Buckminster Fuller, the architect, inventor, designer and all round smart guy, was known for popularising the geodesic dome (as used in the Eden Project) and privileged to have the rather odd carbon molecule C60 or buckminsterfullerine (bucky-balls) named after him.
However, at one point in his life he was so full of despair and self doubt that he contemplated suicide, thinking that at least his family would benefit from the insurance payout.
Fortunately for him, for his family and for the world, he experienced a strange and profound epiphany. Writing later, he explained that he felt as though he was suspended above the ground and enclosed in a white sphere of light. A voice spoke directly to him, 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 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”“
From this point on he was a transformed man, who looked on his life with renewed hope and purpose. Ultimately Fuller chose to embark on what he described as “an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.”
When all hope seems lost – there is always hope. We may not find it the same way as Buckminster Fuller, but it is always there, when we look for it. As psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross put it in her thoughts on death and dying:
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
I can guarantee that the people who have been through the fire, that have found themselves changed, transformed, reforged in the transcendent heat of pain and disappointment, who have chosen to hold on because they see (or even if they can only guess at) their value to the world – those people are some of the most beautiful souls on the planet.
Find out more at www.timhodgson.org