Lets start by immodestly asserting our historians are right. In the last 5000 years we have accomplished more than our ancestors did in the previous 50,000 years. But, please, a modest pause here! We win only when we compare our sophisticated technologies with their limited ones. Use a different scorecard, and maybe those primitives come out looking much better. You see, modern man has been around only those 5000 years, barely surviving. Primitive man was around 50,000 years, but somehow he too survived.
It makes you wonder. We know what they didn't have, but what did they have we don't...?
Woody Allen says, "My one regret in life is that I wasn't someone else." Well, I won't say I would prefer to have been a primitive tribesman, and yet anthropologists remind us those so-called primitives were masters of survival against heartless environments. Today they would probably be called left-brained, because their cognitive faculties of reasoning, science and math were limited; yet at the same time, their right-brains were fully engaged as they intuitively worked their way through a brutal planet without access to advanced medicines, tools or conveniences.
This fact tickles the old debate between intellect and instinct. In sports, surgery, music, and theater everyone can pick out the "gifted" ones, because they usually are those standouts who have that certain something which their peers do not; that inexplicable extra which their left-brain didn't learn in training camp, medical school, or in the arts. You either have it or you don't....!
It might be argued that our primitive ancestors had it. Had enough of what they needed to survive and eventually prevail during those harsh 50,000 years. Even so today as we keep realizing how some of us are more equal than others. But wait...? Isn't there a pill or a protocol by which we can instruct someone to become gifted? I'm sure some researchers are working on that as we write.
Until then, it might be a practical idea to drop some of those splashy how-to courses, admitting to ourselves that some gifts may not be able to be taught or to be learned. Hard as we try, there are no manuals on how-to-become-another-Leonardo! Instead, modern man just might want to give his left-brain a rest long enough to re-discover what his right-brained ancestors seemed so good at.
Then with both halves given equal focus and faith, we just might keep thriving another 50,000 years.
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