Just a speck in this world

March 30, 2009

by Kristen Miller

Having visited the Dassel Museum and its new exhibit, “In Our Own Backyard: A Collection of Ancient Indian Artifacts,” I began thinking about how old the world really is.

In the exhibit, possibly one of the oldest pieces found in this area was a spear point from 8000 to 6000 BC. That particular artifact is between 8,000 and 10,000 years old. Now that’s old.

Through the exhibit, I also became educated that it’s politically correct that the time periods BC and AD be called BCE or “Before Current Era” instead of “Before Christ” and CE or “Current Era” replacing “AD” or “After Death.”

Anyway, back to the original subject of how old the world really is.

As I thought more and more about those ancient artifacts found in this very area we live in, I realized how we are all just specks in this world.

Not only have human beings lived in this area more than 10,000 years before us, but they also left remnants behind proving their existence.

Through those remnants we have a better idea of how they lived and what they did to survive.

For example, the spear point was used in the Paleo-Indian Era which was between 10,000 and 6000 BC (I’m still Christian and therefore politically incorrect).

At this point, glaciers were receding northward and migratory groups of people settled in woodland and grassland areas hunting bison, caribou, and even mammoth.

According to Bob Wilde, who studies archaeology aside from his art, archery hadn’t been developed yet, so either the natives had to come really close to their prey and kill them with a spear or use what is called an atlatl, or a spear-thrower.

It just amazes me to think about how old these artifacts really are and that they were used right here (the exhibit shows more specifically the areas where these artifacts were found).

One has to wonder, what will we leave behind for someone else to find?

After considering that we are all just specks in this world, I thought about all the people we will never meet.

I remembered the play, which is now a movie, “Horton Hears A Who,” based on the story by Dr. Seuss.

The movie is somewhat as crazy as my thinking, but it’s more entertaining than my rambling thoughts.

In the play/movie, Horton, who is an elephant, finds a speck floating through the air; something similar to a tiny piece of cotton.

Horton tries his hardest to catch this speck because when it whizzed by his ear, he swore he could hear something coming from that speck.

Trying to catch the speck was nearly impossible for Horton, but eventually he did finally catch it. Sure enough, Horton found out that he really did hear something from that speck.

Of course his friends thought he was crazy, but he just knew he heard someone.

Eventually, Horton found that what he did – like shake the speck – affected the people in Whoville who were on the speck.

Despite how we may be just a speck on this earth’s timeline, each one of us still affects the other and those who are yet to come.

Just think about the billions of people in this world who we will never come across, yet our actions can just as easily affect their way of life.