This article is based on a few thoughts I had on New Year’s Day, and goes with my Pale Blue Dot article I published on January 10th. iVoteTennessee | A Pale Blue Dot or A Speck of Dust
Yeah, those Dinosaur fossils named Julius Caesar and Ben Franklin are long dead, and so too are the Tyrannosaurus, and especially the Stegosaurus. In this article, I want to do a few things, first I want to point out how we tend to lump different times of history together, especially given how our concept of time is skewed to how we perceive time in our own lifetime. You might ask, why? To find out, you’ll have to read the entire article.
Dinosaurs & Humans
The Tyrannosaurus lived between 66-83.6 million years ago, while the Stegosaurus lived between 150-155 million years ago. In other words, the Stegosaurus had been extinct for 66.4 million years, before the T-Rex ever reared its weird head.
A long time to be sure, given that early human ancestors only appeared around 6 million years ago, which is a drop in the bucket in our planet’s timeline. Over the next 5,995,000 years, Mankind made very little progress. In fact, our recorded history only goes back about 5,000 years, starting with a handful of Sumerian Cuneiforms that have been found.
My Thought on New Year’s Day
What if I told you that you’re closer in time to Julius Caesar’s birth (100 BCE), than he was to the building of the Great Pyramid (2580-2560 BCE), by about 297 years? Now, picture 297 years ago, when Ben Franklin, a man we picture as being old, would’ve been around 20 years old, and the Declaration of Independence wouldn’t be written for another 50 years. Now picture this, The Pyramid of Djoser (the oldest known Pyramid) is roughly 87 years older than the Great Pyramid, which for most people in human history is longer than their lifetime, including Ben Franklin, who lived to be 84.
In the final scene of Martin Scorsese’s movie, “Gangs of New York,” Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Amsterdam Vallon can be heard talking about how pointless many of the things human beings have done to one another are. Especially the violent things humanity has done, all to control another person, a speck of land, a nation, or the world, even if for a brief point in time.
Here’s the monologue:
“In the end, they put candles on the bodies so’s their friends, if they had any, could know them in the dark. The city did this free of charge. Shang, Jimmy Spoils, Hell-cat, McGloin, and more. Friend or foe, didn’t make no difference now. It was four days and nights before the worst of the mob was finally put down. We never knew how many New Yorkers died that week before the city was finally delivered. My father told me we was all born of blood and tribulation, and so then too was our great city. But for those of us what lived and died in them furious days, it was like everything we knew was mildly swept away. And no matter what they did to build this city up again… for the rest of time… it would be like no one even knew we was ever here.”
My point is simple, life is relatively short, strive to leave a positive mark. Don’t be like most people who work to stifle others, because they know that time will forget they were ever here. That’s why they work to pull others down to the basement where all the historically irrelevant people dwell.
That said, even if history isn’t going to remember that you were here or not, I say don’t allow it to be a reason to join the ranks of the infamous. Instead, be a positive force, be a net contributor, even when others are on the take, tell the truth, even when you can get away with a lie, always do what’s right, even when others aren’t looking, even if doing so will cost you in the long run. After all, in the end, the most all of us will ever have, is our reputation, be it good, or bad, and our reputation will remain long after we’re dead and gone.
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