I was crossing the road the other day when a thought occurred to me, and not for the first time. What exactly were people doing for 200,000 years? It seems so bizarre that creatures, exactly as evolved as us, would simply sit around campfires for so long in human history.
Did they get bored? Did they also dream of flying cars? How didn’t they come up with hair-loss solutions and spreadable-cheese earlier?
My mum once told me that when she was younger, she used to barely dare to dream of a day when we could play whichever song we wanted, when we wanted from the ‘radio’. That’s within my lifetime.
In times like this, the first thing I think is that surely civilisations such as Atlantis are not that far-fetched. If anything, the fact that it only came to be a few thousand years ago rather than tens of thousands is the still shocking part. (For the record: I don’t believe in Atlantis per se)
The second thing, is just how incredible exponential growth is. We use the exact (pretty much) same brains for hundreds thousands of years to grunt in caves and draw stick figures, and then within a few thousand years we inject botox and have people making coffee while orbiting earth for the fun of it.
Is that not wild? The same minds, bodies, instincts and skills - living in such incredibly different ways.
And while I’m not completely sure every change we’ve made from hunter-gatherers has been for the best, it’s nonetheless, absolutely incredible.
This all has me thinking, why, in the face of such history and evidence, in the face of such proof for the powers of exponential growth, are we so impatient?
I cannot wait to be “professional” at everything I do. I often show little patience in waiting for results. Surely I could always be better? Why am I not excellent yet?
This has all seemed laughable to me this week. I love these little humbling moments. The moments that highlight my neurotic, impatient, naive self. In terms of life expectancy (probably in the 90s if we account for the fact I’ve already made it to 26), I’m yet to discover fire.
Here’s to exponential growth, especially in self-exploration, self-understanding, self-acceptance and peace. The most important things of all.
Hope you have an amazing week!