- Written by Mariana Yapp
Have you ever looked back at your life and said, “I should have done this long ago, now it is too late” and regret or feel guilty about it while believing that if you did things differently, things would have turned out better? Or have you ever been so eager to do something, yet unable to because of countless obstacles including procrastination? Does God’s timing actually play a part in all of this?
I look at my smartphone so many times in a day, and I found myself wondering how in the world I ended up relying on this small piece of special equipment. I wondered about the journey of smartphones, from the humble beginnings of the telephone to how it became what it is today. I thought of the telephone inventor named Alexander Graham Bell (although, the real telephone inventor is still debateable), and I watched documentaries on YouTube and googled him. I wanted to know if he knew that his invention would someday lead to the smartphones that we have today.
I learned that well-known inventors back then had to rely on other not so well-known inventors. In other words, great inventions can only be made possible after other people invented small things that the great inventor needed. But overall, I realised that all the inventors back then, great or not so great, were people who were ahead of their time.
Maybe we are all ahead of our time if we want to achieve something. It’s only that some things are small (taken for granted) and some things are huge (never happened/existed before). And what we want to achieve may not happen, but what if it does happen? What Mr. Bell wanted to achieve did happen. I really want to say that people everywhere at that time were excited and were shouting with joy, “our problems have been solved!” Unfortunately, the response was not so great. Of course, we all know what happened after that.
And what can I say about the big regrets and guilty feelings for things that we didn’t do? Would it really make a difference if we did things differently? It may make a difference, but are we sure the difference is for the better? I’m not so sure, but if I go back to Mr. Graham Bell’s first ‘eureka’ telephone moment, most people still didn’t share his enthusiasm at that time – they thought the telephone was not as useful as telegraph. Mr. Bell could regret inventing it as much as people who regret not doing things, but he didn’t quit, otherwise we may not have our smartphones.
So let’s not be overcome too much by regrets and guilt. And just because things don’t happen as we expect, things might happen way above our expectation in the long run. Mr. Bell didn’t visualize smartphones, but he did visualize wireless phone, and that lead to other great things in his future.