Those who are willing to take risks and try something new are often labeled as heretics or radical or crazy in the head. There is a great difference between pioneers and settlers. Pioneers launch forth and take risks when all reason and conventional thinking counsels to stay at home and be safe. Settlers call out to the pioneers, "Is it safe out there?" Conservatives and traditionalists are often described as those who don't want things to happen the first time.
"Tell me Dr. Naismith about this new game you have invented. What do you call it and what is the object of the game?" "The game is played inside the local YMCA and I call it basketball. I was looking for some physical diversion for the long winters here in Massachusetts and it came to me. Nail a peach basket on the railing of the second floor running track and use a soccer ball to score. The object is to toss the ball into the basket to score points. The team or individual with the most points win." "And then someone has to climb a ladder to retrieve the ball so play can continue?" "Yes." "I don't want to sound like a nattering nabob of negativity but that doesn't sound very exciting. Who would ever want to play basketball?" "Maybe some will. I have already received and exploratory phone call from an organization called the NCAA."
"I am standing outside a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, owned and operated by brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright. It has been reported that they have the crazy idea of humans flying through the air in a powered, controlled contraption they call an airplane. Mr. Wright, there are people who are labeling your efforts to fly as being bird brained. What does flying have to do with bicycles?" "Very little. We support ourselves with income from the bicycle shop so we can pursue our passion of flying."
"Is it true that you are the first humans to try to fly through the air without falling from some height?" "Not exactly. Many people have experimented with gliders and other devices. We want to be the first to make a powered flight with controls to determine our destination. We are racing other notables such as Americans Samuel Langely and Octave Chanute and Otto Lilenthal of Germany. People think we are crazy even our own father thinks that God will not permit such sacrilege as only birds are supposed to fly."
The brothers read voraciously everything they could on flying. They continued to fly in the face of contemporary thinking and experimented with flying. Relentlessly they pursued the bird-brained idea that humans could make powered controlled flight a reality. That brought them to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Dec. 17, 1903 where their dreams came true.
Do you think something should be changed in your life? Pursue it assiduously. If you are fortunate enough to have a dream in your heart, be willing to make mistakes in pursuit of it. Be a risk-taker. You might change the world or yours.
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School. He lives in Plainfield and can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168.