This is a picture from 1601 of what our world was thought to look like.
I feel like I could end this post right now and it would be amazing enough for someone to spend their time reading it. I mean, did you see that first sentence?
- In 1601, people were drawing pictures of our planet.
- In 1601, people were pretty darn close to drawing pictures of our actual planet.
- In 1601, there were actual people doing actual things – like, for example, drawing pictures of our planet.
Just look at that map. Look at all those markings of places that, in 1601, were known to exist.
Today in my travels across the world that is the internet, I discovered that there is such a thing as a World Heritage Site. Basically, a world heritage site is a place that is considered to be significant in our world. Think: Pyramids of Giza, St. Petersburg, Russia, Easter Island. Many buildings are also world heritage sites. Even a field of agave in Mexico is on the list!
Since I’m from the US, here’s map of World Heritage Sites near me:
So many! All of these places are important to our culture and history as a planet.
A few of these markers are close to where I live. I could travel to them in less than a day! These things are so close to us. We are literally surrounded by history! But, we don’t care.
We really don’t! And that is so sad to me. We all go about our own lives – whatever they might be. We are all so caught up in the importance of whatever it is we’re doing at the moment, that we forget about the past.
We forget about 1601. We forget that there have been billions of people who have lived on this planet before us. Before any of our living relatives. Before any of our family history occurred.
Ultimately, it is such a small thing to forget about when compared to everything else we ignore on a daily basis. Our neighbors. Our in-laws. Our melting glaciers.
We own this planet. Earth. It’s ours. All of ours. Yours, mine. And it came free to us, however we came to be here. It should be our most cherished possession – not our iphones, not our t-shirts, not our cars. Instead, we ignore it. And in doing so, we ignore ourselves. We ignore everything we are doing now, and everything we have done. We don’t care that there are special places scattered around the planet. We don’t care that we could go to a place where someone else stood in 1601. In 1201. In 801.
Well, I care. I’m going to go visit those places in my life. I’m going to care about our planet, and our history, and our present, and our future. I hope you will, too.