I just started reading the first volume of the “story of civilization” by Will Durant, it’s promising to be a really exciting read, Durant brings history to life. The first thing that caught my attention after reading a few pages is how much I’m taking for granted the civilizations that I live in, everything I have, and everything I know, was invented and discovered a long time ago. There was a time when people did not know the simplest things, like the fact that putting seeds back under the ground will make plants grow.
Imagine. This simple fact (plant seeds), which barely enters the thoughts of our daily lives, is what keeps all of us alive, and brings us all the food that we eat, and allows us to shift our focus from the stress of hunting to things like science and entertainment. Imagine what your life would be like if nobody taught us the thousands of facts that were accumulated over thousands of years, we would not have tables, chairs, certainly not cars and planes. This is precisely the value of education and learning in it’s most general form: generate knowledge and share it through space and time. That’s why Will Durant says “The only thing separating Beast and man is Education”.
This process is not guaranteed, we can lose most of our knowledge in a generation. Knowledge transfer can be made more efficient in two ways. First there is so much important knowledge that already exists in the world, that can absolutely transform our lives, if more people understood it, yet it is not shared and transmitted efficiently and relatively few people know it. The other way we can improve is to make people who are capable of discovering and generating knowledge, there is still so much that we can do and so much more that we need to understand and accomplish, we barely understand things as simple as what food is healthy for me, a lot of discoveries could be made around life style and health for example.
To summarize, Civilization is the transmission of our mental heritage across time and space. Anything you can do to improve this transmission will improve the future of humanity in extremely significant ways, we can colonize the universe and understand our consciousness and learn how to love one another be happy and healthy and things we can’t even imagine yet. it all starts with the love of learning and sharing knowledge.
Keep learning! and stay Happy!