Okay, stop right where you are. Close your eyes. Now, open your eyes and look straight ahead. What do you see? Oh! I forgot to say that you should choose an area about two feet square… then, tell me what you see. If you see a blank wall, that’s okay, but if you see several things within that two foot square, it works even better.
Here’s the thing: within that small space, have you ever considered how many people contributed to your comfort or interest? Is there a lamp or a light of some kind? Ah! Someone discovered electricity. Do you know who? If you answered Ben Franklin, think again. Yes, our friend, Ben, did realize that there was a connection between lightning and electricity, but there’s a rumor that the man who actually built the first electric battery was Alessandro Volto. That battery, it is said, was the real break-through in the discovery of electricity. hmmmm. Could it be? Is there more to this than meets the eye?
Looking again into your two-foot square, do you happen to notice if someone has painted some portion of it? This thought made me wonder who invented paint. So, I went searching. hmmmm. I know that Tom Sawyer incorporated the help of his friends to white-wash the fence, but was that the same as painting? I actually do not think it was… quite, although that’s just my opinion. But if you look back through history, you will find various ways that some form of painting was done by different cultures. Take, for instance, the Egyptians. They were the dudes with the sphinxes and the pyramids, right? There ya’ go! They slapped all kinds of Paint-ey things all over the insides of the pyramids. Scratched out designs and threw Paint-ish into some of the designs. Were they painting? I guess they were, so my earlier opinion just changed.
As the ages followed and each generation tried something new, improvements were made and today we benefit from many different people and cultures who all contributed in one way or another. Whoever the Top Dog of paint is today cannot deny the involvement others had before we arrived at the worlds of living color we have available to us, today.
Moving on, what else do you see? Is there some kind of paper within your view? Thank you, Ts’ai-Lun of Lei-Yang in China. Or, was it the Egyptians and their papyrus? Man, those dudes really seemed to get around, didn’t they? Wait a minute! What of this guy, Charles Fenerty, of Halifax? And where do those two Englishmen come in? What were their names, again? Healey and Allen? Yeah, that’s them. They all played a part in the paper-making process. Now, I can take my pretty little sticky-note and stick it to my pretty little stationary and put it in my secure envelope without having to remember that I need to make some paper before I can write a letter.
The point I’m trying to make is that no matter where you choose to look, especially in a city or town, if you take the time to notice, you will have reason to realize that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Every society and every generation builds on what those from the past have contributed. Even the fields are filled with seeds designed for better yield. No man is an island and the sooner we realize that, the better our progress will be.
Ben Franklin did not, alone, discover the benefits of electricity. It is my firm belief that neither did his predecessor, Alessandro Volto. If you will notice, a good many ideas come from something that someone else has said or done. Remember Tabitha Babbitt from yesterday’s post? Great inventor, right? She didn’t do it alone. She was watching two men from her community when she was struck with an idea and Voila! Life just got easier.
So the next time you begin to feel that no one cares about you, take a look around and notice some of the things that make your life easier. Someone, somewhere must have cared a whole awful lot because my life has all kinds of Easy in it. How ’bout yours?
Until tomorrow, keep a hug on.