Keeping things in perspective

The mind seems to prefer drama, and a lot of the movies we play in our minds have us at the center of the story, exaggerating the impact of potential future scenarios, as we silently rehearse our lines to ourselves. This is also true in how we relate to the external world.

Are not our generations the crucial ones? For we have changed the world. Are not our heightened times the important ones?  Are we not especially significant because our century is? There must be something heroic about our time, something that lifts it above all those other times.

Plague? Funny weather? Dire things are happening… 

Why are we watching the news, reading the news, keeping up with the news? Only to enforce our fancy – probably a necessary lie – that these are crucial times, and we are in on them. Newly revealed, and we are in the know: crazy people, bunches of them. New diseases, shifts in power, floods!

But can the news from dynastic Egypt have been any different?

Annie Dillard, For the Time Being

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