Guide Lines: The Future of the Past


Written by Simon Ambit

A young warrior jumps with lighting agility, and rolls just inches away from the pulverizing blow as an enormous foot hammers to the earth with such an impact that it leaves a depression in the soil, and sends sand particles spattering across my jacket.  Like a scythe through harvest grain, the barrage of the swinging tusks seems unavoidable as a spear is knocked from the hands the frontal attacker, and he is thrown lifelessly into the sagebrush by the fatal backswing of the sweeping tusks.

Whirling and spinning, charging and defending; the towering frame of the 15’ foot tall beast struggles in defensive of life.  Trumpeting a battle roar from deep within his larynx, and with a threatening swing of his colossal tusks, the large Columbian Bull Mammoth battles to fend off the band of ravage attackers.  Though intimately aware of the risk they take with this battle, these braves have mouths to feed, and for the Paleoindian tribes, this wooly goliath of the plains was not something they came upon every day.

My family and I were privileged to watch this exchange take place recently at the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum.  The intricate mammoth display, along with so many others got me to thinking about the difficult times that the prehistoric people had, and how great their ingenuity truly was.  From trapping rabbits to downing buffalo, from knives made of bone to baby baskets of willow, they had to learn and do it all as if their lives depended upon it. Building shelter, saving seeds for next year’s crop, making water tight baskets out of plants, dolls, jewelry, tools, weapons, everything; there was no hardware store, no grocery market, and no hospitals.  When they had a problem they had to work to create a solution using the knowledge gained by generations of those who had gone on before.

Among our time of electricity, indoor plumbing, unlimited information on the web, and hybrid cars; I found myself in awe of these early innovators.  It would take me immense struggle to replicate with today’s tools, what they invented and created by hand.  I walked away with a deeper respect for the prehistoric tribes, and a heightened sense of what it is you and I can accomplish when we are driven and determined to do so.

May we step up the problems at our door, and commit to find the solution.  May we charge the mammoth sized set-backs that lie between us and tomorrow’s horizon and fight to gain the victory of improvement.  There is an old proverb that states “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”  How do you want to start out?  What will we do with today?   Let us not give up on ourselves, nor those around us.  We all have problems, and if we can learn from the past, we can have a solution filled future.  Life is good!

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