The people whose memory has faded and whose existence is no more. There’s a reason they perished and are no longer part of the formula. They were the chinks in the armor that allowed entropy to work its way through the system, incapacitating what could not withstand the tests of time, or they simply ran out of luck, perhaps out of energy. Everything has an expiry date.
Yet, life continues, despite the demise of the old and precedent. While the structures of civilization buckle under the weight of progress, creaking at the chinks and joints, the spirit of progress sieves out of the ailing and fallen bodies of the departed, strand by ethereal strand, expiration by precious expiration, seeking refuge and inspiration elsewhere. A rebirth somewhere else. Rekindling. Migration. A fractious Greece gives way to Rome; a broken Rome gives rise to Constantinople and the Franks; a sacked and expatriated Constantinople foments the Renaissance, which gives way to the Enlightenment, which feeds the French and American revolutions, each movement fertilizing the next with its emissaries, its history. A process of restoration and reform that sweeps the globe. Europe gives rise to America, and America gives everyone the splitting of the atom and space exploration and the internet and entertainment, and a global mindset begins to stir, and the spirit of life moves on and on in search of new vessels to inhabit, vessels able to host its animate state whenever the old ones begin to fail.
In that sense, progress never dies. Ingenuity lives on in the bodies and actions of those willing to move to its unmistakeable beats, carrying out the impossibilities it so gracefully enables.
The trick is to stop making excuses for what fails it and start praising what supports it.
Let’s start with your country. Where was it 2000 years ago? Where was it 1000 and 500 years ago, and 100 years ago, and 50 years ago, and 10 years ago, and where is it now?
More importantly, where will it be 10 years from now, and 50 years from now, and 200 years from now? What must it do to strengthen its position? Business as usual or something different? Will it succeed, or will it fail? Will it be part of the new crowd of evolutions running the show, or will it be one of the caveats, an example to avoid? Is anyone going to remember its name?
At the end of the day, life is simple, simple, so very simple in its boundless complexity. The trick is to praise whatever works and bury whatever doesn’t, keeping only what clears the way ahead. Or be a zombie for the rest of your living dead life, a cautionary tale, an example to avoid, or maybe something which, for all practical purposes, never even existed.
Intrigued? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE