The term audacity is often used to describe someone who demonstrates a lack of respect, but it also means to take surprising, bold risks. A 16 year old boy from my area recently accomplished an audacious feat. Using his school’s 3-D printer and information he learned from taking two semesters of a course called Fab Lab, he created a prosthetic hand for another local boy.
I am in awe for two reasons. The first is that this teen, Ian Bormett, had the audacity to believe that he could create a working prosthetic and deliver it to an eleven year old boy born without a hand. He used plans he found online and study hall time to access the 3-D printer. I am impressed that his local public school provided training and access to top notch equipment. I am even more impressed that this student had the skills, the knowledge, and the self-less intent to make a remarkable difference in the life of another.
The second reason I am in awe is at the lack of ability for the medical community to make getting a young boy a prosthetic a priority. Jonah Friedrich spent two years on a waiting list to get a hand. His mother made an adaptation by taping an Allen wrench to Jonah’s stub so that he could type. I applaud the mother’s ingenuity, but is this really the best we, as a society, can do to help this boy or others like him? We live in a post space- age era where James Bond like tools once thought of as ridiculously high tech are now not only possible, but commonplace. We can carry tiny, powerful computers in our pockets, but as a society, we can’t manage getting a child a much needed prosthesis?
What would happen if we stopped making assumptions about what can or can’t be done? What would happen if we empowered people to use their skills to create new ideas and solve problems in new ways? What would happen if we had the belief that what we do, both individually and as a society, could make the world a better place?
What would happen if we allowed people to believe that they can do audacious things?
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I am trying to be bolder and set stretch goals. What about you? What can you do to be audacious? I’d love to hear your ideas!