I admire people who can invent tools to improve our everyday life, concepts to augment our understanding of our surroundings, music to make us feel better, and many other things and ideas. In my admiration for them, there is a lot of envy mixed in, as I am not that imaginative or innovative and I will probably never be able to invent anything in my lifetime.
But there is also a little bit of something else. I cannot find the just word for it, but the closest would be sympathy… sympathy for having to deal with the consequences of their inventions, good or bad. The greater impact their inventions have on mankind, the more they have to handle the respect or reproach, commendation or condemnation, fame or infamy.
Maybe when they were in the process of inventing, they did not intend to have impact on others… maybe they were doing it purely to satisfy their curiosity.
Maybe they took it as a challenge on capability, either of themselves or of mankind… maybe they only wanted to prove they could really do it, and did not care whether or not the outcome would have impact on others.
Or, maybe they did intend to have impact on others, but only positive ones… maybe they did not consider, by choice or ignorance, the negative ones.
I will never know what goes through their imaginative and innovative minds unlike mine. But I do not believe they have any less social or moral responsibility for their actions than I do. I think about what would make or break me and those around me for most of my actions (in the few occasions when I forget to, I almost always get regretful results!)… and I wish the inventors would do the same. We all know they can make, but they should know they can also break.
On the evening news today in my homeland, scenes from the Nobel Prize Ceremony and Banquet held this weekend were played, followed by news of bomb attacks killing and injuring hundreds. Now, I do not know whether or not the explosives used in the latter news are related to the (in)famous invention by the Swedish chemist by whom the Prizes in the former news were established.
But it makes me realize that mankind has not made much progress in the century or so since his death and the establishment of the Prizes, intended to award inventions and discoveries “for the greatest benefit to mankind.”
Maybe we are at the point of make or break for peace, and maybe it is now or never.
I tatted today’s piece in green – the colour symbolizing progress and associated with creativity.
My thoughts and prayers are with the dead and wounded, and their families and friends, in the attacks in Turkey and Egypt… we must keep progressing towards peace through constructive tolerance, not destructive violence. Let us all be responsible and think creatively how we can make, before there is nothing more left to break.