Section 4: LIVING WITH GOODNESS - EXAMPLES
Using Creativity to Help Others
This example is intended for our younger readers to encourage them to take action when they have a special idea or identify a problem that needs to be resolved. As we have written in other lessons, we believe that our interests, abilities, and feelings—if noticed and acknowledged—will lead us to our overall purpose in life. Solving a problem that is of interest to you is a way to “road test” what your life may be leading you to do.
Most people think ‘oh, this is a tiny problem, it’s not important,’
or alternatively, ‘this problem is huge, there’s no way I can tackle it by myself!’
But I think that if it’s a problem you’re passionate about,
then that’s a good project to work on.
Becoming a Problem Solver
When you have extra time, whether on the weekend or after school, how do you choose what you are going to do with it? Many of us waste our free time and never stop to think how we might put it to good use. In this case, we want to encourage you to use it to solve a problem that has come to your attention.
This lesson and the example it includes may motivate you to consider using some of your time to become a problem solver. You may not have thought about yourself in this way before. Or, you may have had some great ideas but never acted on them. As we know, the idea alone is of little value if we don’t make the choice to pursue its development work to make it a reality.
Allie Weber shows us how we can spend our time wisely and have fun at the same time. She shows us how to make the choice to solve problems we see around us instead of spending hours of our time without anything to show for it. And, she has done this time and time again.
When Allie Weber was five years old, she wanted to build a robot for a school project. Her parents thought she might be a little too young for the task, so they convinced her to try something a little easier. The next year, however, Weber didn’t ask for permission. She found recycled materials and built Robie the Robot and won the first-grade science fair. She later explained that building Robie was when she first realized that something in her mind could become a reality.
By age 13, Weber had a patent pending and was hosting a television show called MythBusters Jr. She also worked to help people learn how to use their creative ideas to solve problems. She reminded people that the problems they solved could involve something fun.
She built a traveling fold-up table, for instance, that had Velcro on top. This Card-Go Caddy allowed her and her friends to play card games on their long bus rides without having the cards slide around. “So I solved the issue of playing card games on the bus,” Weber explains. “And it may not seem like a bunch of people have that issue, but I did and doing this sure made my life easier.”
In 2016, Weber won the Global Spark Lab Invent Challenge with the Frost Stopper — a glove that tracks the temperature outside and alerts the wearer when they’re in danger of getting frostbite. She designed this after getting frostbite on one of her fingers.
In 2017, she was a top ten finalist at the Discovery Education 3M after creating the Blow-Dart Spirometer. Weber learned that children who are respiratory patients in hospitals often have to have a test that evaluates their lung function done up to 12 times a day. She designed her Blow-Dart Spirometer to let the physicians conduct the test while the young patients feel like they are playing with a blow dart.
She also uses her time to encourage others to find ways to solve problems. And she has fun along the along way. Allie’s YouTube channel, Tech-nic-Allie Speaking, showcases her many inventions that have helped solve problems—big and small.
Your Ideas Can Become Reality, Too!
You can also be a person who uses your time to solve problems. You can start small while dreaming big. See a problem? Help find a solution. Your skills can make a difference for others if you use your time and talents to help in some way. You can have fun along the way and feel a sense of accomplishment when you see others implementing your ideas.
But, remember that there are always two things involved in successful problem solving…the idea and the choice to pursue it.
It’s really about being able to show people you don’t have to be a specific type of person in order to innovate. You don’t have to come from any sort of background to create a way to solve a problem. If you can solve a problem, you’re an innovator. It’s as simple as that.
How much free time do you have after school and on weekends?
How do you typically use that time?
Are there some problems you have noted that you could help find solutions for?
Which one interests you the most?
AIso this something for which you would like to develop a solution?
If so, what do you need to do to get started?