Education is one of the most fundamental ingredients in the evolution of our knowledge. It happens every time we past our values to our children, and them to theirs. By inheriting wisdoms from our ancestors, we learn from old mistakes and build new theories and concepts on top of that foundation. This accumulation and development of knowledge is the reason we continue to advance as a species. Everyday we understand more about our world, every day we learn to solve harder problems.
Our collective understanding and knowledge is the reason the world is what it is today, which came from people who believed in them. Every technology came from scientific principle developed by scientist who needed to understand this universe, every nut and bolt came from engineers who designed them to put things together, every educational institution came from teachers and professors to pass their wisdom to the students, and every philosophy is created by thinkers who needed to understand our mind. This world is shape by its people and their ideas. Everything in our society is a result of our thoughts. As long as we believe in ourselves and all that we hold dear to our heart, we can use our ideas to change the world and make it a better place.
To many of us the old FIRST logo symbolizes all that we hold dear to our heart. Throughout the course of 13 years, we connected the shape of red triangle, white circle, and blue square with many values we found in this program: Gracious Professionalism, Inspiration, along with our entire history since 1992. Only, we’ve taken it for granted until it is taken away from us.
In many ways, the emotional outburst immediately after the announcement is our ways of grieving for the lost. Some were very disappointed at the new design, some quietly accepted it, some demanded we go back to the old design, others cheerfully welcomed the new shape of red white and blue… Yet, in the mist of these excitements and disappointments, we seem to forget that things important to us never really disappear. If they really mean that much to you, they will continue to exist in this world in your heart, even though they are no longer physically there.
All that is represented by the previous FIRST logo will continue to live in those who designed a robot to compete with 11 other teams in a New Hampshire High school, built an arm to pick up inner tubes in Torroid Terror, and stayed up all night trying to understand the concept of “Alliance”. Mentors like Al Skierkiewicz, Andy Baker, Dave Kelso, and Mike Martus are around to share old tales and experiences with the new kids. These historians are the links between our past and the future. FIRST’s values and ideals will be kept alive as long as they continue to pass every bit of their knowledge and wisdom to the generation to come.
Oh, by the way, this passing of knowledge might sounds familiar to you, its call education. Oh, and the values and ideals taught by the mentors, they are responsible for shaping this program and logo in the first place.
For those of us who are still grieving for our lost, it is time we put our emotions aside and go back to our daily lives. If you really feel strongly about having an icon to represent your passions and your standards, I challenge you to go to college, open your mind, learn everything you can, start your own company/organization, and make this world a better place according to your values and ideals. I dare you to work harder and be more successful than Dean Kamen and Dave Lavery. I challenge you to do something about your feelings and passion instead of telling somebody else to do it.
I dare you to do what I decided to do a long time ago.
I stand by here today as one of the younger generation of FIRST participants to say I am not afraid of what’s ahead in the future. There are bound to be changes and challenges ahead that demands 100% of our mind and strength, but still I say with utmost confidence that I am not afraid of the future, because we are not alone in this journey. We stand on shoulders of giants who gave everything they got to put us where we are today. We inherited every arsenal you can possibly imagine in the form of mathematics, science, engineering, philosophy, literature, art, music, and history. Most important of all, we have FIRST and all the mentors in this program to thank for busting their behinds to make us who we are today.
If our ancestor had the ability to overcome natural disasters, fatal disease, devastating wars, and still managed to be enlightened and achieve major break-through’s, so can we. Only, we will be more successful than they are, and our future generation more successful than we are.
That is a promise.