A Powerful Question That Could Change the World

In 1927, a man walked out of his home in Chicago to contemplate his
life. Specifically, he was contemplating ending it.

He was thirty-two. He had just gotten sacked from his job. Five
years earlier, he had lost his young daughter to complications from
polio and spinal meningitis. He was penniless and had a new baby on
the way. He was drinking heavily.

He thought that if he ended his life at least his wife would
received some life insurance benefits and have a shot at a better
life than what he was providing at the time.

But something happened that day.

He asked himself a powerful question …

What if I embarked on an experiment to see what a single individual can contribute to to changing the world and benefiting all of humanity?

The questions changed him, consumed him.

He completely rearranged his life so that he could pursue the
answer to this question.

He lived for fifty-six more years to age eighty-eight.

In that time, he received forty-seven honorary degrees, held
twenty-eight patents, was awarded the Medal of Freedom, and was the
author of twenty-nine books.

His name was Buckminster Fuller. He was an American architect,
systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist.

The aspect that inspires me the most about Buckminster’s incredible
life is his dedication to the art and science of “livingry.”

“Livingry” is a term that he invented to mean “in support of all
human, plant, and Earth life.” He used this term in opposition to
“killingry” and “weaponry” that consumes so many of the best minds
of each generation.

He said, “It is now highly feasible to care of everybody on Earth
at a higher standard of living than they have ever known. It no
longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is
obsolete. It is a matter of converting the high technology from
weaponry to lo lovingly.”

I think he’s right about this.

It obviously hasn’t happened yet, but what if it did?

What if it happened in our lifetime to convert these massive
systems of deception and destruction that still exist to
sustainable operations that support all human, plant, and Earth

What if we were part of the team that made that happen?

What would you do starting today if you knew that you could
contribute for the next fifty-six years of your life towards this?

You can. And so can I.

The question I leave you with this week is simple but incredibly

What if I embarked on an experiment to see what a single individual can contribute to to changing the world and benefiting all of humanity?

I look forward to hearing, and most of all, seeing the results of
your answer to this question over the next fifty-six years.


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I am in the middle of a series on Powerful Questions and each Monday morning will send you an email with a powerful question that you can think about during the week and use as leverage to live your best possible life.


Best wishes on Spaceship Earth,


P.S. For those interested in exploring more of Buckminster Fuller’s ideas, I highly recommend Critical Path.

This book was the last one he wrote and considered his masterwork as a summary of a lifetime of thinking about and taking action to improve the human situation. I will warn you in advance that this is not light reading. You will not be scanning this book and playing Flappy Bird at the same time. He frequently invents his own words to ensure accuracy in conveying his ideas, and this sometimes makes for slow reading. But if you want access to and inspiration from one of the broadest thinkers of the last century,

I believe that reading his book is highly worth the effort.