Connect with us

Health & Wellness

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi is Proof That Anything is Possible

Published

on

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi is Proof That Anything is Possible

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi

Before 1995, it’s estimated that chickenpox resulted in approximately 4 million cases, 10,000 hospitalizations, and up to 150 deaths per year. Now, because of the chickenpox vaccine, there are fewer than 150,000 cases, 1400 hospitalizations, and 30 deaths every year.

Dr. Michiaki Takashi is the inventor of the chicken pox vaccine, and probably the most amazing thing in the world is that he set off to find a cure because the illness had almost taken his 3-year-old son.

Imagine, someone you love is progressively showing severe symptoms for something that there is no cure for. When the only thing you think you can do is sit there and watch, and you think all hope is lost, something hits you…

“I realized then that I should use my knowledge of viruses to develop a chickenpox vaccine.”

The Best Place to Start is Where You Are

A lot of people have knowledge, and the need for knowledge is something that we hold very dearly.

But how many people understand the true power of the knowledge that they already have?

To want more of something is very human, but to understand the face value of what you already have can sometimes be very difficult; it may even be superhuman. This is because the future is potential that is yet to be revealed.

The fact is that Dr. Michiaki Takashi began creating a vaccine with what he already knew, and if you asked him whether he knew that he would save millions of children at the time, he probably wouldn’t have believed you.

The ability to save millions of people is, in fact, superhuman. It is the most “superhuman” thing anyone can do. But that is exactly what he did, and he did it as an ordinary man that we now call a hero…

All because he started from the place that he was in, and with what he already knew.

Hero’s Aren’t Born; They’re Made

Billy Butcher will tell you this firsthand, but then again, he probably won’t need to.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi achieved his MD at Osaka University in 1954 when he was 26 years old. He moved to Texas in 1963 after spending five years as an assistant professor at the Research Institute for Microbial Disease at the same university.

Nearly a decade of medical school in Ozaka, five years of being an assistant professor, a 1-year fellowship in Houston Texas, and in 1964, his son developed varicella (chicken pox). This frightful situation became the inspiration for the vaccine that changed the entire world.

Hero’s aren’t born; they’re made. They are made of the experiences that come before the opportunity to make a real difference.

It is at that point where the hero arises.

Even Hero’s Need a Bit of Time

It wasn’t until 1972—nine years after his son developed varicella—that Dr. Michiaki Takahashi began the clinical trials to create a vaccine. For an entire seven years before that, he had to prove that:

  • the vaccine would not lead to shingles later in life.
  • The vaccine would not be carcinogenic.

These were both underlying worries of others that Michiaki Takahashi had to work with before he effectively changed the world. In fact, these fears are still alive and are partly attributed to the reason why chickenpox vaccination is not universally rolled out in many countries. That being said, people are much less likely to contract shingles after getting the vaccine than they are after getting chicken pox—which the vaccine prevents.

The drive to change the world was for the people who held the fears and worries that may have prevented the vaccine altogether.

This goes to show that things take time. There are no shortcuts to success, and if there were, can you be sure that the hero would grow into everything they can be?

The Real Reason That Dr. Michiaki Takahashi is a Hero

You may recall that the entire history of Takahashi’s life brought him to a moment where he decided to make a decision.

This decision has positively impacted the lives of billions of people, to a degree we can never truly comprehend. It is as if all the knowledge that he ever achieved was preparing him for something great.

It wasn’t what he knew that changed the world, it was what he did.

The reason that Dr. Michiaki Takahashi is a hero is that he chose to use that knowledge to make a positive difference.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi. Osaka Research Institute for Microbial Diseases
Dr. Michiaki Takahashi: February 17, 1928 – December 16, 2013. [Osaka Research Institute for Microbial Diseases]

IC Inspiration

It used to be that knowledge was power, but I’m not so sure now.

In this day and age, knowledge is knowledge, and power is what you do with knowledge.

Knowledge is currently accessible at the tip of your fingers, and what you know is what millions of others may know.

That is precisely why getting followers is such a big deal for many; because if people know what you know then they can understand you, and those likes reflect to some degree that you are being understood.

You can raise $2 million in 2 months without knowing everything; in fact, you may only need to know one thing really well, and sometimes, that might not even be necessary.

With good intentions, a good idea, and determination, you might just change the entire world.

That is why this man is a hero in my books.

Adam Hamadiya is an entrepreneur, professional writer, and SEO expert. He is the co-founder of inspiringclick.com.

Health & Wellness

How to Solve World Hunger and Food Insecurity in 2024

Published

on

Here's how to solve world hunger and food security in 2024. eSoil might help, but it is not a solution.

Electronic Soil (eSoil)

Have you heard of hydroponic farming?

It’s a way of growing plants in monitored indoor environments without the need for soil. Hydroponics is used in farming because it increases the amount of plants that farmers can produce.

Recently, scientists at Linköping University in Sweden have created what they call electronic soil, or eSoil.

This is a type of soil used for hydroponics that stimulates plant roots by using electricity. The scientists have found that this increases the amount of crops grown by 50%. They are hoping that this breakthrough in hydroponics will help feed more hungry people in the world.

“We can’t say that hydroponics will solve the problem of food security, but it can definitely help”

Eleni Stavrinidou associate professor at Linköping University

However, there is this idea that we need to produce more food to solve world hunger. This is not true. In fact, producing more food might even be worse for food security on a large scale.

Here’s why.

Hydroponics Increases Food Production

Hydroponic systems give farmers more control over the environment plants grow in. Farmers can optimize both nutrient delivery and plant space in any way they see fit. Controlling these two things increases plant production while decreasing the time it takes them to grow.

In their journal, the researchers state that food security is a major issue. By 2050, the world population is expected to increase to 9.7 billion. The aim is to evolve hydroponics and use electronic soil (eSoil) to ensure food security as the world population grows.

But there’s a twist.

Does Increasing Food Production Help Food Security?

Out of the 7.8 billion people in the world, nearly 1 billion (or 10%) face hunger every year. And yet, we currently produce enough food to feed 1.5x the current population of the world, or 10 billion people.

9.7 billion is the expected population in 2050.

This means that right now, there is more than enough food to feed the expected population in 2050. So, using hydroponic eSoil to increase the production of food does not help food security. It just increases the amount of food and money that is wasted.

The Real Problem with Food Security is Waste

In 2023, the world used an entire year of resources in just 7 months. There is a huge waste problem. It is important—and even necessary— that waste be reduced or better utilized before looking for ways to increase food production to ensure food security.

Why?

If the world continues to produce more food than is needed, and there is already a waste problem, then even more food will be wasted. Wasted food costs money, and money is needed to create systems that ensure food security is met for everyone.

How Much Money Could Be Saved by Reducing Food Waste?

Nearly 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted annually. This food amounts to over $1 Trillion in the U.S. every single year.

How much money could be saved by reducing food waste?

How to Solve World Hunger

The UN reports that it would take $40 billion a year to feed every starving person in the world and solve world hunger. This might seem like a lot of money, but nearly $1 Trillion a year can be saved if food is not wasted. By creating more efficient supply chain systems and using AI to anticipate food overproduction, it is very possible to save enough money to ensure food security for everyone.

Individuals can do their part to decrease the amount of waste they produce in their household, but there are two main reasons for food waste: Overproduction and problems with transportation. Artificial Intelligence can be leveraged when dealing with both of these problems.

How can AI Help Solve World Hunger?

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning can be used to predict future demand and how much crops farmers should harvest. This will save money on overproduction. Even more, AI can predict what will happen given a certain event. So, if an event—like climate change— happens that causes overproduction, then at least the leftovers can be expected.

If something is expected then it can also be prepared for.

Two scenarios happen when using AI predictive analysis to solve world hunger:

  1. There is leftover or overproduction.
  2. There is money that is saved.

Both these things are big wins for solving world hunger in 2024 and onward!

Leftovers and Overproduction

If there are leftovers or overproduction, food can be directed to those needing it. This can happen instantly because the overproduction was anticipated using the AI predictive analysis, so delivery programs were developed beforehand.

Money Can Be Saved

If there is no leftover or overproduction, then it means that AI predictive analysis was a success, and no money was lost. The money that was saved can then be funnelled into a fund that is specifically made to feed the hungry and ensure food security.

Solve World Hunger by Creating a Fund

Money that is saved by making more efficient supply chain systems can be directed to a fund. If this fund is held in investments, then not only do you help the economy, but you grow money to further fund world hunger.

Much in the same way that investments are used to offset the effects of inflation, this food security fund can be used to grow money for the poor in years when supply chains were not so efficient at preventing waste.

As AI advances, it may even be possible to integrate the anticipation of leftover food (or money saved) as an event that is directly part of the supply chain.

It might even be necessary to do this in the future.

Can eSoil Help Food Security?

eSoil can be used to increase the amount of Hydroponic crop production. However, the main problem for food security is not production, it is efficiency. There is more than enough food to go around. So, electronic soil can only ensure food security on a small scale, not a large one.

eSoil might help food security, but it is not a solution. Here's How to Solve World Hunger and Food Insecurity in 2024.

IC INSPIRATION

You do not solve an overproduction problem by producing more.

Unless you only want to produce more for the people who have more, it becomes important to create a chain that efficiently funnels food and money to those who don’t have anything.

The problem is first anticipating the amount of food that is left over, and the amount of money that is saved. Then, we can get it to the hungry when they need it.

Have you heard of Lean Six Sigma? It is a methodology that originated in Japan. The Japanese were so efficient at producing Toyota’s that nobody could compete with them. In the 1990s, The CEO of Motorola adopted Lean, and Lean became Lean Six Sigma, which is now the backbone of the entire supply chain industry.

When Lean Six Sigma was introduced to Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electric (GE), he said:We are going to shift the paradigm from fixing products to fixing and developing processes, so they produce nothing but perfection or close to it.”

His phrase sums up the meaning of efficiency… Food security is not a matter of production; it is a matter of efficiency.

Producing more food to feed the world is like General Electric fixing its product instead of the process that creates it.

By focusing on the product, you miss the big picture.

But by focusing on the process, you create the picture that you want.

This is why I say food security needs to become an actual part of the supply chain. By researching how Artificial Intelligence can predict food overproduction, shortages, inventory, and demand, you can make money that can go toward solving world hunger.

Here’s your typical supply chain:

  • Production, handling, packaging, distribution, retailing, consumption

There needs to be something more within, between, or after these that does the following:

  • Anticipates leftovers that can be directed to those who need it before it becomes “waste”
  • Reduces waste and saves money, and then funnels those savings into a growth fund made specifically for the poor and hungry

We all need a New Year’s resolution. How about a collective one?

If you’d give three cheers to that, then click on the links below, and follow us on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram for more motivational news!

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Improving Mental Health With Kindness

Published

on

Improving Mental Health With Kindness

Have you ever wondered what you can do to instantly lift your mood?

A simple act of kindness can do just that.

There are many ways of improving mental health with kindness. Two of the most relatable are when you act as a known “giver,” such as helping an elderly person across a dangerous intersection, and the second way is to be the unknown “giver”—this one works as a pay-it-forward act of kindness. It includes things like paying for a stranger’s meal or coffee order without contact with the person you are helping. 

Regardless of which act you choose; it lifts the spirit. As humans, many of us are taught from childhood to be kind, polite, and helpful. After the act is done, there is praise from the authority figure who is teaching the mind of the young.  Smiling, clapping, or giving positive reinforcement, feeds the child’s soul and raises him or her to associate with kindness.

This is no different as an adult. We need to give kindness because kindness is a quality that is essential for mental health.

How does Kindness Improve Mental Health?

According to Professor Shahram Heshmat, when people are kind, it gives them a “helper’s high” which lowers stress hormones like cortisol. This allows the fight-or-flight response to calm down.

We live in a highly volatile world, especially these last several years.  People are rife with angst, frustration, and a “me first” attitude. If you are feeling any of these, it is important to feel like you are part of a world where others sometimes feel the same way. Kindness helps us relate to others. By performing a simple act of kindness, you bring yourself back to a state of calmness, and even joy.

A simple, genuine smile at someone can go a long way for your mental health. Doing kind things will improve your social connection with others, which in turn will make you feel better about yourself. Little by little, mental health can greatly improve.

Improving your mental health with kindness is a cycle. Not a vicious one, but one that is upbeat and inspirational.

Kindness Also Means Accepting Kindness from Others

Sometimes, it could seem that kindness does not come easily to some people, but kindness is a quality, and there are two simple ways to improve mental health with kindness:

  • Perform acts of kindness
  • Accept acts of kindness from others

For instance, let’s say that you are at a grocery store.  You just finished paying for your goods and go to grab your bag; it splits, and all the contents in that bag fall to the floor. 

As you scramble to rebag the contents, a stranger helps you by grabbing another bag and holding it out for you to fill it up. 

What do you do?

If you decide to smile and tell them thank you, it boosts your positive hormone, oxytocin.  You just took the first step to improve your mental health without realizing it. A genuine “thank you” can be very powerful.

“Your presence is an opportunity for others to do good things. This makes you a very important figure in people’s lives.”

Inspiring click: 15 small things that make you happy in big ways

Improving mental health with kindness

IC INSPIRATION

There are multiple ways to improve mental health. The purpose of this article boils down to one thing: KINDNESS MATTERS. 

It not only matters to the person who is receiving the kindness, it also matters to the person giving it.

You can improve your mental health with kindness and lift another person’s spirit.

By putting a smile on another person’s face, you make it easier to keep a smile on yours.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

What are Forest Schools and How Do They Help Children?

Published

on

forest schools help children in the outdoors

Forest Schools

Nature creates a sense of awe and curiosity for kids that no other environment can rival. That’s why forest schools are educational marvels that come with some amazing benefits for children.

Forest schools—or “skogsmulle,” as it is known in Swedish pedagogy—provide a transformative way to educate kids. These schools aim to encourage learning and independence by nurturing play, exploration, and supported risk-taking in an outdoor environment. 

These schools can help address the addictive screen-scrolling that many children have with their phones and tablets. By fostering a balance between time spent outdoors and using technology, children can have productive experiences that benefit them greatly as they grow.

What are Forest Schools?

Forest schools are an experiential approach to education that allows children access to outdoor environments with the intention of provoking curiosity, action, and creativity. They typically run full-year, and the outdoor education inherent in forest schools creates an environment that gives children the opportunities to explore, absorb, and have fun as they interact with nature.

Children interact with grass, leaves, frogs, insects, rain, sunshine, and seashells, and we can’t forget the good old pinecones. The environment spikes the children’s curiosity, allowing them to ask questions, and the learning process continues.

Where did Forest Schools Originate From?

Forest schools come from Swedish pedagogy. Skogsmulle or Mulle is a Swedish fictional forest creature that introduces kids to nature. He’s the central figure in the concept of forest schools, depicted as a happy-go-lucky forest gnome that accompanies kids in the woods, singing with them and telling them stories about the forests. 

Gösta Frohm, developed the concept of forest schools in the late 1950s while he was working with Sweden’s Association for Promotion of Outdoor Life. Frohm molded the educational concept around Skogsmulle, making it synonymous with forest schools.

Seven decades later, forest schools have been developed and improved by early education stakeholders in Sweden and beyond. Today, we have forest schools in the UK, Finland, Norway, Latvia, Russia, Japan, and the US. Some have “imported” the concept of Mulle, while others like Japan and Latvia have incorporated their own culture and system into forest schools.

Why are Forest Schools Important?

Forest schools act as a buffer from the endless scrolling done on tablets and phones. Kids can spend the entire day scrolling through their tablets, and we have yet to fully understand how this affects them. Children have an exorbitant amount of energy, and it used to be that they would spend all of that energy outdoors. However, with the advent of technology, incentives must now be created for them. Since children have to be educated, forest schools make it so that those incentives are inherently part of the educational process.

forest schools help children by teaching them in nature

Supported Approach to Risk

Forest schools provide learners with an environment that constantly expands children’s ability to solve real-world problems, building confidence and self-esteem. One of the main philosophies of Skogsmulle is that children should be risk-aware, not risk-averse.

If you would like to know how much of a risk taker you are, then read our article, Taking Risks: Why It’s Hard to Take Risks But Why You Should.

The educational nature of forest schools goes beyond learning the risk of physical harm. Besides knowing the potential dangers of sharp tools or campfires, learners take emotional and social risks. They are encouraged to try something new, ask questions, and apply leadership skills.

For instance, Terra Moyo International School in Nairobi focuses on fostering children’s life skills by helping children learn by taking action and “reflecting on the experience.”

These unstructured but carefully watched environments introduce kids to the benefits of taking risks, trying new things out, and developing decision-making skills while interacting with other children and receiving lessons from teachers.  

Holistic Development

Outdoor learning is not just about imparting knowledge. Forest schools prioritize holistic, well-rounded learning by addressing physical, emotional, and social aspects involved while being out in nature. Children can take centerstage since these programs place emphasis on their interests and talents.

Guiding kids while they drive their own learning process can have a more profound effect on their academics, health, and overall well-being.

This is a different approach than traditional classroom environments where a set curriculum is followed, and where tablets, phones, and computers are an integral part of the education process.

Learning that is Limitless

Close your eyes and visualize any natural setting for a second. If a child visited your mind’s nature vista, how many questions would they ask? How much would they learn?

As you can see the possibilities are endless. In nature, kids can learn about colors, numbers, animals, plants, geographical features, seasons, and more. 

Spending time outdoors provides a more imaginative and active experience than passive screen time. 

what are forest schools and how do they help children?

Connection with Nature

Research shows that early experiences associated with nature foster a lifelong connection with it. According to the studies, adults who had positive experiences with nature are more likely to take care of nature as adults. With the overwhelming presence of plastic pollution, the drive for a healthier environment is more important now than ever before.

Melati Wijsen started a movement that banned the use of plastic bags in the entire province of Bali when she was just a teenager; ridding beaches and shores of plastic that had once covered entire areas.

Health and Well-Being

Spending time in nature may improve children’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The benefits of forest schools may be difficult to measure scientifically, but most parents and educators know that children would spend their entire day outdoors given the chance.

Since nature schools allow children to be active, they can improve their stamina, balance, physical fitness, and gross motor skills. Skogsmulle practitioners have also reported that children have reduced stress levels, improved sleeping patterns, and better concentration.

There is Nothing Like the Outdoors

The concept of forest schools is relatively new, and some people may still view it as an “exotic” thing. For years, claims supporting the benefits of nature schools were mostly anecdotal, but recent studies support holistic learning and outdoor exploration for young minds.

There are still some challenges faced by forest schools. In some urban areas, for instance, forest schools may not be accessible to every child, especially those coming from low-income families. They may lack the funds for transport, food, high-quality outdoor kit, or exposure to outdoor knowledge. 

However, forest schools can nurture meaningful experiences that can have a lifelong positive impact on a child’s social, mental, and physical development.

Forest Schools help children by allowing them to explore

IC INSPIRATION

Skogsmulle’s approach is rooted in the belief that early experiences with nature lay the foundation for a lifelong connection with it.

Through exploration, play, and gentle guidance, forest schools nurture a deep appreciation of the beauty and importance of our environment. That’s what Sten Gösta Frohm had in mind when he developed this program in 1957.

More interestingly, Frohm wasn’t an educationalist or philosopher; he was an army sports officer working with the Association of Promotion of Outdoor Life or Friluftsfrämjandet. This apolitical, non-profit, and voluntary organization helped adults learn skiing. It’s here that Frohm started developing his ideas about an outdoor program for children aged 5 to 7.

He believed that children learn better from first-hand sensory activities. Frohm’s idea was to have forest schools that inspire kids to “love nature through fairy tales, songs, music, and games while out in the woods studying plants and animals.” Here, children would learn from other children and vice versa.

Most people, especially those who grew up in rural areas appreciate the importance of forest schools. For instance, in an interview with the Guardian, Magdalena Begh, a mother from the UK, said forest schools are a godsend for her kids.

“After the first session they were very excited – I’ve never seen them so happy after doing any after-school club like that,” Begh said.

We mentioned several physical, emotional, and mental benefits of outdoor learning and holistic education. It’s also worth mentioning the benefits of earthing or grounding therapy for children, such as reducing painful inflammation, boosting the quality of sleep, and even improving their sensory tools from tactile activities. Forest schools may be the best places to allow your kids to be rejuvenated by the power of the earth itself.

Continue Reading

Trending