You probably know where you were when the tragedy of 9-11 occurred. If you are a little older you’ll remember when President Kennedy was assassinated and maybe even remember when the first man stepped on the moon.

But do you remember where were you on August 7, 1990, at 12:34 P.M.? If you don’t remember, or didn’t take time to focus upon that particular moment, then you missed a most unusual event. And what was this once-in-a-century moment? At 12:34 P.M. (and A.M.) on August 7, the numbers we have attached to the passing of time lined up in an orderly sequence: 12:34 and 56 seconds on August 7, the 8th month of the year 1990----1-2-3-4- 5-6-7-8-9-0!

And why is this important? Perhaps it isn't. On the other hand, what is important is that all sorts of interesting, unusual things are happening all around us, but we are aware of them only if we are paying attention! By not noticing what is happening around us, we miss many interesting and possibly rewarding experiences.

Here is an example: Upon returning from a walk through the meadows around his home, a man noticed that the bottoms of his trousers were covered with burrs. As he pulled them from the cuffs of his pants, he became fascinated with the way they stuck to his fingers. Peering closely, he noticed that each needle-like spine ended in a miniature hook. For a moment he marveled at the beauty and complexity of nature.

Then, however, paying close attention to the purpose of the hook, an idea occurred to him, and, as they say, the rest is history. Velcro was born. A new and successful way of fastening things together came out of a few moments peering at burrs gathered during a walk in the woods.

Many other ideas are waiting for someone to discover them, someone who is paying attention. For nearly 40 years designers attempted unsuccessfully to create a boat that would fly. Along came Ernest G. Stout who reversed the idea and designed a plane that would float. It because one of the world’s most remarkable aircraft.

Benjamin Franklin was bothered by the need for two pairs of spectacles, one for reading books and papers, and another for seeing things at a distance. Out of that dilemma came bifocal lenses that have been a boon to humanity.

Give it a thought. There is probably something out there that is waiting for you to improve .

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Comment by Jeanette M. Kern on May 25, 2015 at 9:59pm

I recently purchased the DentalR.A.T. at the AACD conference. A very bright dental hygienist invented a floor unit that acts as a mouse and foot activation records periodontal pocket readings,etc. She was encouraged to go outside dentistry and now is changing lives of those who cannot use a hand mouse (physically challenged). We all need to have our antennaes up and receiving these brilliant ideas!!

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