There are moments when we all feel down or start to question humanity as a whole. This is understandable due to the overly negative spin that the media puts on everything. However, humans have actually accomplished countless amazing things that make life better for everyone on a daily basis. If you find yourself doubting your individual ability to make a difference in the world, be sure to reflect on some of the many achievements that started as nothing more than an idea.
1. One Man Planted an Entire Forest
If you need some personal inspiration, look no further than Jadav Payeng. This dedicated man has spent the majority of his life giving back to the world by planting a forest. At this point, the thickly wooded forest is an astounding 1,360 acres. Every bamboo tree on this land was lovingly planted by Jadev after he witnessed the local wildlife population suffering due to a lack of shade. Thanks to Jadev, the environment in his area is cleaner and the animals have a safer and more comfortable place to live. If one man can accomplish this on his own, just imagine what you could do!
2. Medicine Saves Billions of Lives
Scientists such as Edward Jenner, Alexander Fleming, and Jonas Salk have been the creative minds behind some of the most important medical achievements in history. For example, Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine, which successfully eradicated an illness that had claimed approximately 500 million lives in the 20th century alone. Without the tireless work and drive to help others that each of these scientists has exhibited, billions of lives would have been lost during the past couple of centuries.
3. Walking on the Moon
Humans have always been intrigued by the stars, but it took a combination of determination, science and skillful engineering to finally allow a few people to actually leave the planet. One of the biggest moments in space exploration history happened when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. As a result, July 20, 1969, became the start of an even more advanced space program that may soon see the colonization of Mars.
4. Development of the Printing Press
For a long time, knowledge could once only be passed on verbally and through drawings on the surfaces of caves and walls. Eventually, a small form of printing was developed in China, but it didn’t allow for any mass production. Johannes Gutenberg changed the way we store and share knowledge and literature when he created the printing press in the 15th century. This monumental achievement helped form modern education, along with leading to the creation of bookstores and libraries.
5. Bringing the Internet to Life
The Internet allows people to connect with each other from around the world. It gives us lightning fast, real-time news, and it makes it possible for humans to do a long list of things from home such as working, consulting with a physician and attending classes.
It can truly be said without hyperbole that the Internet has had the biggest impact on humanity of all modern inventions, and our society wouldn’t be the same without it. For example, you wouldn’t be reading this right now if the Internet didn’t exist! Although some people like to bemoan technological achievements of this nature, the fact is that we are now more globally connected than ever before, which is a very good thing.
6. Mapping the Human Genome
Mapping the human genome is one of the newest achievements on this list, and it could also have some of the biggest positive implications. The Human Genome Project completed its work in 2003, and this has provided scientists and medical professionals worldwide with access to unparalleled information about the human body. Many of the medical breakthroughs that have happened since 2003 can be traced to the human genome map being completed, and it’s expected that this will have an even bigger impact on the future of medicine.
7. Wind and Solar Power
Coal and gasoline have helped humans create and utilize an astoundingly long list of things, but they have also led to pollution and wars. Fortunately, there are always some visionary individuals who keep an eye out for alternative ways to solve problems. As a result, wind power began to be harnessed in 1888. By 1954, a functional solar cell had been built. Both of these developments make it possible to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and they’re also better for the environment. Both wind and solar power are good examples of how one idea could end up improving the entire world.
8. One Man Saved 30,000 Bees
Many of the achievements on this list required the work of several people and are well-known throughout the world. However, achieving something great doesn’t always require this particular recipe, nor is it always going to be included in future history books. Bees are currently at risk due to colony collapse disorder, and we need these winged creatures way more than most people realize. In fact, without them, it’s questionable whether or not humans could even survive.
Realizing this, one man took steps to preserve bees by dedicating the rest of his life to finding and rescuing them. A few years ago, he had the opportunity to safely remove and re-home 30,000 bees by himself, which is definitely a great achievement. This is a fantastic recent example of the very real impact that each human can have on the planet. By saving those bees, Gary Schempp also contributed in a meaningful way to the survival of the human race.
As you can see, anyone could come up with the next world-changing idea. It could be something as basic as planting a few trees or as complex as mapping the human genome, but either way, it can benefit everyone. You can also derive even more inspiration by reading quotes from some of the most influential people of all time. After which, feel free to let your imagination soar, and never be afraid to follow your dreams. By following this advice, you might end up improving the entire world.
Featured photo credit: 10 10 via flic.kr