Persevering for a cause

June 22, 2010

William and Orville Wright were passionate about the prospect of controlled flight. They used the proceeds from their bicycle shop to fund their research and development- so their team did not have the deepest pockets. William, Orville, nor any one on their team had a college education. In contrast, Samuel Pierpont Langley was given a grant from the war department in the amount of fifty thousand dollars to develop the first 'flying machine'. He held a seat at Harvard and worked at the Smithsonian, and even hired the some of the greatest minds of the day to work on the project. Then why have we never heard of Samuel Pierpont Langley? AND why did he not succeed over the wright brothers? It is not that he didn't have intelligence, funding, or support. In fact, he had plenty of money. He had the same access to the same materials-if not better, and it seemed that everyone was rooting for him.  

 

The key difference between the Wright brothers and Samuel Pierpont Langley is that Langley wanted to be rich and famous. The Wright brothers wanted to change the world! AND in the end, the Wright brothers did take flight in Dayton, Ohio on December 17th, 1903.

 

To his disappointment, Samuel Pierpont Langley was not going to be first. Nor was he going to be famous. So, he threw in the towel shortly after the Wright brothers made their discovery.

 

This is one of the great stories of American ingenuity, innovation, and the DREAM that so many NON-Americans and Americans alike have talked about for over 2 centuries.

 

As martial arts educators, it is our goal to inspire our students to become better human-beings and to encourage them to never give up on their dreams. Our purpose should be elevated-much more than the pursuit of money. To run an operation it requires money, but if that is what drives you, you will be easily broken and will quit when the road of life shows obstacles ahead.

 

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