An Open Challenge to All New Electrical Engineers.
I would have challenged you to take the “road less travelled”, but I realized that it was not only passé but also rather inappropriate.
“The road less travelled” is perhaps the most misunderstood phrase in all of human history. Most people quote it with an air of victory, exulting the triumph of free thinking and of following one’s own will. It is often said to encourage people to defy norms and stand out by courageously traversing that which is followed by only a few. It has been, thousands of times over, used in titles, stand firsts, leads and closings of messages and speeches of congratulations and motivation. But, “the road less travelled” does not mean what people think it does.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Taking the “road less travelled” does not have the triumphant essence that most people read it with. In truth, in the classic poem by the great American poet Robert Frost, the traveler found himself at a fork, and indifferently decided to take one path over the other. The point of the poem is that everyone has the penchant to look back and think that their choices matter. In reality, however, things happen just because they do, and past decisions do not in fact figure.
So, I will not encourage you to “take the road less travelled”, and make decisions for the heck of it. Instead, I will challenge you create new paths and blaze new trails. New Electrical Engineers, think outside the box and create innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing energy challenges. Be brave and dream with a purpose and an end in mind. Defy conjured limitations! Exceed expectations.
We look up to you, engineers, as the real heroes of this world. You have the power to create things we never thought possible, and derive solutions from methods we never knew existed or would ever understand. You have the ability to make groundbreaking inventions from the most mundane things, and to draw lasting social and economic benefits even from temporary solutions. You have the tenacity to encounter a thousand ways that won’t work, and yet find the strength to go on and find that one way that works.
As I close, I challenge you, new Electrical Engineers, to gamble your future by remaining loyal to the engineering field. Do not stray. Let yourself not be lured by the prospect of finding high-paying jobs in other industries. I challenge you to put your ideas of individual success aside in favor of national progress. Guide your countries to a new route out of the energy problems. Lead your nations and, together, trample a new path to a better life, to a brighter future