Necessity is The Mother of Invention

It’s a true and timeless proverb – so timeless that it is as fitting today as it was when Plato first said it.

Picture a caveperson trying to push a box (boxes were already invented in this scenario) filled with large rocks back to the cave, when a tumbleweed rolls by. The lightbulb (proverbial, it still hasn’t been invented) goes off in the weary caveperson’s mind: a round shape is easier to move! It probably takes a few tries, but the wheel, a necessity then and now, is invented.

It’s difficult to see the positive in the middle of a life-upturning pandemic, but renewed creativity qualifies as just that. What’s more motivating than necessity? Not much. So think about the creative solutions already sparked by COVID-19:

  • Lidle, a grocery store in Ireland, analyzed customer behavior to create an app that lets customers send a message with the day and time they plan to visit the store. The app replies with a notice to expect a “quieter,” “average,” or “busier” store.
  • Patrons of Fish Tales Bar and Grill in Ocean City, Maryland don an inflated inner tube “table,” around their waists, both for fun and forced physical distancing. Think human bumper cars.
  • A humanoid robot, “Pepper,” greets patients convalescing at a Tokyo hotel, exposing one fewer person to the virus.
  • We can now find protective facemasks in every possible shape, size, color, logo, and pattern. After all, fashion is a necessity to many. There are even masks with transparent mouthguards to help people who are hard of hearing or deaf read lips.
  • Education is a definite necessity, and creative minds are coming up with all kinds of ideas to help schools adjust to the pandemic. Virtual school, hybrid classes, staggered schedules, block days and box lunches are all helpful.
  • Extra-imaginative school districts are utilizing empty school buses to give kids from low-income neighborhoods access to technology. The WiFi-enabled buses are parked in low-income neighborhoods. Kids can then use school-provided computers – often from inside their own homes – to access the Internet. If they can’t connect from their homes, students may move closer to the bus, as long as they remain outside and at least six feet away from others.

Necessity is a strong motivator, as difficult times in both U.S. and world history have demonstrated time and time again. What problem can you solve that will make life easier for yourself, your family, or others today? Put yourself in a problem-solving mindset, and your ideas may surprise you.