A few days ago I visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History to find inspiration. I’m in the process of a career change and am mastering a new profession. I know that I’m on the right track but that does not mean that the journey is always easy. I was becoming impatient with the time it takes to change. The exhibition that amazed me was the ‘Glass Flower’ collection. It is an internationally acclaimed display of about 3 000 glass models of different plants. The flowers are made entirely of glass! It is made with extreme precision. No detail is overseen. As I was admiring the plants and flowers, I could not help but think about the enormous amount of time and patience it took to create these perfect representations.
It took Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolf, nearly 50 years to create all the glass models. Professor Goodale commissioned them in 1887, as he wanted life-like representatives of plants to use in teaching Botany at Harvard. I must agree with him it is a perfect way to learn about flowers, as they are three-dimensional and always in bloom! I wished I could have observed them when I had to study Biology at school. What struck me was that these flowers, which were created more than 100 years ago, are still valuable today.
Nowadays it feels as if everything must happen quickly with as little effort possible. We want a quick return on our investment. We want to start our own company but are not willing to give it three years to become financially sustainable. We want to be the best in what we do but become impatient if we don’t improve quickly enough. We want to be valued but are not always willing to invest the time and patience needed in our relationships. We become impatient when things take time. However, learning a new profession, developing a new concept, starting a company and building relationships take time and patience. I do realise that money may play an important role as well. Money can (in certain cases) buy time. Without the financial investment of the Wares the Blaschkas would not have been able to work full time to create the glass flowers. However, they still needed the patience to perfect their craft. They had to try over and over to discover the best method to create the models.
In the end the visit to the museum provided me with the inspiration I needed to carry on with my journey. I realise that if we want to change or create something, we need to bear in mind that it takes time and patience to create everlasting value.