Our passage on earth is short, very short, despite the fact that we are reaching the age of one hundred years. We are part of a chain of transmission to which we have not necessarily chosen to adhere: our birth is part of a multi-millennial logic of inheritance of a culture, a genetic heritage and so many other things to which we are invited to collaborate.
What stones, what gravel can we bring to the human edifice? Do we have a voice that will live on through the ages? Can our cry be heard at the limits of human chronology? Do we live to embody an idea or are we carried by the torments of an era that sweeps away everything in its path? Do we live a life worthy of inspiring others?
It is difficult to answer in the affirmative because the weight of history can represent a leaden blanket that we cannot get rid of: the giants that preceded us make us so small when we compare ourselves to them. For lack of being able to compete with these disappeared giants, we can do everything possible to climb up to their shoulders. Their lives deserve reflection and before we can think about passing on, we should ask ourselves if we have done the necessary conservation work. Studying and being inspired by the great ones helps us to glimpse the possibility of contributing, however humbly, to the evolution of thinking that is commonly called civilization.
We cannot live with dignity without keeping in mind the work of those who have gone before us. Without a vision of history and of the world’s contribution to human civilization, we would be like a drifting boat moving in the direction the wind would have liked to give it. We are both the product and the raw material of history. It is up to us to transform it and give it the most beautiful form.
We cannot draw a straight line towards its destiny, it is sinuous, it takes the shape of the path we open by our actions. What we do becomes what we are, so it is more than important to sacralize action in the sense that it is the idea embodied.