Northern Lines

Janet Krokson

Have you ever wondered why we no longer seem to have artists, writers, musicians, engineers, architects, and other creators the caliber of, say, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Voltaire, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Plato, Socrates, and so many others?

Have you ever wondered how, in old or ancient times people managed to build such lasting and monumental structures and creations as the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt, the Colosseum in Rome, the Sphinx, the monolithic carvings, or moai statues, on Easter Island – more than 900 of them?

And while today, with all of our state-of-the art tools and equipment and training, we sometimes can’t even build a baseball stadium that won’t collapse – or a school that can be functional for more than 50 years?

Is it because, as time has gone on humans have become less creative, less persistent, less inventive, less motivated, and/or less lacking in initiative?

Or is it that people today simply have more diversions – TV, Netflix, iPhones, iPads, laptop computers, sports, YouTube, stock reports, video games, and a host of other things to do or think about that didn’t exist in ancient or older times?

And in reverse, what would Pyotr Tchaikovsky have accomplished with one of today’s electric keyboards?

What would the Greek Anaximander, who conceptualized the idea of longitude and latitude to standardize land plotting, be able to accomplish with today’s satellites and computer systems?

Would people like that, if they lived today, be so addicted to Facebook and investing in the stock market, and video games they wouldn’t have time for Great Thinking and Great Creations?

Does it make sense that as humanity has moved forward with more recorded history and more resources than ever before we’ve bogged down?

Imagine it: an enlightened George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison have come back to life to replace Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schirmer, and Mitch McConnell at the head of our government.

What would they be doing differently?

Looking back, can you flip it around and picture Trump, Pelosi, Schirmer, and McConnell coming together to write the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence?

Would our country even exist if today’s Congress had been in charge during our nation’s earliest days, making decisions (or not) about the American Revolution and establishing the Bill of Rights?

One wonders.

Granted, humanity took until 1837 to invent the telegraph, and only 37 years later, the telephone was on the scene. In a little over a century more, we had desktop computers in front of us.

The first passenger-carrying glider arrived in 1853 and in a little over a century more, mankind was in outer space. Then on the moon. Now headed to Mars.

So, indeed, society has done some creating and innovating, and some building on the discoveries and inventions that have come before.

But shouldn’t we expect more when we started out with people such as Michelangelo, da Vinci, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Beethoven, Bach, Socrates, Jefferson, and the list goes on?

As the Easter Island “heads” remain after thousands of years and the music of Tchaikovsky continues to play, one wonders if we are doing enough good with what we’ve got today.

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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