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When the Rubber Meets the Road

There’s so much going on in the world that it’s a challenge to keep up with what’s trending on social media. There are wars and rumors of wars. Diseases with names we can barely pronounce are splashed across news headlines. Every decade has its crisis, be it a health crisis, an economic crisis or a political crisis.

I often hear fundraisers and business leaders say “never let a good crisis go to waste.” That sounds odd, but what they mean is that troubling times often lead to tremendous opportunities.

Innovation is the key to solving most social and business issues. There’s a problem and someone or a group of people set about to find a solution. In many cases they would have never made the discovery, if it were not for the troubling issue.

For example, take something as common as the “wheel,” such as the one that your car tire is wrapped around or the wheel on a bicycle.

The wheel was invented in 3500 B.C. and prior to that time, it was very difficult and time-consuming for people to move things from one place to the other on land. They were extremely limited by the weight or the number items to be moved, and the distance to which they wanted to take them.

Then came along a possible solution – the wheel. But there were still obstacles. This new rolling cylinder needed to be attached to something – a platform, to make it truly useful. The break came with the development of the wheel-axle concept.

The innovators figured out that they could use both the wheel and axle as a means of transport. However, the holes in the center of the wheel and the ends of the fixed axle had to be perfectly round and smooth, and the fit had to be tight, but not too tight and not too loose.

Once they figured all of that out, they were able to attach wooden platforms to make wheeled carts. These carts made it possible for people to transport small and large items, from vegetables and spices, to rocks and bricks. The age of transportation was born and today we all enjoy a faster form of getting from one place to another whether by bicycle, car or airplane, all because of a problem that needed to be solved.

Somewhere in the world someone is working to find a solution to a problem. In another part of the country or the world, a group of people have devised a system that will prove to be a great companion to the innovator’s solution.

The rest of us are working, volunteering, sharing and giving to aid in the continuation of our businesses, our communities and our families.

You see if all fits together – just like the wheel and the axle. Every contribution is valuable. We cannot give up in our efforts to innovate, work together, and resolve conflict. When the rubber meets the road, we all want to feel the smooth glide of success.

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