Evolution, Revolution

September 11. War in Iraq and Afghanistan, spilled over now to Israel and Lebanon. Guantanamo. Confirmed global warming. Darfur. North Korean long range missle tests. Pakistani sanctioned and/or supported large-scale terrorist attacks in India over Kashmir. More recently, North and South Korea exchanging gunfire. Transfer of power in Cuba. Mobilization of the Syrian military.

Make no mistake. We are participating in a pivotal moment in history.

I was thinking about the fact (not theory) of evolution. Many scientists concur that evolution takes place in rapid bursts rather than gradually. This concept is known as punctuated equilibrium. I am starting to believe that this evolutionary model can be applied to humanity and its history.

The rise and fall of Greece and Rome. The advent of Christianity. The development of movable type and the printing press. The Enlightenment. The invention of gunpowder and the atom bomb. The airplane. The computer. The First and Second World Wars. The moon landing. And soon, the culmination of genetic research.

I think that people who lived during the Second World War recognized at that moment that history was being made and that they wanted to be part of that. So too did those in the 1960’s witnessing the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the assasinations of Kennedy and King realize that they were participants in a rapid burst of history. And they did participate.

And I think we are either in such a period right now, or fast approaching one. And if it is not already here, it will approach faster than ever before, because ideas travel faster now than ever before in human history.

You’ve also heard that history repeats itself or that history is cyclical. You find this concept touted by economists as well as political scientists. I think its telling that the secondary definition of revolution is “a sudden, radical, or complete change.” What is the primary definiton? “a progressive motion of a body around an axis so that any line of the body parallel to the axis returns to its initial position.” In other words, a cycle.

We are in a moment in time that will one day get its own chapter in history books. So what are you doing to be at the right place at the right time when history strikes?

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