Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Are you a dinosaur? How I wish...

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Dinosaurs as a metaphor is quite popular in boardrooms and corporate corridors. It stands for something that is outdated, not able to keep up with the time or simply not advanced enough. Till recently I also used this metaphor at will without giving it a second thought.
Last night I was reading kids encyclopedia to my son. It had an interesting concept called world clock. The concept is quite simple, entire earth's history were to be converted to 24 hours. First signs of life arrived by midnight and it took 9 PM for the animal to appear on land. Dinosaurs ruled the earth from half past 9 PM to 11 PM. I was eager to read about human history. The entire human history is squeezed into last quarter of a second. Just compare quarter of a second to two long hours?
Isn't it amazing we humans who are walking on earth for just about 300,000 years call dinosaurs who ruled the earth for 135 million years a failure? They discovered flying long before we did, they stood on two legs long before we did, they went around the earth long before we did, still we call them failures just because they are not here.
There are many theories about why they were extinct. These theories vary from asteroids to volcanos to mammals eating their eggs. None of the theories mention that dinosaurs failed to adapt in any way. They were extinct because spike in external conditions, not because they failed to adapt.
Now look at humans. We appeared on earth clock half a second ago. In another infinitesimally small amount of time we have destroyed 50% of forest cover on the mother planet. We are plundering her resources like there is no tomorrow. It is our activities that is causing depletion of Ozone layer and global warming. Do we have what it takes to last 230 million years? If we are extinct before that it is not because of
Dinosaurs stayed on earth without destroying it. Human race would be better off learning from them how they could do it...rather than calling them a failure.
There are many set beliefs around us going around unquestioned, unchallenged. Look around, think, challenge them once in awhile. There may be big learnings from what we conventionally considered as failures.
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