The Norman Borlaug Way
I recall the movies that I liked growing up and I still remember the emotional charge associated with imagining saving the world or being the last force to prevent a major catastrophe. It was invigorating. I think this is something that many of us have allowed ourselves to indulge in; actually allowing ourselves to get lost in those thoughts of fantasy. As I moved along in life, I subconsciously found that my identity became associated with the desire to do good deeds. At a minimum that the perception of my overall efforts were for a greater good. I find myself wondering for me personally, is there a differentiation between the acts and the perception of others with respect to those acts?
What if, even for a brief moment in time, we could actually be that person to carry out those phenomenonal feats or be that superhero…would we really want to?
Would our motivation be different, if we at the onset would be given the absolute condition that we could live and carry out those ultimately heroic actions, but we would never have the recognition? No “glory.” No association between yourself and the acts. Your tombstone would not recount it, and no one would ever know about it. Would we still want to be that superhero? I know for myself the struggles and taxations of my own life are done with some kind of hope that recognition will be attained for my good deeds, regardless of the magnitude. I don’t know if this internal flaw or defect is shared with others or it is mine alone.
I have spent a good deal of time attempting to humanly separate my desire to perform acts with good intentions from any reciprocity. I have found that on a very honest level it is difficult. And, even though I have and continue to manifest altruistic actions, there is a subtle emptiness to performing and carrying out my own perceived acts that are for a greater good, and doing so without human response. I can say that as I try to go down this path, and continue to do so, my ability to manifest my acts for the greater good, have gotten stronger. I seem to be able to carry out more acts of compassion and kindness and go out of my way to help another without any hesitation even in the blaring, illuminating light that there will be no acknowledgement. I still, at the end of the day, feel an emotional void.
I want to think that if we were to carry out our lives regardless of the accolades or recognition afforded, we would converge on what we really were meant to do during our lifetime.
Here is where Norman Borlaug comes in. He passed away on September 12, 2009 at the age of 95. Borlaug is not a household name. He doesn’t have the name recognition of any movie actor or celebrity. However, he saved more human lives than any other individual in history. His individual efforts led to the eventual acceptance of agricultural norms, which were pivotal in preventing massive hunger worldwide. He made these advancements only because he saw the need to take action in order to save lives. He made advancements in the 1950’s which manifested in substantial crop yields, which doubled from the 1960’s through the 1980’s.
He took these actions knowing that he would not have government support or even economic compensation. Eventually, Norman received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. In 2007, he received the US Congressional Gold Medal for his efforts. It wasn’t until he was 93 years old that his own country acknowledged his efforts in saving lives of so many people. Norman Borlaug led his life and directed his actions for the ultimate betterment of others, regardless of the lack of “applause,” recognition or compensation. I find myself indulging in thinking I can be more like Norman.
Robert—954-523-1957 ext. 32