CREATIVITY – AND SKEPTICISM
By: Robert D. Foster
One of the most respected political leaders in the world during the 20th century was India’s Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). One of his great quotes:
“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you. Then you win!”
I have always enjoyed the stories of great thinkers, famous inventors, hero athletes and daring explorers. Male or female, young or old, minority or majority, these all were ordinary people that followed their creative instincts, using their talents and “drive” to make their dreams come true. Here are three of my favorites:
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” might have been a song running through 13-year-old Chester Greenwood’ s head one cold December day in 1873. To protect his ears while ice skating, Chester found two pieces of wire, padded the ends, and tied them together with strings. His friends laughed, but he was still skating while they had gone inside to warm up their frozen earlobes. At the age of 17, Chester applied for a patent and over the next 60 years his factory manufactured “earmuffs,” his idea turning him into a wealthy man.
The term FRISBEE did not always refer to the familiar plastic disks we often see flying through the air in public parks. Bill Frisbie owned the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut in the U.S.A. All of his company’s pies were baked in the same type of 10-inch, round tin with a raised edge, wide brim and six small holes in the bottom. Throwing and catching these pie tins became a popular local sport but there was a problem – the tins could become dangerous when they were not caught. Neighbors got mad when windows were broken, and one mother cried when her son’s hand was cut severely. In the 1940s, the material we know as plastic emerged and today FRISBEE is a registered trademark of a major toy company. It owed its start to flying pie tins.
My third favorite story of a creative person who met with much skepticism is found in the first four books of the Bible’s New Testament. It is the story of Jesus Christ, a man in the fist century whom religious leaders tried to ignore, while the political leaders ridiculed and scorned him. At the end of three years, they starting actively fighting him; this opposition resulted in his death – by crucifixion.
That, as history tells us, was not the end of Jesus, however. In reading the highly acclaimed book, Black Swan, we discover the improbable and impossible happened: Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
His critics first ignored Him, then laughed at Him, and finally fought Him. But in the end, validating the statement Gandhi would make nearly 2,000 years later, Jesus won!
Those who follow Jesus Christ – in the workplace, as well as our homes and places of worship – must understand that we, too, might face ridicule, skepticism, even hostility. We find this assurance in Hebrews 12:3 – “Consider him (Jesus) who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
We also have this promise: “Therefore, my brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Taken and adapted from The Challenge, written and published by Robert D. and Rick Foster. Permission to reproduce with proper credit is freely given and encouraged. For questions or comments, write: 29555 Goose Creek Rd, Sedalia, CO 80135, U.S.A., or fax (303) 647-2315.
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