Some of the castles we toured in Ireland were decorated with furniture twice the age of our country. Crazy, right? The bed in one of the chambers we walked through was over 500 years old.
We are like the Mark Zuckerberg of countries. We hit it big early. We’ve accomplished a lot in a short period of time, but we are obviously still learning. To much of the world we are adolescents, and I think it’s partly why so many assume Americans are arrogant in a sense.
I remember a beach trip my friends and our families took years ago. We were kicked out of the go-kart track for ramming each other. What else could you expect from teenage boys?
One of the dads, angry at the go-kart attendant who was talking back to him said, “Son! I’ve got shoes older than you!” That shut down his youthful arrogance quickly. We still tell the story more than a decade later.
One of the most remarkable sites I saw on our trip was the Cliffs of Moher. They are said to have been formed 320 million years ago in the Carboniferous Period. It’s hard to even fathom that amount of time given the blip our individual existence is.
A 500 year-old bed, a thousand year-old country, all seem like infants to those cliffs. Maybe we are all children, relatively speaking, making mistakes, trying to get along, attempting to figure out the world, getting kicked out of go-kart tracks.
Here today and gone tomorrow, we try to learn from those who have gone before and make a worthy contribution when it’s our turn. We try to move the ball forward before the unstoppable hand of time moves past us and we become a part of the history a tourist reads about hundreds of years from now.