We live in a world full of diversity, where more than 7.7 billion unique human beings exist at the moment. With the uniqueness that exists among each human being, the world has become a wonderful place, no matter what happens externally. It is obvious that we can witness people belonging to many cultures, nationalities, ethnicities as well as castes. It will not be a picturesque scenery if we can see the same object everywhere or a homogeneous world. In the same way, the inequalities or differences of people emphasize or enhance beauty. Unfortunately, they often lead to misunderstandings, quarrels, wars and even massacres.
Do the differences really matter? With these boundaries we, people always get stuck with a question: “Is life fair?”.
We may be categorized and divided based on external factors like nationality and caste, but we cannot be divided on internal factors. Each of us is made of flesh, blood and many unique features which we do not see in other animals, so we are one. We should be one family filled with love, care and affection.
So, what makes life unfair?
It is just a perspective, mainly a false statement. Life consists of myriad torments and complicated hurdles that may even compel one unconsciously to expunge all the moments they cherished. It is an ultimate package with unpredictable surprises, unprecedented moments, good moments, and also extremely tough moments. All of us are victims of the journey called life. We may experience life equally or unequally, but it should not even be a matter.
Have you ever observed the life of a river? Will it be aesthetically appealing if it just flows without any obstacle? With obstacles, the flowing waters create wonders: magnificent waterfalls, lovely streams and even splendid ponds and lakes. Our life is also a river. We will meet hundreds of, thousands of barriers, but we should not stop by them. Like a river, we should surpass them creating wonders. Higher the number of obstacles, higher the beauty of life.
It’s not fair to say, “Life is not fair”!
You might be surrounded with dollops of problems. The very moment you start thinking life is not fair for you, that's when you start being unfair to yourselves. We must accept the fact that we can’t always be happy, win or stay healthy. When you overcome these problems, you will get a massive satisfaction. Don’t you? Woah! I did it!
Whenever you feel that your life is not fair, just think about someone else. You are not the unluckiest, right? Many other people suffer from many barriers you might have not even heard of. For sure, the unluckiest person in the world (if there’s one) may not read this. You should be happy that you even have the luxury to read this. Don’t you think so? Let me share this story with you.
The Story of William Kamkwamba
Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita in the world and many Africans suffer from hunger, thirst and health issues. Malawi is an African country which is nicknamed as the “The Warm Heart of Africa” and is among the world’s least developed countries. The lives of Malawians are heavily based on agriculture, but the high temperatures, and heavy floods after heavy droughts make their lives more complicated.
William Kamkwamba was born to a family who suffered from poverty in 1987. He spent his childhood with his friends looking through the local junkyard for salvageable electronic components, so that he could repair villager’s radios and earn some money. His father, Trywell, was a farmer and wanted his son to have a better education, unlike him. Unfortunately, Trywell could not afford William's school fees for a long time. So, William was expelled from the school. However, with his science master’s and librarian’s approvals he could sneak into the library to refer to books. There he identified his true passion for electronics.
William saw how his villagers suffered from heavy droughts, where they could not continue farming. So, he was determined to create a ‘Makeshift Wind Turbine’ to get water for agriculture. It was a really dry season. People suffered from starvation and thirst. During this time, William’s sister, Annie, eloped with William’s former science teacher in order to leave her family "one less mouth to feed". However, Annie left fulfilling William’s wish to get his science teacher’s dynamo in his bicycle for William to create the turbine.
William’s desire was strengthened by these incidents. He had a good dynamo, but he also required his father’s bicycle. Trywell didn’t like to let William dismantle his bicycle, which was also the only bicycle left in the village. William showed a model to Trywell and explained that he could power a water pump by making a larger windmill. But Trywell didn’t give permission.
After William's dog ‘Khamba’ died of starvation and hope seemed lost, William's mother intervened and urged Trywell to reconsider. William and Trywell reconciled after William buried his dog. Using his father’s bicycle, William finally built a full-size wind turbine, which led to a successful harvest.
Local farmers and journalists observed the windmill and William’s fame skyrocketed. He received many academic accolades, thereafter. In 2013 TIME magazine included William in the "30 People Under 30 Changing the World" list. His autobiography ‘The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind’ received many awards, and in 2019, his book was adapted into a film with the same name, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Trywell.
William Kamkwamba who constructed a wind turbine from scavenged parts won the hearts of the world. Now he splits his time between the U.S. and Malawi and is currently working full-time with the ‘Moving Windmills Project’ to bring the ‘Moving Windmills Innovation Center’ to life in Kasungu, Malawi. He is truly an inspiration for all of us.
William Kamkawamba and "we"
Don’t you think we have many luxuries when comparing our life with William Kamkwamba’s? Whenever you feel that you are unlucky or life is unfair, just recall this story. Now, William is a renowned personality, but initially he was just another boy who suffered from hunger and thirst.
Can’t we be like him? No, you can’t be like him, because everyone of us is unique. But you can get many lessons from him. Do not ever think that you have got an unfair life. Always, face obstacles happily, overcome them and reach the ultimate satisfaction. Be courageous and have a strong determination.
Yes, you can. You have gotten a fair life. Enjoy it. Convert the unfairness into fairness. Win the world.
(P.S.: Do not forget either to read or watch ‘The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind’)