Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Lately, my Dad has become fascinated with early--and I mean early--human history. Cave drawings and unearthed skeletons and archaeological digs and other such things. When we were up in D.C. this weekend he was telling us a little bit about what he's been reading and I keep thinking about something he told us.
He said that the thing he's been most struck by in all of his study on this subject is just how hauntingly similar these humans who lived 30,000 years ago were to us humans living today. They had vivid imaginations and were compelled to creativity. They sketched each other's faces. Scientists have discovered drawings done by young boys that are strikingly graffiti-like, that depict the same kinds of things today's young boys are interested in--roughhousing, lewd imagery, that sort of thing. They were motivated by fear and love. They had religion. My Dad was saying that it's all very poetic and beautiful to think that they really weren't all that fundamentally different from us.
So if we aren't very changed from the humans who roamed the earth 30,000 years ago, how different are we really from other humans living today?
I think we tend to notice and even emphasize the differences we see and feel between ourselves and other people. Differences are indeed there and they're largely positive--they make us interesting, they give us depth and richness, uniqueness. But how lovely to remember, at the same time, just how alike we are. It's funny--I've gotten 7 or 8 calls and emails over the past 10 days from people looking to begin piano lessons. That's about as many inquiries as I got in all of November and December. But in January we humans like to set resolutions, begin new beginnings, try things we've never tried before. What better time is there to learn to play the piano than in the early weeks of a new year? We are all in agreement on that, apparently.
I'm really not much of a science girl but I sure do enjoy when science collides with beauty and love and art and helps us to understand things beyond the purely physical. Thanks Dad, for sharing this with me.