“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford. Discuss.
I want it all, just like everybody else.
It is never enough; there is always more I can do and have but there is always more than everyone can do and have.
And irrespective of whether or not the quote about ‘faster horses’ was the ridiculous answer of people, when the invention of a car was possible, the bigger truth, that Henry Ford touched on, was what idiots we all really are.
All one has to do is look back on what one wanted one hour ago and compare it to how that desire has changed. It all depends on one’s mood and the weather and a collection of other factors.
Yes, various companies have pre-determined patterns of want and motivations in our behaviour, but they are not one hundred percent accurate. Rather, they are post-modern; they are somewhat definable for that particular moment in that particular place and time, with an element of the supernatural inexplicableness thrown in and then click, another second ticks by and that has changed.
Amazon has determined, the last time I looked, that the most popular toy this Christmas for children from ages 8 and upwards will be the ‘Think fun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game and Stem Toy for Boys and Girls’, as it is also the Toy of the Year Award winner. For adults, the most wanted present at the moment is the ‘Dash Mini Maker: The Mini Waffle maker Machine for Individual Waffles, Paninis, Hash browns and other on-the-go Breakfast, Lunch, or Snacks’ by Aqua. Yet, it will all be different next week and probably, even, as early as tomorrow.
Greta Thunberg wants to motivate even the most wall-flower-like of people to join the masses in fighting for our endangered climate. She has made it a priority to preserve our world for future generations and no doubt, she will be remembered and thanked now and posthumously for her brave stances. Celebrities, teachers and other non-criminal types take a secretive level of pride in being imprisoned and then released, repeatedly, for their protests. They drool with the taste of delicious rebellion in their mouths, as it gives them a chance to live on the edge, in aid of our future world. Police and other law-enforcers, who want society to be efficiently smooth and functioning, are unsure of how to handle these normally peaceful people, who revel in the differences that they are making. Students, who are normally consumed by the pressure of exams and achievement on their bildungsroman-like paths to adulthood, have been taking days off school to join in this global movement. Their goals have changed.
Politicians want to be the ones, who ensure that what is best for our country is done and that they are credited with the work that they do for their constituents. Brexit, once-seen as a way to stop all the immigrants taking work away from British people, has now has left people wondering, ‘who will do the jobs we don’t want to do when they are forced to leave?’ Our way of controlling our country’s finances, for it was quickly draining away faster than we could see it go when it was part of the European Union, now seems precariously on the edge of collapse. Yet, there is a glimmer of hope and pride for the few remaining, that Britain will regain her former glory of the naval empire and that being out of the ever-growing dimensions of Europe will help us at least to have control over our own laws and finances.
On an individual level, we have to keep our jobs and careers or get good grades. Yet, it is a competitive world, in terms of our exponentially-expanding population and nobody can really afford to sit around and relax. This angst has infiltrated every aspect of everyone’s lives, as we work towards what we want, for if we don’t keep up, we will lose what we have. A fool and his/ her money are easily parted. Well, it’s not just money that we will lose now, if we don’t keep trying; we are all, always at risk of losing our partners, our friends, our respect, our environment, our communities, our dignity, our stability and overall, everything to anything at all.
Very little is static. What works in the world one day as a desirable trait or goal changes the next; first, you have to be ruthless. Then, you need to be emotionally intelligent. Then, you have to accommodate everybody’s needs. Then, you have to ensure that you keep your good reputation. Then, you have to be inspirational. Then, you have to be caring. Then, you have to be frugal and then, you have to be generous. You have to be tough and yet, giving. None of these are in order. On top of trying to be the latest and best, you have to be yourself, your true self, not the one that you showed people for all of those years…no, there must be a real self underneath all of that. And don’t forget that whilst keeping this up, you have to be resilient against all the forces trying to take you down or compete against you or cause you aggravation for their twisted amusements because there are some people who are like that.
Ford, even all those years ago, saw it all or rather, he is said to have known what we know now. This includes all our dreams of money, world peace, equality, access to new games as soon as they are released, less pressure at school, the freedom to explore and pursue interests, self-driving cars, brighter ‘Alexas’, measures to stop negative climate changes, happiness, joy, balance, fulfilment, confidence, safety, belonging, mattering and for utopia. In general, we don’t know what we really want in our future and nor can we. It’s impossible!
We do know what we need though. Henry Ford needed his mother; he loved her more than his farm and she made his life worth living. We all have an exigency for people in our lives.
Many people attribute his success to being one of the richest people to ever exist in history, but I believe that his greatest success was knowing the importance of people in his life. It made him fight against the First World War, doing all that he could do to stop it. It made him build cars, that people could actually afford. It made him develop the typical work week for his employees, so that a person’s work life only lasted five days a week, eight hours a day and the rest of that employee’s time could be spent doing anything that that employee wanted. The people in his life mattered to him, so he did what he could to make their lives better.
It is for each other that our desires change and that we do anything at all in our lives, however whimsically malleable we are as individuals.