Around three years ago, I was walking through a bookstore looking for a book to buy. I tend to go to the business or self development section and I always go in the same direction and some of the books that I’m going to buy and I didn’t want to do that. This time I wanted something a little bit different. And I came upon this book titled the boy who harnessed the wind, a picture of a windmill on the cover and this kid, and I’m not sure why I picked it up for some reason that grabbed my attention. I looked inside of it, I read a couple of pages and I got caught up and I said, there’s the book and I bought this book and I think I gravitate towards it because it was in the middle of my adrenal fatigue that I had talked about and I was going through a heavy bout of anxiety and depression.
So I think I needed something that would inspire me in a different way on that day. Cause I remember being one of the worst days when I was going through it and I could barely keep my eyes open. It was like 10 30 in the morning and my body just felt exhausted. My mind felt exhausted so that they’re reading it and talking to Elizabeth about it. We thought it’d be a fantastic movie to bring and watch with the kids. It’s a true story. It’s about this boy in Africa and lived in a town that was suffering from severe drought. It was a very poor, impoverished area. And as bad as it was, once the droughts came in, which killed so many of the crops and then floods came in, which washed away their crops, their harvest, maybe their houses. So you had a lot of people that were dying.
You had a lot of people that were leaving, but this boy had nowhere to go. It was him and his parents and his sister and he had a love for electronics. And as I read it, it reminded me so much of our kids were constantly taking apart electronics, trying to put them back together, figuring out the wires and the transmitters, you know, they build their own little cars, their own little generators. I’ll be honest, like it’s so foreign to me. I never had any interest in any of that stuff and they just are wired for it. So this kid in a way reminded me of our kids. So during this process and this drought and the struggle, he figured out that he could make a dynamo and turn something with a fan that can create energy and they can get water from the well so they can plant their crops and they could water them even during the drought.
So as the entire town was getting desperate, not surprisingly, he was really excited about this idea. So he learned and he studied and he read on this and it got so bad that their parents didn’t have enough money. So he wasn’t even allowed to go to school because they weren’t paying for the tuition. So that’s where he would learn about it and read about it in the library. But he found a way, he found a way to get into the library to talk them into allowing him in there so he can study this. But the bad part was this from the parent and father perspective and Elizabeth and the boys talked about this after the movie. I wasn’t there for the conversation, but they talked about the father in the movie and the father in the movie had a really hard time with change. Even when he was younger, his father didn’t want to give him land cause he knew his son had a hard time changing and would need to.
But the son always wanted to do things the same way. So we left it to his other son. So as the movie went on, we saw this, they kept doing the same thing and the father kept trying to harvest the land. No, how dry it was. He never changed approaches. It was to the point where it’s a really important part of the movie. The son comes to the dad and he pleads, he says, dad, if I could use your bike, I can use it for this windmill that would harness the wind to get this water. But I’d had to cut your bike apart. And instead of listening, the dad was so stuck in his ways that he got mad and broke his son’s radio and said, stop this, forget this. And they got into a huge fight about it. But the son didn’t quit. He had this resolve and he brought his friends into it and he told them what was going on and all the kids can too, and said, give your son a chance to do this.
And even then, even then, the father did not want to change. He actually wanted to fight the kids because they were challenging him. And it wasn’t until the dad’s daughter, the boys older sister left to go to another town and his wife finally confronted him on this. At the same time, nearly everybody was gone from the town. People were either dying or they had left. The chief of the town had died, the kid’s dog had died. And it was only then in the most desperate situation that the dad finally relented the change and listened to his son and to give him the bike. So the son takes the bike and he proceeded to take it and turn into a wheel on the windmill and he put it together and the wind came, it spun around and water started pumping out and everybody that was there celebrated and they were able to finally start setting things up and harvest the crops again.
And it was only in extreme situations where the dad was able to change. And this goes to the growth mindset that we talk about and unfortunately a lot of us that are looking to grow are dealing with family members that don’t want to change. And we’re talking distant family members, we’re talking parents and we’re talking spouses. And it becomes very difficult when you have a growth mindset. You’re always looking to learn to get better and you’re going to have it in your life. And I have it in mind when you’re around people that do not want to change, and it’s a difficult process because you cannot get somebody to change. You cannot make somebody that doesn’t want to change change. But when you watch or read this story, and it’s a cautionary tale, but we can take this as a warning to say, let’s not become that type of person that gets so stuck in our own ways that we keep doing it the same over and over, whether it’s parenting, business, our health, the same way we always have, just because that’s the way we’ve always done it, to realize that we constantly need change and we constantly need to have that open mind to be able to change.
So I’d highly encourage you to check this out. Either the book or the movie. I love both the movies on Netflix. I’m not sure if it’s still on there. There is a lot of subtitles, so it’s a little more difficult, especially with younger kids. But it’s a fantastic story. That’s just a little lesson about the boy. You harness the wind. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.