R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1963) was a renowned 20th century American engineer, inventor, architect, and visionary famous for creating the geodesic dome as innovative shelter. He worked tirelessly to stop war — "either man is obsolete or war is" — and to overcome people’s poverty and hunger through wise use of resources.
"Bucky" Fuller observed that "there is no crisis of energy, only a crisis of ignorance." His 28 patents, more than 30 books, and many of the words he coined or popularized — such as "Spaceship Earth" and "synergetic" — reflect his dedication to cooperative effort on behalf of all people to create a more sustainable planet.
Fuller said that when he worked on a problem, he never thought about beauty: "I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." To learn about the work and offerings of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, please visit this site.
To Name This Day:
Spend some time on Fuller's birthday reflecting upon his words and how they relate to your own experiences.
"I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly."
— Quoted in People magazine, in Thomas T. K. Zung, "Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for the New Millenium" (2002)
"God, to me, it seems is a verb, not a noun, proper or improper."
— No More Secondhand God
"A problem adequately stated is a problem solved theoretically and immediately, and therefore subsequently to be solved, realistically."
— World Design Science Decade 1965-1975 Phase I
"The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual."
— 1970 letter to Micheal, a 10-year-old boy who had inquired in a letter as to whether Fuller was a "doer" or a "thinker"
In 1927, when Fuller was 32 years old, cumulative losses in his life led him to despair. Only a few years before, his young daughter had died from illnesses he attributed in part to damp and drafty living conditions. Then he lost his job as president of a company that provided affordable housing. His family had no savings and he contemplated suicide so that they could benefit from a life insurance payment.
What saved him from this fate was an experience of feeling lifted high above the earth, surrounded by a sphere of white light. A voice came to him, saying:
"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."
Take a few minutes to quiet your breathing and imagine yourself surrounded by white light. Then hear the words above resonating in your heart. Let yourself respond to the feeling that these words evoke in you, such as being valued, respected, or needed. Then let your actions today flow from that feeling.