I am such a fan of R. Buckminster Fuller that whenever I see someone else quote him, I stop whatever I’m doing and read it. This 5ft-2 inch intellectual powerhouse was an ‘American engineer, architect, and futurist who developed the geodesic dome—the only large dome that can be set directly on the ground as a complete structure and the only practical kind of building that has no limiting dimensions (i.e., beyond which the structural strength must be insufficient).’ (quote from Britannica.com )
My first awareness of Buckminster Fuller came as a child when I read a “Reader’s Digest” article on how he had turned his own life around from grief, economic failure, and suffering severe depression to become one of the most influential humans on the planet:
“…Fuller contemplated suicide by drowning in Lake Michigan, so that his family could benefit from a life insurance payment.
(But instead of jumping into the lake…) …Fuller said that he had experienced a profound incident which would provide direction and purpose for his life. He felt as though he was suspended several feet above the ground enclosed in a white sphere of light. A voice spoke directly to Fuller, and declared:
‘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.’
Fuller stated that this experience led to a profound re-examination of his life. He ultimately chose to embark on ‘an experiment, to find what a single individual could contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity’…. “ (Wikipedia)
Fuller was still living when I was in college for my bachelors degree, and one of my art professors at the time required us to read two of his books: I Seem to be a Verb and Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. (The rest I read on my own because by then I was hooked.) So this morning, the Tao & Zen folks actually brought a smile to my face with this re-posting in his words:
“~The Wisdom of Bucky Fuller~
‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
You cannot change how someone thinks, but you can give them a tool to use which will lead them to think differently.
We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.
If I ran a school, I’d give the average grade to the ones who gave me all the right answers, for being good parrots. I’d give the top grades to those who made a lot of mistakes and told me about them, and then told me what they learned from them.
A problem adequately stated is a problem well on its way to being solved. We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.
Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.
Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. IF we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.
You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.
It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom?
The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it’s really a different kind of life.’
Source of Quotes: https://www.azquotes.com/author/5231-R_Buckminster_Fuller ”
He was my kind of guy, and I really miss him.