This amazing picture does not happen by chance. It took Hungarian photographer Bence Mate 74 days to create it, which earned him first place in an international competition of wildlife photographers now on exhibition at London’s National History Museum.
Bence, nicknamed ‘the invisible wildlife photographer,’ first constructed a hide in a nature rich water way of Hungary. It was equipped with triggers which were attached to cameras timed to capture a series of bird and celestial movements, specifically the most advantageous positioning of the constellation Ursa Major.
But 74 days.
Who does that?
Someone who is determined, I guess.
The commitment it took for Bence to produce his masterpiece has reminded me of those other “determined” sorts throughout history without whom we would have a much less interesting and certainly less convenient life, namely, inventors.
Which, as coincidence would have it, is the subject of a literary club assignment I am undertaking this year. All members of the 19th Century Club are assigned academic investigations on an annual basis. This year’s topic is “Inventions.” In addition to writing a 20 minute paper which is presented to the group each month we must also select a single quote for a club booklet which best describes our feeling about the subject.
Never one to believe that less is more I have contributed 3 which I think sums up the difference between achievers and those who are not. There are all inspiring in their own way.
Author Ayn Rand describes in The Fountainhead how brave, relentless and confident creators of original ideas must be: “The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”
American writer and philosopher, Elbert Hubbard is spot on when he addresses the naysayers in the crowd who would hold back those who believe what they could not imagine. “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”
One of my favorite quotes about the power of perseverance and belief in one’s self comes from the great inventor, Thomas Edison, who once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Mystery writer Agatha Christie’s opinion about the motivation for invention might not be as elegant as others but it does make sense. “I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention . . . arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.”
She might be right, in part. For instance, the advent of refrigeration ensured our harvested food would last longer rather than rot; The wheel allowed us to travel further in less time; And antibiotics saved lives that otherwise would have been lost to a mere cut and the infection that followed. According to an Australian Broadcasting Report, before antibiotics, “Streptococcus pyogenes caused half of all post-birth deaths and was a major cause of death from burns. Staphylococcus aureus was fatal in 80 percent of infected wounds and the tuberculosis and pneumonia bacteria were famous killers.”
All these inventions were “need based.” Their creators saw a problem, thought about how to improve their lives and then made it happen
Much like 13 year old Chester Greenwood who came up with a novel idea one cold December day in 1873. “To protect his ears while ice skating, he found a piece of wire, and with his grandmother’s help, padded the ends,” writes inventors expert Mary Bellis. “In the beginning, his friends laughed at him. However, when they realized that he was able to stay outside skating long after they had gone inside freezing, they stopped laughing. Instead, they began to ask Chester to make ear covers for them, too. At age 17 Chester applied for a patent. For the next 60 years, Chester’s factory made earmuffs, and and earmuffs made Chester rich.”
Published reports indicate that there is a whopping number of Chesters out there. 520,277 to be specific, all of whom filed patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2010 alone.
It’s a fact that most people are average. Thus the term. All it takes to be superlative is a bit more effort. So Good Luck to these aspiring achievers. All 520, 277 of them.