The Long Family of Mankind


If you could go back in time a thousand years, you would find individuals who reminded you very much of your current friends and companions. The same is true of people who will live a thousand years from now. Some of them will be nearly identical to the people you love now. And you would care about those people the same as you do their present-day counterparts.

Please understand this: Those we would love in the future can advance only in the same way we have, by the benefaction of their predecessors.

Can you imagine how long it took for ignorant men to learn the rules of metallurgy? Or engineering? Or a hundred other things we can barely imagine being without? Our lives are advanced only because they created new ways of living and passed them down to us. Hundreds of generations of men and women lived through dark times, fighting toward whatever bits of light they could find, opposed by others nearly the entire way, to bring us to where we are now.

Someday our generation will also be gone, and we will have played – whether we’ve understood it or not – the crucial role of transmitting civilization to following generations. What do we want them to be like? How do we want them to live?

Numberless men and women have struggled toward the future and spent all they had to bring us here. We owe them something. It may be that they no longer care, but their gifts to us will cease to exist unless we pass them along. We make them matter, and they deserve to matter.

We stand now at the threshold of the stars, but we’ve been immobilized by self-serving structures designed to control every human and reap from their every action. We must get past them if we are to continue forward.

Foolishness bids us to forget the future, to chase status instead of goodness, conquest rather than production, and thrill rather than substance. A thousand self-serving voices call us aside, grasping at our assets and our energy. We must turn away from it all.

We owe this to the people of the past.

We owe it to the people of the future.

We owe it to ourselves.

What happens next is up to you. It’s not up to leaders or bosses. It’s up to you.

The consequences of your failures are inescapable, and the consequences of your good deeds are inescapable. Regardless of your acknowledgement, our descendants will live or die by them. What you are and what you do matter a very great deal.

Engage your will. Act. Awake.

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A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

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Paul Rosenberg