Bucky’s image was also that of a rebel who challenged the status quo. Still, he tempered continually championing the success of all humankind with a need to be viewed as a “normal, average man.” To do this, in the 1940’s he made a conscious choice to never allow his personal appearance or behavior to stand in the way of his message that we can create “a world that works for everyone.” In order to manifest that decision, he looked for the most innocuous personality type he could find and settled on the nearly invisible bank clerk. At that time, a bank clerk was a man in a dark suit, white shirt and tie who worked behind a caged window.
Once he made the choice of a persona, Fuller immediately changed from wearing khakis (the jeans of the day) and a t-shirt to dressing in a much less comfortable, dark three-piece suit, white shirt and plain dark tie - a look that he continued to employ publicly until his death in 1983. At some point, he did, however, add the chain of his Phi Beta Kappa key emerging from his vest pocket - which was no small accomplishment for a man who was thrown out of Harvard twice and never completed any formal education past high school.
Also, in 1942 at the age of 47 when the US was getting into World War II, Fuller dramatically changed his behavior and image by doing something to which many of us can relate. With no support or tapering off, he quit two of the most common practices of that era - smoking and drinking. As he later stated in a Time Magazine cover article,
"I drink very well, but I found that if I was talking about my inventions and drinking, people just wrote them off as so much nonsense. The war was something serious, and I wanted to be properly accredited. So I stopped drinking and smoking.”
Bucky was willing to do whatever it took to further his mission, but such tenacity is not necessary to apply what he learned and regularly shared in his speaking, writing and inventions. We can all learn from Fuller’s very successful and productive life, and use him as a model for what one person can accomplish when she or he focuses on a worthy goal.
Bucky’s way of operating is not some complicated discipline that requires a great deal of time or effort. It’s also not a pie-in-the-sky idealism. Rather, it’s a system of applying common sense, mirroring nature’s principles and keeping your awareness on what the other person is experiencing during any communication.
In other words, we all need to focus on bringing more consciousness into our relationships and not trying to do something in conflict with the natural order of Universe. Such disharmony with the whole of Universe is what causes breakdowns in society and our day-to-day lives. Fortunately, Bucky was a master at going with the flow of nature while offering alternative, highly inclusive solutions to all our problems - personal, organizational and global. Because of this, his life serves as a model for success that allows each of us to avoid the many learning experience - mistakes that Bucky had to overcome.