Archives for posts with tag: Humanity

I’m often going on about time, what a precious resource it is, how it seems to bend with our mood or what we’re doing, so much so that I’m not going to link a few of my posts on it, since you’re probably finding the topic a little wearisome. Stay with me for a minute though.

I think we’re all conscious of the fact that time flies and our lives go past in a blur, a blur which accelerates as we age. If you think back to a thousand years ago, the year 1019, it seems an impossibly long time ago. That depends, though, on how you frame it. Think about your parents and your grandparents. Then think back another 28 or 38 generations, which doesn’t sound much. It’s not that far back, is it? Even though there are probably only 50 people on the planet who know their ancestors that far back, and they probably wear crowns in their day job, 30 to 40 generations feels like a short span to me.

It’s only when you work back in time and compare the paltry millennium to the creation of the solar system and the planets that you realise how mind-bogglingly massive the dimension is. One million years is about 40,000 generations ago, an incomparably vast amount of time. Trillions and trillions of seconds gone by, trillions more to come, each one elapsing in the blink of an eye.

We’re getting into the area of the infiniteness and indivisibility of time here, which usually starts to make my brain hurt, but my point here is that length of time and speed of time are indelibly coloured by our own experiences and perception of them. And that for me, is, if not quite a paradox, certainly interesting. Making a mental note to get out more…

 

I subscribe to a once-a-week post from Tim Ferriss, famed author of The 4-Hour Work Week and other 4-hour derivative publications for self-help and lifestyle improvement. The post is called 5-bullet Friday, and it’s just that: “Here is your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Friday,” a list of what I’m enjoying or pondering.

I almost never click on anything, but I do once in a while. Recently, this movie was the first of his bullets. It was a Sunday evening when I got to his Friday email. I was planing on watching a TV movie. The first bullet sounded fascinating, and I clicked on the movie. I watched it all the way through, abandoning my entertainment plan A.

From Tim’s precis: It is beautiful, jolting, heart-melting, and brutal… all at once. The footage and stories blend into a powerful visual journey that evoked nearly every imaginable emotion in me. Here’s part of the description: “What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery? Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand (@yannarthusbertrand) spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in 60 countries. Working with a dedicated team of translators, journalists and cameramen, Yann captures deeply personal and emotional accounts of topics that unite us all….”

It’s bloody fantastic, you must watch it. It’s high def drone footage of some of the most incredible shots of our planet and people I have ever seen, interspersed with head and shoulders clips that will break your heart and remind you how lucky most of us reading this post are, how fleeting life is, and how you absolutely must cherish the day.

I’m going to watch Volume 2 the next free evening I have.

 

Some time ago, quite a long time go, I wrote about fear and greed.

It was my Dad’s basic premise that much of human behaviour can be distilled into the explanation that it’s driven by these two forces.

If you look around what’s happening in the world and in your country today, or at least the stories that are being selected and channeled to us by the media, an uncomfortably large number of them are still confirming this basic hypothesis. It’s all a bit depressing if you spend too much time on it.

Then again, the vast majority of attention is hogged by leaders in their field: world leaders and politicians, army generals, captains of industry, entertainment a-listers, terrorists and arch criminals all make the news. Maybe it’s the people who have got to the very top of their group are the ones exhibiting these base characteristics. Maybe they’ve had to.

When I look around at my fellow human beings that make up the 99% of us, I don’t see the fear and greed so much.