Written by: Louise Keramaris www.infiniteinspiration.com.au
17 January 2017
As each person makes plans, goals and ponders about the year ahead it is worthwhile remembering that what each of you does will surely make a difference. The extent of the difference is up to you and how far your vision will take you including the lives of those you touch!
I’ve taken time out to reflect on the ripple effect of significant inventions throughout history and thinking about what would have happened or not happened if the outstanding creators and contributions of these inventions did not seize and realise their vision of what was possible. Where would we be without these extraordinary feats of humanity?
I draw to your attention to specific inventions that have as a result created phenomenal ripple effects that continue to impact on all of our lives today:
The wheel: Just think about where we would be, or wouldn’t be for that matter if it wasn’t for the wheel! How far do you think we could have travelled if it wasn’t for the trusty wheel on each of our vehicles, trucks, buses, bicycles, trams, aeroplanes and trains? Our capacity to transport each other from place to place to access diverse food sources, goods and products would have been vastly limited if it were not for the invention of the wheel. If you take a few minutes now to think about everything that you know that has a wheel including our time measurement tools such as our watches and clocks, where would we be without this invention?
The nail: This ingenious metal structure that has helped us to build and construct everything and anything from a handle, door, chair and table through to each of our homes, multi-level buildings, and the list goes on and on. This small item has been the backbone of our society’s construction process. Without it’s invention the cascading effect and our capacity to build our infrastructure would have been vastly limited. It dates back more than 2,000 years and continues to serve us extremely well.
The compass: Imagine not having this instrument? Our capacity to navigate safely taking on a long voyage by sea would have been impossible. Although in ancient times mariners could navigate by reading the stars in the night sky (subject to there being no clouds!) but were vastly limited when the sun came up across the horizon.
What would have been the ripple effect of this not being invented? We would have had little or no capacity to trade by sea and perhaps on a positive note from the perspective of our Traditional Owners there would have been no invasion of this country.
The invention of the compass was heralded by the Chinese between the 9th and 11th century. It was made of lodestone, having a natural form of magnetised iron ore.
The printing press: Now here’s a massive invention in communication established around 1440. Our ability to convey to each other our thoughts, ideas, stories, facts, fiction, visuals through newspapers, books and other printed material literally transformed our capacity to transmit knowledge and essentially educate and transform human minds and lives! Picture the ripple effect in our world without this invention. Perhaps we would still be chiselling away between a rock and a hard place!
The telephone: With the invention of the electric phone in 1876 by Alexader Bell (although there was pioneering work done much earlier) I don’t think many people today would disagree that this device alone has revolutionised human communication, relations and business on a massive global scale. The ripple effect of this can be seen today with the subsequent invention of the mobile phone and perhaps whether we like it or not there are both the positives (improved communication and awareness) and negatives (addiction to, detrimental impact on mental health and wellbeing) that come with such devices on the impact of humanity.
The light bulb: Without this, our level of productivity would have been limited to the time allotted to each of us governed by our natural source of sunlight during the day! Take time out to really let this sink in! Bless the two dozen or so people that dabbled in inventing incandescent lamps in the 1800s and then Thomas Edison who was credited with producing a completely functional light system with a generator and a carbon-filament bulb in 1879. The ripple effect here is again outstanding – this initiated the introduction of electricity into people’s homes and shifted our sleep patterns and extended our capacity to be “productive”! Hmmmmm…
The Internet: The ripple effect here is one of the instantaneous connection between billions of people worldwide! I liken this to an effect of a “billion effect multiplied by a billion on a daily basis”! We are now all connected via one click of our computer. We switch it on and then you and I can talk, exchange ideas, virtually see each other, have a meeting, run a training session, host a forum - the possibilities are endless. Well let’s just say you would not be able to read this right now if it wasn’t for the internet!
There are numerous people that contributed to its invention but primary credit was given to the US Defence Department back in the 1960’s that developed a form of data transmission to link computers within an agency.
This is not an exhaustive list but serves to illustrate the impact that one invention had to transform our lives and how we undertake our lives.
I invite you to think about and jot down any ideas that come to mind as you never know you may be holding the next “key” to unlock the new wave of rippling transformation across our planet as we know it!
Here’s to your ripple effect!