Progress, once started, is endless…We proceed because we must. – Gore Vidal, Empire
It’s human nature to advance and improve what came before us. It’s why our ancestors dug out a tree trunk and sailed across a lake and why Columbus kept pestering monarchs until someone finances his harebrained scheme to find a shortcut to India.
It’s why we went from the Wright Brothers at Kitty to Apollo 11 on the moon in well less than a century. It’s why we’ve from rotary phones to smart phones and it’s why we will progress from smart phones to whatever the future will have us using. The examples are endless.
Our personal examples should be endless, too, because it is no different for individuals. We cannot stagnate, we cannot stop growing. We must not be the same person at 30 that we were at 20, the same person at 40 were at 30. Our progress must be endless, too.
How we do that is as individual as a fingerprint. All of us must follow our hearts and trust our instincts to make our time on this planet serve us, instead of merely serving time. We are not doing ourselves or our fellow humans any good if we’re stagnating.
I know I am not the same writer I was years ago. In my 20’s I wrote a novel called Sam Rider, Private Detective. I still have a copy of it and I will leaf through it from time to time and marvel at how lousy it is. It took 25 years of writing every day, but it’s only in the past few years or so I reached the point where I am saying what I feel needs to be said every time I sit down and start tapping on the keyboard.
We proceed because we must.
It is our only obligation as humans. We must always add fresh water to our ponds, both individual and collective, or else our ponds will dry up.