“What can I, as an individual, do to make a difference to positively impact the huge issues we are facing?”
This is a question we hear in many conversations and meetings as we all face the realities of the pandemic, social inequities, systemic racism, and global warming – to name a few. The list is long, and we can feel helpless.
One of David’s all-time “Creator Heroes” is Buckminster Fuller
(often called “Bucky.”) For over a decade, David has included a quote from Bucky at the bottom of his emails: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
One of Bucky’s numerous inventions provides a metaphor for what you – and each of us – can do to make a difference. He challenges us to become a “Trimtab.”
There’s a wonderful article about the invention (found here
) and the metaphor concept:
“Bucky told a story of when the Navy commissioned him to solve a critical engineering problem at the height of World War II. As the war raged on the high seas, ever-larger battle ships were needed to seize the advantage. As these ‘great ships of state,’ as Bucky called them, grew in size their steering mechanisms required more power to turn their rudders than their engines could produce. His revolutionary invention not only solved this crucial military problem, it created a new paradigm for human greatness.
Bucky’s invention was called a “Trimtab,” a small six-inch wide strip of metal attached by hinges to the trailing edge of a ship’s rudder. As an engine’s hydraulics force the Trimtab into the path of oncoming water, the pressure generated against it assists the rudder in making its turn. Bucky posed that like this tiny sliver of metal can alter the course of a great ship of state, you and I as little individuals can change the course of humanity (emphasis added).”
If you ever feel small or inadequate in the face of what appears to be insurmountable, become a Trimtab. As a Creator, there are Baby Steps you can take to make a difference in your world and, by extension, the world at large. The key is to start with your world—your day-to-day thoughts, actions, and relationships that are in your control.
Here are some of our thoughts about being a Trimtab:
- Cultivate a daily contemplative practice. It might be a period of prayer and/or meditation, journaling your thoughts and experience, reading an inspiring “thought for the day,” or any other activity that supports your conscious awareness as you begin the day.
- Set your intention. As you look ahead to your day, where and how might you engage with others in your family, friends, colleagues, and strangers to be a source of kindness, compassion, and support? Think about the appointments and opportunities the day may bring.
- Reach out to others. In addition to your anticipated daily interactions, reach out to someone. It may be a friend who could use support (as a Coach, not a Rescuer); or someone from your past that you have allowed to slip away; or, perhaps, even writing to a state or national Congress-person to state an issue for which you want to offer your support.
The actions you take do not have to overtly “save the world.” Rather, your conscious and empowered acts are decisions that contribute to “turning the ship” in often unseen ways.
See yourself as a Trimtab, working to ease the pain of the world’s challengers
, one step at a time, co-creating the possibility of a world that works for all.
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