To take what is known and improve upon it requires an inventive spirit. To take what is known and manipulate it into something completely different, perhaps frightening in its newness, requires a visionary.
The inventors, the artists, the innovators – these creative minds give birth to something never before seen, something seemingly impossible, which has the power to give our world new meaning. These individuals have a vision. They are able to see beyond the “this is how it has always been done” and create something never before witnessed or experienced.
Henry Ford may not have been responsible for the invention of the automobile. However, he was an innovator with a sense of determination and an entrepreneurial spirit which drove him to create a form of transportation that would be accessible to the masses. Ford met with his share of public backlash, at a time when transportation by horse and carriage was the standard. Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” To be sure, there were many who could not see beyond the horse and look towards a time when automobiles would be the mainstream mode of transportation. For those people, the only way to increase travel speed was, quite literally, to design a faster horse. But Ford’s vision for the future pushed him onward, and his goal of providing an efficient transportation option far surpassed his wildest dreams.
It is part of human nature, this need to accept the status quo, or to manipulate only what we know. Instinct, self preservation, self-protection – call it what you will. These feelings keep us safely going about our days in a similar way to our ancestors. At times the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” can ring true. Indeed, scientific inquiry teaches us to manipulate only one variable at a time, in order to come to a strong conclusion. However, there have been pivotal points in history when doing things in a safe, controlled manner have been thrown out the window. Desperation, the need for immediate change, occasionally calls for extreme measures. Moments like this require a brilliant mind who can take they way we look at things and turn them on their head. These visionaries have the courage to take all the variables, every last one, and manipulate them simultaneously. Surely, these individuals will endure a certain amount of public backlash, as Henry Ford did, from those who think that all humanity needs is a faster horse. However, some of our world’s greatest moments have been born from this new and often frightening place of discovery.
Our current reality is filled with complex and concerning dilemmas, and our world requires visionaries who are willing to put their reputations on the line in search of long-term solutions. A case in point is space travel – exploring other worlds with the possibility of colonizing another planet in the near future. Earth waits with mounting impatience for an unlikely hero, a scientist who may be toiling in their basement laboratory at this very moment. Somewhere there exists a brilliant mind who is considering the possibility – an innovative new form of space travel – and they teeter on the brink of discovery. We wait with bated breath for their invention which we, as of yet, do not even know we need. This person will be looking beyond the horses, beyond the automobiles, beyond the rocket ships, to an entirely new form of space travel. And, on the day their invention is revealed, the human race will have a
whole universe opened up to them, quite literally. A universe which we never in our wildest dreams could have imagined.
This is what humanity requires, more than at any other point in our history, as we face an ever-expanding world population, pollution, impending food shortages and climate change. We require a team of heroes who will look beyond the horses. Those who have opened their minds to the possibility that our future can be manipulated – that the stars are no limit. Only then will the human race be secure in a future where we can not only drive like the wind, but one in which we can move beyond the speed of light to survive and thrive.