Victor Hanson, “Natural Links in a Long Chain of Being”

I heard this yesterday while at an event.  Someone read it aloud, and it resonated for me.  It’s from Victor Hanson’s essay, “Natural Links in a Long Chain of Being.”  You can find the full work at the following link:

Here are some of the lines that stood out for me.  I think you will see why when you read them.

“[W]e need some daily signposts that we are not novel, not better, not worse from those who came before us….Although I came into this world alone and will leave alone, I am not alone.…I believe all of us are natural links in a long chain of being, and that I need to know what time of day it is, what season is coming, whether the wind is blowing north or from the east, and if the moon is still full tomorrow night, just as the farmers who came before me did.

The physical world around us constantly changes, but human nature does not. We must struggle in our brief existence to find some transcendent meaning during reoccurring heartbreak and disappointment and so find solace in the knowledge that our ancestors have all gone through this before.

You may find all that all too intrusive, living with the past as present. I find it exhilarating. I believe there is an old answer for every new problem, that wise whispers of the past are with us to assure us that if we just listen and remember, we are not alone; we have been here before.”



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