"The Mother Of Invention” is the fifteenth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.
What factor is it which, more than any other, will drive you to create imaginative solutions to situations in your life or business which may be holding you back from realising your full potential?
Who is the mother of Invention? Read on ...
Invention lived with his mother and father in the small town of Cutting Edge in Brainchild County. With little money to spend on necessities, let alone luxury items, his dad was a jack of all trades. He hand-crafted from wood all the furniture in their log cabin home which he had himself built. Every repair around the house and outwith it he carried out too. Invention often assisted. He soon acquired his dad's skills.
While dad was the creative labour, it was Invention's mother who was the inspiration and driving force of the family. Strong-willed and determined it was she who saw to it that things got done. Her verve and vitality extended to her parenting. She was a strict, but fair, disciplinarian to young Invention.
His mother saw to it that to him fell the tasks of cleaning around the house, keeping the yard tidy and running errands. Willing as he was in carrying out his regular chores, Invention was also an imaginative lad and constantly seeking ways to streamline his activities. He reckoned that saving time and labour with an inventive approach provided more time for indulging his typical boyhood pursuits of playing football, going fishing and chasing girls. But it didn't work out that way.
For whenever Invention imaginatively reduced his workload and the time spent on it, his mother found more tasks – chopping wood, painting, creating a vegetable garden – to fill the time. It was for Invention a never-ending treadmill of finding solutions to save on his time and effort only for the time saved to be intruded on by new work to attend to!
But Invention was not to be defeated. To this wider logistical difficulty of more work being added to his load each time he introduced a labour-saving solution, he also applied his imagination. His solution was a simple one. To recruit skilled assistance.
“If I can multiply myself,” he reckoned, “Then I can multiply exponentially the work I can undertake.”
He also concluded that by industrialising his activities and organising them in a production line fashion of logical sequences, there'd be no double tracking or repeat handling. He also formulated new technologies with the help of his gang of best friends with whom he hung out in his depressingly rare spare time. These lads were like-minded boys with vivid imaginations and determinedly mischievous.
There was Jimmy Watt who spent his days at home in the kitchen, regularly fascinated by the power of the steam rising from the boiling pan of water and lifting the heavy lid of the pan with it. Georgie Carver was a gardening whizz kid, constantly experimenting with crops and yields. Tommy Edison liked tinkering with electricity and creating light from it. Alex Bell messed about a lot with tin cans and lengths of string through which he claimed it was possible to communicate. Henry Ford knocked together the best soap box carts anywhere in the county and Jimmy Spangler had a suction device which picked up bits of paper as if by magic. He called it a hoover.
In no time at all Invention and his crew had turned the running, repair and maintenance of Invention's house and garden, then their own homes too, into industrial style operations of amazing efficiency. Steam power drove machines; crops of peanuts, soy and sweet potatoes thrived; electric lighting extended working hours; instant communication eradicated message carrying and speedy motor transport was available too. So effective were their solutions, the lads even had time to play football, go fishing and chase girls. Not only were they delighted, their families were too.
None more so than Invention's mother. She was as pleased as punch and proud too with what Invention achieved. On Invention's part, he was smart enough to realise that without his mother, all that he and his mates had achieved would not have been possible. It was her drive, determination and discipline which led Invention to finding the solutions to the situations which she insisted he attend to.
So all of these innovations came about as a result of Invention's strict parenting. All resulted from his mum's relentless urging. And who was his mother? What was her name? It was 'Necessity' of course. Yes, Necessity was the mother of Invention!
I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal.
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THE MOTHER OF INVENTION is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
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