This extract is attributed to Loren Eiseley:
“The journey is difficult, long, sometimes impossible. Even so, I know few people who have let these difficulties stop them. We enter the world without knowing for sure what happened in the past, what consequences this has brought us, and what the future may have in store for us.
We shall try to travel as far as we can. But looking at the landscape around us, we realize that it won’t be possible to know and learn everything.
So what remains is for us to remember all about our journey so that we can tell stories.
To our children and grandchildren, we can tell the marvels that we have seen and the dangers that we have faced.
They too will be born and will die, they too will tell their stories to their descendants, and still the caravan won’t have reached its destination.”
Loren Eiseley (September 3, 1907 – July 9, 1977) was an American anthropologist, educator, philosopher, and natural science writer, who taught and published books from the 1950s through the 1970s. During this period he received more than 36 honorary degrees and was a fellow of many distinguished professional societies. At his death, he was Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
According to his obituary in the New York Times, the feeling and philosophical motivation of the entire body of Dr. Eiseley’s work was best expressed in one of his essays, The Enchanted Glass: “The anthropologist wrote of the need for the contemplative naturalist, a man who, in a less frenzied era, had time to observe, to speculate, and to dream.” (Wikipedia)
Where are these great thinkers today? Maybe I am as guilty as the rest of society. For the most part, the famous names I know are the ones plastered on the glossies at the grocery store. The heroes that we worship today, have insignificant accomplishments, in the grand scheme of things.
It is time to discover some of the great thinkers of the last hundred years. I suspect there are many out there, going about their work, with very few paparazzi chasing them down.