We often face challenges and difficulties in life. On finding no existing solution, the majority of the people give up too easily. However, there are very few who take action and bring some change in the world. These people create history. They are the ones who make impossible things happen. Not only do they uplift their own lives but sometimes, in the process, completely transform the world. We bring to you 10 such Incredible “Fine, I’ll Do it Myself” Moments In History.
1. Corporal Desmond Doss was a combat medic in World War II. Combat medics were ordered not to fight during the war. However, in a fight at Hacksaw Ridge, Okinawa, Desmond disobeyed the orders and rescued 75 soldiers. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and determination.
When Desmond Doss joined the army, he was harassed as he had vowed never to kill. Some soldiers in the army considered him a pest, questioned his sincerity, and threw shoes at him while he prayed. He consequently became a medic and acted as a conscientious objector in the battle.
In 1945, the men in Desmond’s division were repeatedly trying to capture the Maeda Escarpment, an imposing rock on Hacksaw Ridge. Finally, they reached the top of the cliff. Suddenly, the enemy forces rushed them in a vicious counterattack.
Officers ordered an immediate retreat. Soldiers rushed to climb back down the steep cliff. However, Desmond refused to follow the orders. He stayed with the 75 injured soldiers who were left behind.
He worked relentlessly throughout the night and helped all the remaining soldiers to climb back down. His iron determination and courage resulted in at least 75 lives saved that day. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and determination. (1, 2)
2. Elisha Graves Otis was the inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails. However, nobody believed in his invention. So, he risked his life and hoisted himself up extremely high and had somebody cut the cable with an ax to prove how safe his elevator was. He succeeded as well.
Elisha Graves Otis was an engineer and business-owner in New England. At the age of 40, he looked for different ways to get all the old debris up to the upper levels of his factory. He invented a safety device to prevent elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails in 1852.
He approached other factories with his invention. However, they did not show much interest. He decided to start his own elevator company, initially known as Union Elevator Works and later Otis Brothers & Co.
However, he did not receive any orders over the next several months. People did not believe in his product. Finally, he got his big chance at New York World’s Fair held in 1853. At the New York Crystal Palace, Elisha amazed a crowd when he ordered the only rope holding the platform on which he was standing to be cut.
3. Barry James Marshall along with his colleague Robin Warren found out that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) plays a major role in causing many peptic ulcers. However, other scientists ridiculed him. Finally, he drank a broth containing cultured H. pylori and developed an ulcer within a few days.
Barry James Marshall, an Australian physician met Robin Warren, a Registrar in Medicine at the Royal Perth Hospital, in 1981. Both were curious to find out the cause behind peptic ulcers. Together, they performed the initial culture of H. pylori and developed their hypothesis related to the bacterial cause of peptic ulcer and gastric cancer in 1982.
However, other scientists ridiculed this theory. They did not believe that any bacteria could live in the acidic environment of the stomach. Interestingly, this did not deter Barry and Robin. They submitted their findings to the Gastroenterological Society of Australia in 1983, but the reviewers rated it badly.
They tried to infect piglets with the bacteria but all their attempts failed. Finally, in 1984, Barry did something that no one ever expected. After having a baseline endoscopy done, he drank a broth containing cultured H. pylori, expecting to develop, perhaps years later, an ulcer.
He was surprised when, only three days later, he developed vague nausea and halitosis. On day eight, he had a repeat endoscopy, which showed massive inflammation, and a biopsy from which H. pylori was cultured, showing it had colonized in his stomach. For his commendable work, later, both Barry and Robin were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005. (1, 2, 3)
4. When his pregnant wife died on a narrow and treacherous pass while trying to cross a huge mountain, Dashrath Manjhi decided to build a road single-handedly. People mocked him. However, after 22 years of hard work, Dashrath shortened travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of the town of Gaya from 55 kilometers to 15 kilometers by using only a hammer and chisel.
Dashrath Manjhi, an agricultural laborer, belonged to a small village, Gehlaur, in Bihar, India. The village had very narrow roads. One day in 1959, Dashrath Manjhi’s pregnant wife, Falguni Devi, was taking lunch to her husband. To reach the fields, she needed to climb the mountain. However, the road was very narrow. She slipped and fell from the mountain. In the hospital, she was declared dead.
He did not want others to face the same fate as his wife. So, he decided to carve a road on his own. The other villagers mocked him as this seemed to be an impossible task. Dashrath just took a hammer and chisel, and he began his mission. Even his father ridiculed him for wasting his time and challenging a huge mountain. But Dashrath was adamant and firm in his decision. Years passed on, but he did not give up.
He single-handedly and successfully carved out a 360-foot-long, 30-foot-high, and 30-foot-wide passage through the mountain. He made a difference in the lives of villagers by shortening the 55 kilometers distance to 15 kilometers. Finally, in 1982, after Manjhi’s 22 years of toil, the government joining his efforts to make the road by carving a path through the mountain. (1, 2)
5. Ferruccio Lamborghini, an automobile enthusiast, adored theFerrari 250GT. He realized that the clutch of the car was not of good quality and decided to meet Enzo Ferrari. Enzo insulted Ferrucio, so Ferrucio decided to open his own automobile company, Lamborghini.
After World War II, Ferrucio Lamborghini, an Italian, opened his own garage. He built a tractor for his dad to make the different agricultural processes easier for him. Soon, his tractor became popular and his wealth increased tremendously. Ferrucio was an automobile enthusiast. He loved fancy sports cars and owned many of them.
One of them was a Ferrari 250Gt. However, he realized that there was some problem with the car. He decided to fix it himself and found out that the clutch used in the 250GT was of similar quality as the one he used while making his tractors. He decided to meet up with Enzo Ferrari, the owner of Ferrari.
When he told Enzo about the problem, Enzo did not take much interest. Not only did Enzo disagree with him, but he insulted Ferrucio as well. Ferrucio did not give up.
He decided to make the best fancy sports car himself and opened a new branch under his name called “Automobili Lamborghini” in1963. He debuted his very first model, the Lamborghini 350GTV, in just four months. Today, Lamborghini is one of the top car companies in the world. (1, 2)