We Are Living in the Early Days of Civilization

When I recently discovered the Teachings of Ptahhotep, the oldest surviving book in the world, published only 4500 years ago (more or less), something snapped inside my brain and I realized, we are living in the early days of civilization.

Think about it. The dinosaurs ruled the earth for 160 million years, and little ol’ homo sapiens has only been around 200,000 years. But there is no surviving book more than 5,000 years old. Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago. That is only a few generations of time.

As the Stoic Marcus Aurelius pointed out, Alexander the Great (above) was buried in the same ground as his mule driver. And so for us all – ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We are flames that flicker briefly, then go out.

Personally I believe I will live with God in Eternity, but I won’t know for sure until I am dead.

The point of all this philosophical musing is that when you think about the pandemic and the riots and police brutality, you have to realize, this too shall pass, as shall we all. We are in the early days of civilization. My own age group has personally witnessed integration, women’s liberation, men walking on the moon, the invention of television, the Internet, email and much more. We still have a long way to go.

Someday there will be immediate cures for any dangerous virus. Someday people of all races will live in peace with justice. Someday there will not be great income inequality. Someday if we are all fortunate we will look down from heaven and see all of this happen and think, “I lived in the early days of civilization.”

Somehow that realization gives me peace. I hope it does for you too.

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