Are you satisfied now?

John Walsh, an educator for 20 years, is a free-lance writer in new York. "Today's kids are never satisfied," is a commonly heard statement. I remember when I was 10 years old and an adult said that to me. I believe there's a lot of truth in that remark, not only in regard to youth but with many people. And it's a good thing.

Would our ancestors have willingly left a foreign land and migrated to America if they were satisfied? The answer to that question for the great majority of Americans is no. They searched for something better.

Consider the frontier. Life war rugged and dangerous on the frontier, yet so many people chose to go west. There had to be some good reason to brave such hardships. It appears that there were many. People wanted farmland of their own. Some were looking for gold and silver. Lonely women went west in search of husbands. Whatever the reason, we must conclude that frontier people weren't satisfied. They sought something better to the West.

All inventions can be attributed to the same human trait of dissatisfaction. When the first inhabitant of a cave donned fur skins, it was done because the weather was cold and uncomfortable. That dissatisfied innovator probably noticed that large fur-clad animals were warmer than he was.

Time moved on with the great majority of people still stuck in the mire of tradition. Change was shunned, looked upon with suspicion and often hostility by most people.

A few dissatisfied individuals continued their ways and the sailboat was invented. Eventually a man invented the steamboat, "Fulton's Folly." Here we have a real troublemaker.

We admire the great inventors and thinkers of the past today. If we look back at the way they were treated during the age when they lived, many of us would be in for a surprise. People ridiculed Fulton and his boat, powered by a steam engine. They were used to sailboats. Did people ridicule the inventor of the sailboat because they were used to row-boats? I imagine they did.

There is considerable pressure placed upon people to be satisfied with what they have, to accept -- and not to strike out for unknown horizons, to question, to risk, to explore. It's a good thing that a certain percentage of mankind is dissatisfied.

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