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Humanity's Evolution, Part VI

Updated: May 3

"So how long have you been studying the 21st century?" Gershom asked me when we were alone.

I took a deep breath and cleared my throat. "Six centuries," I said steering myself for the inevitable look of surprise.

Gershom blinked a few times but to his credit he didn't show any other outward reaction. It was very unusual for a Little Dragon to stay in one field of study for that long. The average member of our species typically left after three centuries of study. A Little Dragon could study whatever they wanted for as long as they wanted but historically our people lose interest in a topic after three hundred years. A new challenge is needed. I was an anomaly in that regard.

"How long have you been studying?" I asked turning the tables.

"Two and a half centuries," Gershom said as his dark eyes stared right into mine for a long moment. The man then nodded his head like he was finally grasping the answer to a puzzle. "It all makes sense now," he said.

"Excuse me?" I asked him confused by his manner.

His face broke out into a smile. "I am considered one of the foremost experts on human societies before the 21st century but none of that mattered during your lecture. The way you approached the topic was truly unique and it had nothing to do with your knowledge. It had all to do with your passion for the topic."

I wasn't sure if he was insulting me or complimenting me.

"It is a compliment," he said reading my mind. "Rarely have I come against a Little Dragon, who puts that much of themselves into their work. Have you been that passionate in all your fields of study?"

Passionate is not a word that is usually used to describe the dedication I harbor for my work. Obsessiveness would be more accurate to other Little Dragons' way of thinking. I found his viewpoint unique. "I guess I have always been a thorough person. I like to really study something until I feel there is nothing else to offer. But to be honest the 21st century has held my interest more than any other."

"Why?" he asked a truly curious look in his eyes. "It is far less remarkable than the ages of enlightenment. I am sure you have heard how many refer to it as the last truly barbarous era."

I nodded my head. It was no secret how the 21st century was regarded. " 'It was the height of our physical existence. A time when we were still out for ourselves and embraced this stage as the pinnacle of all evolution.' " I quoted. "Yes, I am aware of those opinions."

"Then why study it?" he pressed.

"Because it marked the beginning of the end of our obsession with the physicality of our form and world," I said shrugging my shoulders. "We were seriously asking how can we make life better for us overall as a species. Many of our ancestors were exploring practical options for how to improve all aspects of society."

Gershom wasn't convinced. "But the efforts were unorganized and did not eliminate the causes of our ancestors troubles. In fact, I think some organizations thrived on the existence of these problems so there was no motivation to really change things."

"Growing pains," I said and earned a strange look from Gershom. "Our ancestors were just beginning to realize there was more to life than the physicality. They were leaving a stage of infancy. It isn't easy for a toddler to walk but eventually they do."

"Well history agrees, with you," Gershom conceded. "And only a fool argues with history."

That ends Humanities Evolution, Part VI. Next month is Humanities Evolution, Part VII.

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