day 7- a picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
There are a few major influences I’d like to have mentioned – like Bill Hicks, Robert Heinlein, Alfonso Cuaron, Gandhi – but I can’t go into them all so I’ll just concentrate on two for the moment; one a someone, and one a something.
With Buddha I’m going to have to include Gandhi, as he came first in my life, and in terms of pure physical practicality he has been the most influential. (NB: If you haven’t seen Richard Attenborough’s fabulous biopic of Gandhi go see it now! It’s an absolute must see.)
Both men talked about understanding the truth about humanity, about knowing what it is to be alive. I cannot pretend I’ve even begun to get to grips with some of the concepts they have presented to me, but I have already been influenced by them in many, many ways.
It was Gandhi who helped me give up smoking, something I mentioned in Day 1, and it was the Buddha, through the Dalai Lama as portrayed in Seven Years In Tibet, who made me realise I had to become vegan.
Their knowledge and understanding is a living thing, and to experience it is to allow it in. Read the books, see the movie (at the very least they’re interesting in and of themselves) and if you don’t learn anything maybe it’s because you knew it already. 🙂
My ‘something’ is this, the geodesic dome. Propounded by the great comprehensivist Buckminster Fuller, geodesic domes are one of the strongest and most versatile ways to enclose a large space (without internal support!).
They get exponentially stronger and lighter the larger they get – for example, the domes pictured above at the Eden Project are in more danger of blowing away than they are of falling down – and when tested by the American military to see if they could withstand the high winds and extreme conditions of the Arctic, by attempting to pull them down from the inside, the testing equipment broke before the domes did.
But the most amazing concept for me is this: If you built a dome one quarter of a mile across that was a complete sphere, made out of the most light-weight materials, and you were able to seal it efficiently, the buoyancy provided by the warm air that would accumulate inside (it being a big giant greenhouse after all) would be enough to make it float! Imagine, it’s entirely possible that some time in the future we could be living in floating cities, circumnavigating the globe, true citizens of the world. Wouldn’t that be wild! 😉