By Arthur H. Gunther III
Whether it is worry about family finances, or county government, the state of the nation or the world, the realization that we are but specks in time can put things in perspective. Quickly, the headache that comes with self-absorption is gone, and life can exist in the greater scope of existence.
No, this is not day-dreaming gone wild or too much pre-bedtime wine but the effects of the Internet, that remarkable portal to information, which has shrunk the world and perhaps the universe, too. Another way of expanding our limited outlook.
Working the Net recently, a teaser appeared on a story about the NASA's onboard Mars rover Curiosity Mastcam recording of what looks like a petroglyph, the stick figure which has appeared since cave days all over the world. And now on a planet far away.
Of course, it could be coincidence that the rock on Mars has an indentation which simply looks like a petroglyph, but is it also coincidence that stick figures from continent to continent, thousands of years apart, are so very similar?
In those times, despite what 2014 smart phone users might believe, there was no Internet to spread the message, to promote copy-catting. Not even newspapers or books or TV. No Facebook or Twitter.
So, was civilization more advanced than now? Or were we (are we still) visited by others not of this world, who left (leave) their mark? Or did we advance and then horribly put the world into a dark age from which we are still emerging, rebuilding technological greatness?
Ah, perspective. It can bring you back to earth. Or is it the other way around?
The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org This essay may be reproduced.