Watermelons are normally round and for years consumers struggled to fit the large round fruit in their refrigerators. And then there was the problem of trying to cut the fruit when it kept rolling around.
But 20 years ago a forward-thinking farmer on Japan’s south-western island of Shikoku solved the problem. The farmer, from Zentsuji in Kagawa prefecture, came up with the idea of making a cube-shaped watermelon which could be easily packed and stored.
To make it happen, farmers grew the melons in glass boxes and the fruit then naturally assumed the same shape. Today the cuboid watermelons are hand-picked and shipped all over Japan.
Problems always have solutions, but these solutions must be discovered through thinking out of the box. Imagination fuels great and innovative ideas. But ideas, without the effort of making it materialize, are nothing.
Many are fond of just relying on what are the existing solutions they find. But isn’t it nice to create your own? Innovativeness is defined by princeton.edu as: “originality by virtue of introducing new ideas.” Being an innovator is building your own ways of doing things, and in dealing with problems, it’s applying your own skills in solving problems. Just like that unnamed Japanese farmer who dared to do unusual thing in search of solution in his problem. And upon finding solution in the said problem, the idea then became beneficial to other farmers like him. Who would have thought that it was possible to alter watermelon’s normal shape without applying any scientific or genetic processes on to it? Well that farmer did think of it.
Students must think big, and never set boundaries on what their minds are capable of. Just like what was always said: “there’s no harm in trying”.
Mind over matter. Nothing is impossible with a mind that can conceive ideas. And those ideas must be big, because all successful innovators who ever lived, spent time THINKING BIG. (Angelika Joie Rockwell & Lovely Mae Camayot)