Real progress

If progress is real despite our whining, it is not because we are born any healthier, better, or wiser than infants were in the past, but because we are born to a richer heritage, born on a higher level of that pedestal which the accumulation of knowledge and art raises as the ground and support of our being. The heritage rises, and man rises in proportion as he receives it.

~ Will and Ariel Durant from,

So much is written and discussed about history: recording it, studying it, learning (or not) from it, does it repeat or rhyme, etc.. But why don’t more people talk about each of our personal histories? The most important thing— The thing I unequivocally must do, and must do first, is to take care of myself. (“Put on your own oxygen mask before attempting to assist others.”) I must put myself first. I must be the change I want to see in the world. Only if I am healthy, empowered, and vigrously prepared can I sally forth to do good things.

Certainly, I can work on myself by studying humanity’s history for lessons. You know what works better? Studying my history, because there are so many questions I can usefully ask of myself. What couldn’t I accomplish if I spent decades studying my own history and studying humanity’s?

That would be real progress.