“Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.”
“Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing.”
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodson Burnett
Amazing story department: Bishop Curry, an 11-year old boy from Texas who loves gardening and technology, could end hot-car tragedies. When Bishop learned about the deathly dangers of babies being left in hot cars, he knew he had to do something. So he invented “Oasis” — a device that sits on a car seat and detects movement. If a baby is left
in the car, it blows cold air and calls emergency responders.* Brilliant!
With his dad’s help, Bishop prototyped his idea. Then they set up a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the costs of a patent and initial manufacturing and raised almost $50,000. Business students heard about the project and volunteered to help the young inventor put together a marketing plan and website.
When asked about the next step after securing a patent, feisty Bishop said, “After that we gotta work with the manufacturers, which I don’t know a lot about that stage, but I will learn about it.” Bishop also has two other big ideas in the pipeline. His dad said he hopes his son’s story will make parents realize that every kid has internal genius. “As adults we just have to listen, or build (their) confidence…”
What an inspiring tale! It speaks to me as a writer on a few fronts:
First, Bishop acted on his idea. He didn’t just let it flit away. He thought about it and talked about it. He didn’t just have a wish — he had a purpose: to save little kids. Our takeaway: Wishes can be wispy and fleeting; a purpose has drive and energy. Animating our projects with purpose — improving our craft and/or sharing what we’ve learned in a memoir or novel — can keep us moving forward when we hit roadblocks.
Second, the 11-year old inventor got help, not just from his family and friends, but from the universe. To bring his idea to fruition, Bishop and his dad created a GoFundMe campaign. The idea surely attracted family and friends, but also strangers, including the students who offered to help him. Our takeaway: As writers, we often work alone, but we need help to bring our stories to fruition: encouragement, critiques, expert guidance. When we find the strength to ask for help, it often arrives in surprising ways and from surprising places.
And finally, Bishop doesn’t know about manufacturing, but his can-do attitude — “I will learn about it” — shines through. It’s just one more thing to be mastered. Our takeaway: Let’s see obstacles cropping up in our writing as opportunities to learn something valuable that will enrich our work and build our skill.
As Bishop’s wise dad observed, every kid has “internal genius,” just waiting to be tapped. And since we’re all kids at heart, it’s in you and in me — write on!
* USA Today, July 19, 2017