"One doesn't have to live in the affluence of the western hemisphere in order to display imagination and potential. If someone wants something enough, they will usually find a way of getting it. Such basic instincts have been the powerhouse of all great inventions since time began. The Stone Age which lasted over three million years didn't end because they ran out of stone, but because they discovered bronze, iron and eventually metal with which to better live, hunt and work.
Whether it be the man who first developed the wheel or saw the fire in flint, mankind has throughout history jumped off the cliffs of imagination and developed wings on the way down in order to create the inventions of the world. 'Give me one firm spot to stand on and I shall move the earth' has been their common cry. Within the creative of all of us lies a city of intuition. We find this place only when we are prepared to leave the city of our comfort and travel through the wilderness of our imagination to new and unknown lands.
It is strange but true fact of life that mankind produces more creative results when they are bound by limitations. It's not too different from those 'wartime with rations' years between 1939-45 when people became more inventive with their gardening and cooking.
I once recall being entralled by three lengthy episodes on television many years ago about John Harrison (1693-1776), who was a self-educated English carpenter and clockmaker born on my current doorstep, near Wakefield in the Shire of West Yorshire. John Harrison spent the whole of his life inventing the marine chronometer; a long-sought-after device for solving the problem of the longitude of a ship at sea and thereby revolutionising the age of sail by extending the possibility of safe travel.
Indeed, to see the transformation in both size and scope of his invention from first to last of a large clock suspended on a hangman's scaffold eventually being reproduced in the shape of a small chronometer is something I shall never forget. In his lifetime's endeavour, it was as though he'd wrested the world's wherabouts from the stars and locked the secrets in a pocket watch of scientic knowledge for the benefit of all sea travellers thereafter. Only by leaving the city of his comfort and being prepared to travel his lifetime through hardship, ill health and constant debt as he persued his peak of intuition, did he reach his inventive goal.
For millions of years we were hunter-gatherers and it was only through the evolutionary pressures of having to hunt for meat and foraging an existance that an adaptable and creative brain eventually emerged. Today, we stand upright with the brains of hunter-gatherers looking out on a modern world that has been made comfortable by the fruits of human inventiveness; and yet it is a world made miserable for far too many by the scandal and obscenity of deprivation in the midst of plenty.
We may not all possess either the creativity or art of inventors like Harrison, but we each have pockets of imagination that we can call upon in moments of need. All we now require as a humane world is the heart to match the head." William Forde: February 13th, 2015.