
What about now? Some clever minds have changed the way we share information after a new animal called “Social Media” was introduced. For instance, something happens somewhere and in minutes the whole world knows…maybe except for China. Someone experiences bad/good customer service from a particular company and in minutes, everyone in his network knows whether or not that company is worth going to for that service.
The big question is, what if all these guys who came up with all these inventions had not taken that step to be innovative? How would we be communicating today? Maybe we would still be using pigeons to send letters instead of emails, and two tins connected with a string instead of phones. Now that I know it only takes about nine hours to get to Amsterdam, I can’t imagine how many months it would take on those ships that were in use before. By the way, what was in use before those steam ships?
I believe that each one of these innovators was placed here on planet earth to do exactly what each did; use the creativity God gave them in order to provide a solution to a particular need. If they had not done that, today the world would not be the global village it has become. Life would probably be less stressful, but the swiftness with which we achieve things nowadays would be unheard of. Today we have the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Samsung, to mention just a few, employing thousands of employees because someone adhered to their calling and did what they were supposed to do here on planet earth. Today, all those thousands of employees would be without a job if the likes of Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs had not let their innovative juices flow.
As we begin a new week I’d like to pose a challenging question to you and I. Have you done what you came to planet earth to do, or are you still sitting on your ideas? If you have not, has it occurred to you that you could be holding the key to solving someone’s problem? For instance, you might be the person we are waiting for to develop a permanent solution to those very annoying mosquitoes. Has someone found a way of eliminating the yet? I think Noah should have taken care of them while they were just two, instead of allowing them into the Ark.
Just as a by the way, if today I was to ask you which part of the world you think is the richest, what would your response be? I would not be surprised if like Forbes you mentioned Qatar, but in my view, the richest part of the world is in the graveyard. A lot of people die with ideas in their heads they never explored and solutions they never implemented simply because of fear. They give up along the way, maybe because they failed the first time they tried or maybe because they got major obstacles along the way. Like Einstein said, “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”.
The whole of last week we were able to follow and receive up to the second updates on Super Storm Sandy simply because different people from different parts of the world faced the fear of the unknown and made that bold step to innovate solutions that have helped eliminate distance in the world. You can do the same today and change someone’s life for good.
Nothing good comes easy or cheap. You have to invest in time and resources in order to get it right. There will be obstacles along the way to hamper you from achieving your goals, but if you focus on the reason why you are doing what you are doing, eventually your innovation will be seen by the world and it will definitely assist in overcoming whatever challenge it was meant to overcome.
Stop sleeping on those ideas. Wake up and get innovative and change the world. Remember, “Obstacles are what you will see if you shift your focus from your goals.”
Like Joyce Meyer says, “even if you have fear, don’t stop. Do it afraid”.
PS: You just read my maiden newspaper article that appeared on 11th November 2012, in one of the Weekly Newspapers in Tanzania, "Guardian on Sunday', under my new column known as Thoughts in Words. For my readers out of Tanzania, the articles will be appearing here two days after their initial appearance in the Guardian.
God is faithful.