This week’s task: find solutions to the following questions:
How to bring a change? What change really matters? Whom to keep happy, the old or the young? How to prove to people that you are the one with a great idea that can make Texel a better place? How to retain the identity? (Well the list is long and so are the discussions on them). But i guess the love story of Lucas and Sophie says it all. Sophie, a regular local who is always overwhelmed by the things outsiders have or do but at the same time a local proud of her land, Lucas a regular engineer-outsider with big plans of innovation to Texel, surprised by the resources on Sophie’s little home island. Of course, since it is a love story, they get together and live happily ever after.
While this story is worth an “awwww”, I started a conversation with my (relatively) smarter side: I said ‘but hey! Don’t we all have some Lucas’ and some Sophies everywhere? And, sometimes they are none other than our own selves! In this workshop, I realised that while it is important to learn what the others are developing and how they are busy with their huge plans, it is much more important to realise what resources we have : in our home, and in our own neighbourhood, and how we can implement these big ideas back there. In other words, while it is good to know what the world is at, one should not forget what is our identity, what makes us, ‘us’ while adapting the ‘change’. Does not mean the change should not happen, it will happen inevitably and eventually. But its course of direction is something that we can choose.
What’s more, Lucas or the “technological” one did not go to Sophie’s land and tell her to change her way of living because it is unsustainable, and completely adopt the way his people are living. He knows this will not bring happiness to the people, nor will it be in balance to the ecology- the aspect most of us miss when we are on our path to monetary success. However, he began to understand her culture and started to implement his technology in sync to her culture. This is probable the most important aspect we as engineers should remember- each culture has a different approach. The idea is not to wipe off their characteristic being but rather, to embrace them and work towards progress together. We have learned from our past more than once, that if the society does not accept science or the other way around, all the knowledge will only decay while mumbling preachings.
As a final note, just as in the case of Sophie and Lucas, it is the love that drives us to change our way of thinking. When we understand that the people we love are a part of the larger ecological and social system, we automatically become more sensitive to the system and want to be the better part of it, be an integral part of it. It doesn’t require complex solutions, because simple solutions are most tangible and effective. Neither does it require complex engineering, but the tools at hand, but the correct knowledge and approach. That is why the wise Greek philosophers say, ‘Simplest of things are most difficult to achieve’.
Ofcourse this is a fairy-tale, but fairy tales are based on our fantasies of a better future. Like mentioned before, change will happen inevitable and eventually, but the course of change is something that we can control.