I am an observant person. Observation was a skill I began to develop for survival in my younger years and continued to develop as an adult for professional purposes. I am especially adept at noticing things that fit right in and things that seem out of place. Show me an established structure like an accounting system and I can find all the parts and pieces out of alignment with that structure. Designate a place for something around the house and I can probably tell you where you last left something that isn't in its assigned spot.
It comes in handy for locating misplaced car keys and solving financial crimes. But observation is more than a mundane superpower or a professional aptitude; it's a way of moving through the world. And it's one of the paths to discovery. It isn't all you need, of course, curiosity is also quite helpful. But if you are bothering to observe the world around you, you are more likely to notice when something or someone or somewhere shifts. And if you are interested in that shift, then you're more likely to learn something you didn't know before.
I have made a great many discoveries in my life, just like everyone else. If you're participating in life at all, it basically can't be helped. And that's a good thing. If we never came across anything new it would be a dreadfully stagnant existence. It also might be less comfortable, more difficult, or dangerous. Just think about how life would be today without discoveries like penicillin, electricity, or cement.
Because humans are generally prone to curiosity, someone somewhere would have eventually made those same discoveries. There are many documented instances of simultaneous discovery around the world. But different timing would have made for different impact. If Europe had discovered the continents of North and South America before they discovered gun powder and capitalism I bet colonialism would have unfolded quite differently (possibly not at all).
Discovery is happening all the time, everywhere. Like many concepts, discovery itself is neither good nor evil. It can become a problem when the discoverer assumes they are the only person to have ever made that particular discovery. This drive for ownership of ideas in modern times is fueled by the demands of capitalism. If there is profit to be made from an idea, it must be known to whom those profits belong. Economic survival often depends on it.
Discovery can also be problematic when someone discovers something that belongs to someone else and tries to lay claim to it. Christopher Columbus is a perfect (and terrible) example. If he had been a different sort of person, when his ships landed he may have understood he was discovering new potential trading partners. Instead, he claimed to discover a "new world" because he had finally arrived.
Discovery does no good if it isn't also accompanied by humanity. Just as with discoveries about our external world, the journey of self-discovery is vast and unending. It is also key to remembering everyone else you encounter is also a human being. So plumb the depths of your own Self; discover all that you can about your internal landscape. Then apply all that wisdom in every way you can to shaping the world into a place for every person everywhere.
Information and Inspiration
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Jaydra is a human in-process, working to make the world a better place. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and observations about the human experience.