Early in his adult life, the great 20th century thinker and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller felt like none of his efforts were coming to any useful fruition. Broke and despondent, he took a late-night walk along a bridge, and even considered ending his life. As he stood at the edge of the bridge, a glowing sphere of white light appeared from nowhere, surrounded him, and lifted him several feet off the ground. A voice spoke these words:
“From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to the Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.”
The sphere of light then gently placed him back onto his feet on the bridge, and disappeared. From that moment forward, Fuller’s entire outlook changed. He dedicated the rest of his life to the enthusiastic creation and invention of things that made people’s lives better, more efficient, and more productive — no longer worrying about the “success” or “failure” of his inventions — and he went on to become one of the most admired, prolific, and successful inventors of the 20th century.
On the bridge that night, the mystical Voice spoke directly to Fuller. But there is a lesson here for all of us. Even though we may never know the impact we will have on the world around us, if we dedicate our thoughts and efforts to benefiting others and to making the world a more beautiful, meaningful place, we will be fulfilling our highest destiny. As for everything else, it is out of our hands. We must simply leave the rest to fate.
This week marks five years that I have been producing this blog, sharing my photographic artworks, writings, and philosophical ponderings with you, once a week, every week, for the duration. Thank you for taking this journey with me, so far. May we have many more wonders to come.