David Earl Woodbury
No 25 Changing Lives through Dancing
Friday, June 27th, 2014
The Wright Brothers
Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that
he can add to what he’s been given.
— Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Russian Dramatist and Writer
From the new book release, Birdmen, by Lawrence Goldstone, is the story of how the Wright Brothers changed the course of the world and the way we live, work, and travel. Goldstone’s book states that Wilbur, coming from the bicycle trade, “understood almost by instinct that stability, not propulsion or even life, was the crucial element of flight.” The Wright brothers met with failure after failure with insight and an ironclad resolve.
Their success in their first flight led to an aerial stampede of competition. Everyone was gunning for their own success. The first fatal air crash was in 1908, immediately followed by a pilot fatality every 10 days. The race was on.
Hard things are put in our way, not to stop us, but to call out our
courage and strength.
The Wright brothers had a dream, a vision, and a driving will to succeed. Oddly enough, aviation left the Wright brothers behind as they did not innovate and were not able to hold on to the limelight and stay in the public eye.
Today we go through security, take off our shoes and belts, empty our pockets, then pass through screening only to end up in a virtual shopping mall and rush to get our lattes at Starbucks. We do not know of the first exuberance of flying, or the glory days of having your roast beef sliced for you from the cart while wearing your best suit of clothes.
Today, our experience of flying is more of a necessity than a thrill, with long lines and cancelled flights and lost luggage. Yet, it all began with a dream, a hope of doing the impossible, and seeing it through to reality. (I still think flying is a miracle and I love to watch the huge jets take off and land at LAX)
To know how to say what others only know how to think is what makes
men poets or sages; and to dare to say what others only dare to think
is what makes men martyrs or reformers — or both.
— Elizabeth Charles (1828-96) British Writer
What is our dream, what seems impossible to us today? What can we make happen to change the world with our words and are we the new poets and reformers? I like to think that I am one of the reformers, one of the dreamers. The zeal to succeed courses through my veins, sometimes feeling like a fire in my soul. My dreams are so real I can touch, feel, and taste them. They are so real to me that I often miss when a vision truly turns into a reality.
Reading of the Wright brothers makes me feel more “normal”. I don’t feel as if I am too passionate or driven by my visions, goals, hopes and dreams. At 58, I feel I must make each moment count and release all the creativity that is inside of me now, and continue forward to making a way not just for myself, but for opening doors for others.
Next Friday is July 4th. Let’s give thanks for our nation, our freedom, and remember that during the war years, Swing was King and dancing helped keep our spirits up. Next week, we salute Independence Day!
David Earl Woodbury
Next Week: Happy Independence Day! July 4th!