I did a report on Alexander Graham Bell back in Junior High. There was a quote that was attributed to him that really struck a chord with me, especially because when I was little I wanted to be an inventor, “The inventor… looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world.” This was kinda my mindset for a long time. There’s a lot of messed up stuff going on and humans need to get their shit together.
Where I am now though I can’t help but think about the restlessness of the quote; particularly in “not contented” and “improve whatever he sees.” It can be easy to get caught up in the fixing part that we forget to stop and appreciate some of the good. And we need to make sure that our “fixes” are backed by evidence and careful science (I’m using the term science here relatively broadly). Kinda harkening back to the book Factfullness, we need to be able to see the good in the world as a model for the future. Action for the sake of action can be wasteful, and wastefulness is the last thing the world needs more of.