Trim Tab

Posted by JoAnn Baker Paul on Jul 12, 2013
4183 reads  
Some of you might know about the incredible life of Buckminster Fuller. In 1974 I had the privilege to see this man in an intimate setting at the Edinburgh Arts Festival in Scotland. The energy and enthusiasm that radiated from his slim, joyful 80ish being - he never stopped vibrating, speaking like music, words and phrases I'd never heard before - I was dumfounded and starstruck simultaneously. Bucky was a perfect union of art and science, of service and environmental activism (Critical Path). Finding this story today, I immediately thought of Service Space! Bucky was the first to introduce me to the idea of allowing one's life to unfold naturally, synergistically, to use his word, rather than seeking, promoting one's work. And now today on his birthday he has given me another gift; this story, a quote that describes his epitaph: "Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary -- the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there's a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab.  It's a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab.  Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to turn. So I said, call me 'Trim Tab.'"

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Comments (1)

  • Chris Johnnidis wrote ...

    Good one :)